Published on July 8, 2006 By averjoe In Entertainment
I saw “Good Night, And Good Luck” directed by George Clooney on DVD a couple weeks ago. As I found with the movie “V for Vendetta” (B minus grade), the main subject matter is very timely in this political environment we find ourselves in.

The movie is about Edward R. Murrow dealing with a Senator Joseph McCarthy’s communist in government and society witch-hunt of the 1950s US. Murrow (one of the most respected broadcast newsman by people in the broadcast news business back then and today) was a respected newsman and television host in the early days of television (black and white days).

He used several broadcast of a program he hosted in the 1950s to highlight how the McCarthy witch-hunt could negatively affect, not only the lives of politicians, writers, actors, academicians, and government bureaucrats, but ordinary Americans and how the actions of McCarthy were a danger and threat to the freedoms Americans hold dear.

He did this in one case by showing the plight of a US serviceman who was accused of being a communist agent (recklessly accusing military personal of being communist agents was one of the things that led to the end of McCarthy’s communist witch-hunt).

The film also deals with the behind the broadcast happenings or scene of Murrow’s news show and how tough and risky it was to take on Senator McCarthy during this period.

The movie was shot in black and white (I guess) to give a feel for the times when television broadcast were basically in black and white.

A theme in the film is to be aware of those trying to divert your attention from the serious issues of the day by using entertainment (like Karl Marx found his opiate for the masses, so Clooney and/or shall I say Murrow found their unimportant diversions).

At the beginning of the film Murrow is speaking before on audience on this very topic. The argument is that the attention of the American people is being diverted by things like movies, entertainment television programming, celebrity worship, sports etc. while very serious issues face the nation/world, but are being hidden from the American people and/or not dealt with.

Clooney did a clever (intentionally or unintentionally) thing here by indicting the very industry he works for in a picture produced for your entertainment by that very industry. I guess Clooney would consider Good Night, Good Luck enlightened entertainment.

My problem is the level of entertainment I experienced watching this movie.” Good Night, and Good Luck” may be a movie along a similar vein as “V for Vendetta”, but I found “V for Vendetta” more entertaining.

“Good Night, and Good Luck” is not a bad movie though. It is a tightly focused dramatization of true events in US history. I guess in that regard it would be hard to be as entertaining as something that is mostly fiction like “V for Vendetta” (but the grades are very close).

“Good Night, and Good Luck” is a timely picture (which is more than I can say about this review) that makes for interesting viewing. I give it a grade of C+. It may not be worth buying, but it is worth renting, especially in these times when our liberties in the US are threatened.

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