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Broadcast News

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Overview

Writer/director/producer James L. Brooks scores on all counts with this clear-eyed look at the television news business and the dysfunctional types who work in it. Brooks' intelligent script introduces us to Jane Craig Holly Hunter, an ambitious producer at the network news division's Washington D.C. branch, who is calm under fire yet has a good cry at her desk every morning over her empty personal life. Jane works well with Aaron Altman Albert Brooks, an excellent reporter who lacks the visual charisma to make ...
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Overview

Writer/director/producer James L. Brooks scores on all counts with this clear-eyed look at the television news business and the dysfunctional types who work in it. Brooks' intelligent script introduces us to Jane Craig Holly Hunter, an ambitious producer at the network news division's Washington D.C. branch, who is calm under fire yet has a good cry at her desk every morning over her empty personal life. Jane works well with Aaron Altman Albert Brooks, an excellent reporter who lacks the visual charisma to make him a star. Into their lives comes Tom Grunick William Hurt, a regional newscaster who admits he can't write news and doesn't understand many of the events he's covering, but has the presence and physical appeal that the increasingly entertainment-oriented network wants for its news programs. Jane is also physically attracted to him, which drives her crazy, because Grunick stands for everything she's fighting against in the news business, while Altman is devastated by her attraction because he secretly yearns for Jane. As Grunick becomes a rising star at the network, and layoffs of the old guard loom, the three leads deal with their feelings for each other, their careers, and their values. Hunter, Hurt, and Brooks are all superb, as is the excellent supporting cast including an unbilled turn by Jack Nicholson as the network's smarmy national anchor. Brooks' script is funny, poignant, gritty, and brutally honest in its examinations of the television industry and the ways in which professionals interact on and off the job.
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Special Features

New, restored high-definiton digital transfer, supervised and approved by director James L. Brooks and editor Richard Marks, with DTS-HD master audio soundtrack; New audio commentary featuring Brooks and Marks; James L. Brooks-A Singular Voice, a new documentary on Brook's career in television and film, featuring actresses Marilu Henner and Julie Kavner, among other collaborators; Alternate ending and deleted scenes, with commentary by Brooks; New video interview with CBS veteran news producer Susan Zirinsky, one of the models for actress Holly Hunter's character and an associate producer on the film; Feaurette containing on-set footage and interviews with Brooks, Hunter and actor Albert Brooks; Original theatrical trailer; A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Carrie Rickey
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A film as much about the nature of relationships as the world of television journalism, Broadcast News was one of the most timely films of the 1980s. Released during a decade notorious for its emphasis on making money, it provided a gently satiric commentary on people whose lives are driven by their jobs. That said, Broadcast News is far from being a cautionary tale: instead, it is a funny, touching portrait of three people in the midst of an often turbulent love affair with their work and, less occasionally, with each other. As the film's leads, Holly Hunter, William Hurt, and Albert Brooks give some of the most satisfying performances of their careers. Hunter brings poignancy to her tightly-wound, deeply conflicted, and often hilarious career woman, while Brooks is deeply likeable as a brilliant but lovelorn journalist. Hurt, meanwhile, oozes the potent but befuddled charm of a perpetual big man on campus; rather than make Gunric into a dim bulb caricature, he manages to give him an unburdened complexity. And in his brief, unbilled cameo as the network's unctuous national anchor, Jack Nicholson displays the sort of sharklike charm of which only he is capable. As a director, James L. Brooks is at his best here, injecting his film with warmth and insight. His take on relationships is a novel one--unlike many filmmakers, he is brave enough to show his audience that for some people, love is less of a priority in life than one of its unavoidable byproducts. True passion, he says with frank confidence, is as much the province of the newsroom as the bedroom.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2011
  • UPC: 715515066617
  • Original Release: 1987
  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • Time: 2:12:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 196

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Hurt Tom Grunick
Albert Brooks Aaron Altman
Holly Hunter Jane Craig
Robert Prosky Ernie Merriman
Lois Chiles Jennifer Mack
Joan Cusack Blair Litton
Jack Nicholson Bill Rorich
Peter Hackes Paul Moore
Christian Clemenson Bobby
Robert Katims Martin Klein
Ed Wheeler George Wein
Ellen Chenoweth
Maura Moynihan Makeup Woman
Stephen Mendillo Gerald Grunick
Kimber Shoop Young Tom
Dwayne Markee Young Aaron
Gennie James Young Jane
Amy Brooks Elli Merriman
Jane Welch Anne Merriman
Jonathan Benya Clifford Altman
Frank Doubleday Mercenary
Luis Valderrama Guerilla Leader
Richard Thomsen Gen. McGuire
Nat Benchley Commander
David Long Donny
Joshua Billings Chyron Operator
Raoul Rizik Assistant Director
Marc Shaiman News Theme Writer
Steve Smith Aaron's Cameraman
Robert Walsh NATO Spokesman
John Cusack Angry Messenger
John Badila Guest at Ball
Stuart Pankin
Martha Smith
Leo Burmeister Jane's Dad
Marita Geraghty Date-Rape Woman
Technical Credits
James L. Brooks Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Michael Ballhaus Cinematographer
Yudi Bennett Asst. Director
Jane Bogart Set Decoration/Design
Thomas D. Causey Sound/Sound Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Bill Conti Score Composer
Penney Finkelman Cox Co-producer
Michael Gore Score Composer
Jery Hewitt Stunts
David Lester Production Designer
Molly Maginnis Costumes/Costume Designer
Barbara Marks Editor
Richard Marks Editor
Polly Platt Executive Producer
David Rawlins Editor
Charles Rosen Production Designer
Kristi Zea Art Director, Associate Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE BEST MOVIE EVER!!

    I saw this movie for the first time at the age of 10, and I promised myself that someday I would be just like Holly Hunter. Today I'm working at a television network and I still pop in this movie on a regular basis. The writing is right on and there is no other movie that more accurately depicts the industry. It's funny and poignant and I think that anyone in any profession will enjoy watching it. Fabulous actors...fabulous performances!!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews