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Context Film / GoodNightAndGoodLuck

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1[[quoteright:299:]]²²''Good Night, and Good Luck'' is a 2005 [[DeliberatelyMonochrome black and white]] film directed by Creator/GeorgeClooney and written by Clooney and Grant Heslov. It stars Clooney, Creator/DavidStrathairn, Creator/JeffDaniels, Creator/RobertDowneyJr, Creator/PatriciaClarkson, Creator/FrankLangella, and [[AsHimself Senator Joseph McCarthy]].²²It is a dramatization of the conflict between Senator UsefulNotes/JosephMcCarthy and broadcaster Edward R. Murrow during the height of TheFifties RedScare in the United States. Notably, no actor actually portrays [=McCarthy=], instead relying entirely on archival footage, giving it an edge of historical accuracy. The themes of the movie focus on the responsibility of television, not just the news, to go beyond just entertainment, and inform and voice dissent.²²The film was nominated for six UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s, including Best Picture.²----²!!This film provides examples of:²* TheAlcoholic: Senator [=McCarthy=] [[EstablishingCharacterMoment is introduced at a speaking event, guzzling down a drink before he starts speaking]]. TruthInTelevision, as [=McCarthy=] was a notorious drinker, and it's clear in much of the footage that he's likely drunk or hung over. He died from cirrhosis of the liver in fact, three years after being censured.²* AndMissionControlRejoiced: The control room bursts into spontaneous applause after Murrow finishes his daring piece about Milo Radulovich.²* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Murrow's boss Bill Paley asks why Murrow didn't correct [=McCarthy=] when he said Alger Hiss was convicted of treason. "You didn't want to be seen defending Hiss," Paley notes.²* AsHimself: Senator Joseph [=McCarthy=] was credited as himself.²* BookEnds: The famous award speech where Murrow [[BitingTheHandHumor lambasts the association members not to waste TV's potential.]]²* CatchPhrase: The title was Murrow's, both in RealLife and the film. Also counts as a TitleDrop.²* DaEditor: Paley is a soft-spoken version. At one point he calls up Murrow just before broadcast and invites him to a Knicks game with dry humor, but he tries to pull back Murrow harder after the [=McCarthy=] pieces imperil sponsorship. When he puts "See It Now" in the Sunday death slot, he says he's fighting the affiliates, sponsors, and politicians and is sick of getting a stomachache every time Murrow takes on controversy.²* DeadpanSnarker: Apparently, a number of them worked for Creator/{{CBS}}.²* DefiantToTheEnd: After "See It Now" is effectively canceled, Friendly suggests to Murrow that their first program in the new timeslot should be about the downfall of television, and they agree to go down swinging.²* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The film was shot in color on a greyscale set and then color-corrected in post-production.²* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The entirety of a Kent cigarette commercial is shown before one of Murrow's "Person to Person" segments.²* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Joe and Shirley's suspicious furtive behavior resembles Communists trying to avoid the blacklist. [[spoiler: Nah, they're just married when the network has a policy against married partners working there.]]²* DrivenToSuicide: Don Hollenbeck kills himself by running his gas oven after repeated accusations of being a Communist sympathizer.²* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Joe and Shirley's marriage. The director tells them that everybody knows about it [[spoiler:when asking them to resign ahead of planned layoffs.]] Except for Murrow, apparently, when Fred says everyone knew and he claims "I didn't know."[[note]]He's so dry, it's hard to tell if he's joking.[[/note]]²* EverybodySmokes: Murrow's producer Fred W. Friendly didn't smoke in RealLife, and died at 82. [[Series/SixtyMinutes Andy Rooney]], not present despite working at CBS News in Murrow's era, never smoked and died in 2011 at ''92''. They were the exception, though, with Rooney long outliving most of his '50s colleagues at CBS. ²* TheFifties: Focusing more on the dark effects of the Red Scare rather than picket fences and bobby socks.²* FridayNightDeathSlot: [[invoked]] Paley won't cancel "See It Now" outright, probably because it would (accurately) be seen as a response to Murrow's reporting on [=McCarthy=]. Instead, he moves the show to a weekly format and puts it in an hour-long Sunday afternoon time slot, which will kill its ratings and allow him to cancel it for ''that'' reason after the hubbub has died down.²* GenreSavvy: A [=McCarthy=] minion slips Joe some dirt on Murrow's supposed Communist connections in order to threaten them. Joe tells him he needs to watch more spy films because you're not supposed to hand envelopes full of secret information to people in crowded lobbies.²* GoldenMeanFallacy: When arguing about editorializing with the news director, Murrow says that some stories simply do ''not'' have two equal and valid viewpoints that deserve equal time.²* HistoricalBeautyUpdate: George Clooney as Fred Friendly. To a lesser extent, David Strathairn as Murrow, though Murrow himself was far from a bad-looking guy.²* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: {{Averted}}, though the film was accused of this. Murrow and the studio didn't stand up for the Air Force officer accused of treason and go against [=McCarthy=] out of the goodness of their hearts-they needed an angle, and no one else seemed to be covering the treason case. In addition, Murrow's AuthorTract on television about fiction being one of the downfalls of the modern age in the opening wasn't treated as uplifting, or moving, or the message of the film.²* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Guess.²* HistoricalInJoke: The interview with Liberace was an attempt to try to make his TransparentCloset CampGay personality just CampStraight. No one, least of all Murrow, was fooled. There's a reason he hated those "Person to Person" segments.²* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Murrow and co. (and by extension, the filmmakers) are very careful in their attacks on [=McCarthy=], using footage of the man and his own words to demonstrate just how ridiculous he is. ²* IntrepidReporter: Murrow.²* KarmaHoudini: When [=McCarthy=] is censured, Murrow and Friendly point out that he still gets to keep his Senate seat. ²** It is [[SubvertedTrope subverted]], however, if one knows what happened to [=McCarthy=] afterwards. While he did keep his seat, he never got the public attention and support he initially had, and his fellow Senators avoided him like the plague [[TheFriendNoOneLikes (even fellow Republicans)]]. This, plus the [[TheAlcoholic exacerbation of his drinking problem]], led to his health declining and eventually his death in 1957. ²* MoodWhiplash: The triumphal news that [=McCarthy=] is himself being investigated by the Senate is cut off when Friendly receives news that Don Hollenbeck has committed suicide.²* OpenSecret: Everyone in the office knows about Joe and Shirley's SecretRelationship anyway, they just don't mention it. [[spoiler:Eventually, they're effectively fired when the studio begins layoffs-they're told that, if one of them quits, they'll save a few jobs. They do so.]]²* PoesLaw: Some audiences complained that [[YourCostumeNeedsWork "the actor playing Joseph McCarthy"]] was "too over-the-top". The film used actual archived footage of the real [=McCarthy=].²* PyrrhicVictory: Murrow and Friendly were vindicated, but at the cost of network support.²* QuittingToGetMarried: Gender-flipped and retroactively applied. Joe and Shirley Wershba are HappilyMarried despite Creator/{{CBS}} company policy prohibiting married coworkers. Their marriage is an OpenSecret in the office, but near the end of the film their boss is told to lay off two employees, and gives them the opportunity to have one or both of them quit to save somebody else's job. Joe takes the offer.²* RealityIsUnrealistic[=/=]YourCostumeNeedsWork: Some of the film's detractors complained that the actor playing [[AsHimself Senator McCarthy]] hammed the role up too much, when the movie used ''actual film'' of him.²* ReassignedToAntarctica: Murrow's punishment by Paley was to have his show lengthened and put in a weekly (instead of daily) format in a deadly time slot. It quickly died.²* RedScare: Senator Joseph [=McCarty=] himself, one of the greatest symbols [[WitchHunt of all the worst]] [[WithUsOrAgainstUs parts of this era]], is the GreaterScopeVillain of this film.²* {{Retraux}}: Filmed in black and white to enhance the period feeling. And because the only usable footage of [=McCarthy=] is in black-and-white.²* SecretRelationship: Joe and Shirley Wershba can't reveal their marriage or they will be fired.²* ShownTheirWork: George Clooney grew up on his father's television news set, so the news scenes are precisely accurate, down to the crewman under the news desk tugging at Murrow's pant leg to let him know the camera was on.²* SpeakIllOfTheDead: Conservative columnist O'Brien's reaction to Hollenbeck's suicide is to write another column calling him a pinko.²* StockFootage: All scenes involving [=McCarthy=] are actually him speaking in the Senate. As noted above, many people weren't aware of this.²* WeddingRingRemoval: Joe and Shirley have recently married in spite of [=CBS=]'s prohibition on married couples in the office. Shirley jokes that she's probably the only wife who reminds her husband to take ''off'' his ring before going to work. ²----


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