Recently, I got out my DVD of “All the President’s Men.” Until “Spotlight” came out I thought it had no competition for title of best newspaper film ever.
The 1976 film, directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, is the story of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they uncover the Watergate scandal.
It’s a taut, thrilling detective story that made even the smallest, mundane details of putting together a newspaper story interesting.
And if you want to catch it, it’s on Turner Classic Movies tonight (July 7) at 7 p.m.
“Spotlight” — See my Jan. 19 review of this year’s winner for best picture at the Academy Awards. It’s the telling of the true story of how Boston Globe reporters uncovered the sex abuse scandal and coverup involving the Boston Diocese. I give it a small lead over “All the President’s Men” as my favorite newspaper movie of all time.
“The Paper” (1994) — Director Ron Howard’s film about 24 hours in the life of a fictional New York City tabloid stars Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid and Robert Duvall. What makes this film so memorable is how the paper tries to get a story done before deadline that would clear two murder suspects that are innocent. The tension comes across very well on screen.
“-30-” (1959) — The film gives the viewer a look at the night shift of a fictional Los Angeles newspaper on an eventful and rainy evening. The movie relies on focusing on newspaper procedures and can be a little dry. But it was directed by Jack Webb, who also starred as the night managing editor, and his Dragnet radio and television shows weren’t exactly heavy on drama. But “-30-“, which is a symbol used by newspapers to indicate the end of story, is still very much an interesting view.
“Teacher’s Pet” (1958) — An interesting argument is brought up between journalism instructor Doris Day and big city newspaper editor Clark Gable. Should journalism be a trade or profession? It’s more entertaining than it sounds.
Let me know if there are other movies I might have missed. And I’ll be honest, I have yet to see any of the film versions of one of the most famous newspapers movies of all time, “The Front Page.” I need to change that.
UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .