Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Good Night and Good Luck

2005 - Dir: George Clooney
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 24th November, 2007
There now follows a short history lesson for those of you too young (or too old) to remember Senator McCarthy’s activities: In the USA in the 1950’s the fear of an internal communist threat was exploited by a small time Republican senator who made allegations (later proved to be false) of communist infiltration, particularly in the media. He rose to be chairman of the investigating committee and turned the investigation into a witch-hunt. The fear of the committee’s power forced media bosses to blacklist whole swathes of their best talent. Some, like Paul Robeson, Larry Adler and Joseph Losey fled to Britain. Others had promising careers prematurely ended. Some committed suicide......
“Good Night and Good Luck” chronicles TV presenter Ed Murrow’s stand against the odious Senator. It’s a gripping film made with a terrific appreciation of the atmosphere and mood of the time. For George Clooney it was a labour of love. He directs, produces, writes and appears in it - it’s probably not insignificant that his father was a television newscaster in the 1950s.
· The film was shot in colour but was converted into black and white to give a better period feel.
· At test screenings, audience members felt that the McCarthy character was overacting a bit, not realizing that it was archive footage of the real Senator McCarthy.
· The entire set was built on one floor. The elevator interior was built on a turntable, so it could be rotated to a new "floor" during unbroken shots.
· The band playing throughout the movie is Matt Catingub's band and Matt Catingub did all the arrangements. Matt Catingub produced Rosemary Clooney's last album and George Clooney was so impressed, he asked Matt to do the music for this film. Rosemary Clooney was George’s aunt.

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