(PG) David Stratharin (Edward R. Murrow), Patricia Clarkson (Shirley Wershba), George Clooney (Fred Friendly), Jeff Daniels (Sig Mickelson), Robert Downey Jr. (Joe Wershba), Frank Langella (William Paley), Ray Wise (Don Hollenbeck). Music: No general soundtrack (songs performed by Dianne Reeves). Screenplay: George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Director: George Clooney. 93 minutes (black and white).
Tags: Docu-Drama, Government Terrorism, Censorship, History, News
Notable: Shirley and Joe Wershba, who were actually part of Morrow’s news team, were directly consulted at every stage of production, making the story as historically accurate as possible.
The year is 1953. Television is brand new, the world is rebuilding from World War II, and the junior senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy (a.k.a. “Tailgunner Joe”) was convinced that America had been infiltrated by “card-carrying communists” whose mere existence would destroy the country. CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow began his reporting of McCarthy by finding one incident – a young man thrown out of the Air Force because his father may have had some sort of contact with “communists” – and exposing McCarthy’s extremism, building the story piece by piece until McCarthy himself became the subject of a Senate investigation. Continue reading “Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)”
Tags: Social Morality, Science Fiction, Existential
The world of Stangerup’s main character, Torben, is both strange and familiar. Some of its elements would seem to be part of modern day Europe – perhaps Denmark (the author’s home country), or Sweden or Switzerland – while other elements seem part of a future that had only been conceived in George Orwell’s nightmarish visions of 1984. In this strange, familiar, antiseptic, perfectly balanced world, Torben kills his wife Edith in a fit of rage, and he is taken away by the Helpers to a state hospital. He is treated well, with compassion, and with understanding and forgiveness that surpasses all human comprehension. When his case of aggression has been duly dealt with, he is released back into his caring, clean, orderly society, free from any stain of crime or guilt. Continue reading “The Man Who Wanted to Be Guilty”
(1972, not rated) Christopher Walken (Pvt. James Reese), Joss Ackland (Dr. Frederick), Ralph Meeker (The Major), Ronny Cox (Sgt. Boford Miles), Marco St. John (Shannon). Music: Phil Ramone and Chris Dedrick (performed by Free Design). Screenplay: Ron Whyte, based on the play The Happiness Cage by Dennis Reardon. Director: Bernard Girard. 94 minutes.
Notable: Christopher Walken’s first starring role.
Army Private James Reese has anger issues, which lands him in a highly secluded and heavily secured country estate somewhere in the West German countryside. He and two other American soldiers are under the exclusive care of Dr. Frederick, who seems to be anything but an ordinary general practitioner. As Reese discovers that his orderly, Shannon, behaves more like a sadistic prison guard, and that his doctor has a separate laboratory with monkeys who appear to have had some sort of surgery performed upon their brains, he comes to realize that his presence is less for recovery than it is for experimentation. Continue reading “The Mind Snatchers (1972)”