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'Broadcast News' and 'State of Play' uphold the 'Network' tradition of Newsroom movies
Starting Sunday, June 24. writer Aaron Sorkin takes a crack at showing what being a journalist is really like -- while still keeping in interesting -- with HBO's new series, "The Newsroom."
"His Girl Friday" (1940): "The Front Page" has been filmed several times, but this variation that makes the newspaper tale a romantic comedy -- thanks to the great battle of the sexes between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell -- arguably is the most engaging.
"Ace in the Hole" (1951): Also known as "The Big Carnival," director Billy Wilder's cynical drama casts a fearless Kirk Douglas as a down-on-his-luck reporter who tries to exploit a cave-in.
"Sweet Smell of Success" (1957): It doesn't unfold in a literal newsroom, but this searing drama of a cruel columnist (Burt Lancaster) who manipulates a desperate publicist (Tony Curtis) must be on any list of great newspaper dramas.
"All the President's Men" (1976): Maybe the most thrilling newspaper drama yet made is a true story, as anyone who knows the name Watergate knows, with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as relentless reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
"Network" (1976): Thirty-six years later, critics and journalists still marvel at the prescience of writer Paddy Chayefsky - who yielded Oscar-winning roles for Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch -- about the then-future of TV news.
"Absence of Malice" (1981): The target (Paul Newman) of a leaked story cleverly evens the score with those who smeared him, including the main reporter (Sally Field), in director Sydney Pollack's very smart drama.
"Broadcast News" (1987): Writer-director James L. Brooks proves he knows his stuff about the business in this superb comedy-drama about a love triangle (William Hurt, Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks) in a Washington network bureau ... and also about much more.
"State of Play" (2009): This underrated Americanization of an acclaimed British miniseries boasts strong work by Russell Crowe as a veteran reporter investigating an old pal (Ben Affleck), a politician whose mistress has died suspiciously.
"Morning Glory" (2010): It may lack the gravitas of other movies on this topic, but this comedy about the morning news show wars is a pure delight, thanks to Rachel McAdams' sunniness as a determined producer and Harrison Ford's surliness as a grouchy co-anchor.
Photo/Video credit: Warner Bros./20 Century Fox
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