Good Night’ at Kukui Grove

The 1950’s drama “Good Night, and Good Luck” opens at the Kukui Grove Cinemas in Lihu‘e, today.

Set mostly in the CBS newsrooms and shot in all black and white to re-create the feel of the time, “Good Night, and Good Luck” chronicles the real-life feud between Murrow and the powerful Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

With cigarette in hand, dark suit and slicked-back hair, Edward R. Murrow refused to back down in his pursuit of the truth behind all the communist “witch-hunts” of Sen. McCarthy. With television still in its earliest phase, Murrow, his producer Fred Friendly and band of CBS journalists put their careers on the line to question the government’s investigations.

Because of Murrow’s probing of the Air Force’s discharge of Milo Radulovich, McCarthy accuses Murrow of being a communist himself and a long, heated public feud ensues between the two. This only fuels Murrow’s fire to get to the bottom of all the communist paranoia.

Director, costar, and screenwriter George Clooney opted to use real footage of Sen. McCarthy instead of hiring an actor to re-enact the television spots.

Clooney plays Murrow’s co-producer of the show “See It Now,” who helps Murrow uncover the truth and put it on national television.

Murrow and his fellow journalists have been credited with changing the journalism industry.

The film has received nominations across the board. It was nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Picture for a drama, Best Actor for David Strathairn as Murrow, Best Director for Clooney and Best Original Screenplay for Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov.

Strathairn leads the all-star cast which includes Academy- award nominated actress Patricia Clarkson, Golden Globe-nominated Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr. and Frank Langella.

Clarkson stars as journalist Shirley Wershba, one of the first to develop radio shows devoted to women’s issues and a member of the CBS team.

Daniels plays the head of the CBS Network News and Public Affairs Division, Sig Mickelson, who tries to get Murrow and Friendly to not pursue McCarthy.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Joe Wershba, co-producer of “See It Now.” Langella plays William S. Paley, who ran the CBS radio and television networks and was instrumental in bringing “See It Now” to the small screen.

Other recognition for the film includes an Independent Spirit award and Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Strathairn’s performance, Independent Spirit award for Clooney’s direction and Screen Actor’s Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a cast.

The movie is playing for one week only. Be sure to check the local listings in this week’s The Garden Island.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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