Good Night, and Good Luck

Good Night, and Good Luck Movies About Television

Movies about newspapers and journalism are prominent in the American film industry. Films like His Girl Friday, The Front Page, All the President's Men, Citizen Kane, The Paper, and Ace in the Hole depict the romantically fast-paced, snappy, and always topical world of print media. These movies explore a specifically American fascination with the press and its power to influence public opinion. A subset of this genre of American film concerns television news.

Broadcast News, Frost/Nixon, Network, Good Night, and Good Luck, and others, all examine the ins and outs of television news. Network, directed by Sidney Lumet, is still considered to be one of the best films about television ever made. As is the case with many films about television, the subject matter lends itself to prophetic revelations about society and its ills. One article about Network for BBC states, "...the scary thing about re-watching Network today is that even its wildest flights of fancy no longer seem outrageous at all. The film was so accurate in its predictions that its most far-fetched satirical conceits have become so familiar as to be almost quaint." James L. Brooks' Broadcast News is still praised for its progressive feminist take on women in the newsroom. Frost/Nixon was praised for its intense portrayal of an iconic interview, and its ability to communicate a timeless message. Films about television media, a field characterized by its immediacy and urgency, hit at deep and specific truths about political and social dynamics that many describe as timeless.

The struggles faced by characters in movies about television often concern bucking public opinion in favor of staying true to ideals and principles. Good Night, and Good Luck explicitly looks at the differences between television and print media, and in so doing leads a viewer to think about how different media affect how we look at society and our role in it. In Jack Gould's (actual) review of Murrow's work in television, he wrote, "For TV so often plagued by timidity and hesitation, the program was a milestone that reflected enlightened citizenship."