The movie Good Night and Good Luck is about Edward R Murrow and CBS news in the 1950’s before they created 60 minutes. One of the biggest ethical questions they faced was, were they communists? This was right after the Red Scare (McCarthy Hearings) and most journalists were vigilant with their work, due to that. They did not want to be accused of being Communists and lose their hard earned jobs as reporters. They did not want to be labeled communists and then lose their occupations due to that problem.
They were analytical reporters, much like you see on 60 Minutes today; with the exception that we, as a whole, were not a media oriented society as we are today. The movie is not about how Senator Joseph McCarthy was neglected but how Edward R. Murrow and his team went about his downfall. The movie is like a play, where we should have learned how people should act as journalists. In the early 1950’s, the fear of Communism created fear in the United States and one person that was exploiting these fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decided to challenge McCarthy and really exposed him to the world. Although Murrow and Friendly were convicted they stood by their convictions and helped bring down one of the most scandalous senators ever known to the United States. Edward R. Murrow was a legendary 1950’s news reporter on CNS. He was famous for ending each television broadcast with the line “Good night and Good Luck. ” He was famed for broadcasting eyewitness reports on important issues around the country and was a great public speaking figure.
He always smoked a cigarette during his shows which was a major advertisement for the smoking companies. Murrow seems to be fearless, always standing for what he believed was right. Murrow and Friendly’s work and their behavior reflect reality in most ways, although this was at a time when you could actually smoke on television. Murrow would die of cancer a few years later, with the cigarettes which was also a major advertiser. Smoking really helped with this type of movie.
It shows the era when these events were taking place, which was in the 1950’s. It was a norm to smoke in the 50’s but now we do not let news anchors smoke while doing a broadcast or smoke while in a business. They did not know the dangerous effects from smoking at that time. The episodes between the shows were separated by a woman jazz singer. She was performing in a studio, perhaps somewhere nearby. Her songs did not help with what was happening with the news but rather evoked a time where piano lounges, cigarettes and martinis were popular.
With snippets of real footage captured in the 1950’s they made it very believable and real to me. I really liked where they actually used the real footage of these events taking place and made them work in this movie. There is one news broadcaster that is similar in many ways to Murrow and that would be Dan Rather, for sixty minutes. He tried to expose himself during the campaign elections of 2004 which led to him somewhat resigning from CBS. He caught himself in a trap talking about Bush’s National Guard Service.