Good Night and Good Luck is a 2005 film written and co directed by Georges Clooney and
Grant Heslov. “Good Night and Good Luck” is a direct quote from the main personage of the film who is used to conclude is broadcast by these words. He probably say good luck ad he worried for the next generation coming soon in this world, even a journalist can’t know the reality ofthe world he has to describe so he may wonder what about us, simple spectators of what happen.
We all know that George Clooney is a fervent defender of the civil rights and against the war in Iraq and by this way against the policy of George Bush. Thus we can think that this film is also a mean to criticize the numerous mistakes made by his president during the last five years. In others wordshis involvement into Iraq War, his opposition against Kyoto protocol and in 2005 in his failure of activate the emergency during Hurricane Katrina. Everything is implicit but the parallel with the recent world are obvious.
In this film he wants to make the audience aware of how difficult the job of journalist is and by top everything wants to make us feeling the mood of the 1950’s, the end of WorldWar II, beginning of Cold War and the McCarthyism. To put it in a nutshell it is a commentary on the contemporary political and journalistic climate. This film was also a great opportunity for George Clooney to honour his father who was a journalist.
The film covers the period during which David Strahaim played the part of Edward Murrow, a journalist of the CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System)television which was and still is one of the most important American radio and television network fight against Senator McCarthy of the Wisconsin in his weekly show named See It Now. It is a combat versus the techniques employed by McCarthy in his struggle of the communism. As an honest and objective journalist Murrow shows through is broadcast some victims and comments it in an honourable way.The most important event that will marks a turn in the film is when Murrow and his team learn about the Lieutenant Milo Radulovich. Indeed the former one had been drummed out the Army Air Force as some members of his family were suspected to be closed to the communism party as his father has been seen reading a Serb newspaper thus a risk for the nation according to McCarthy but one more time withoutany proof.
Then two Air Force Officers visit George Clooney as Fred Friendly, co-producer with Murrow of the broadcast See It Now on which is planned to project a report about Radulovitch (Oct 20-1953). These two officers want to pressure Friendly concerning this report but confident of his ideas he will not give up: neither they nor him have proofs of such a decision so Friendly will expose thefacts.
As a result one of the weightiest sponsors Alcoa, a company which produces aluminium and closed to the contemporary government refuses to fund such broadcast. Friendly and his team will now finance their show on their own. This point is very similar to a French channel owning by an important businessman who played a role in the economy. (Bouygues owns about 40% of TF1’s capital).Murrow which is actually the main personage of the film, in a certain way McCarthy as well, makes the audience very attentive to what he is saying; he speaks in a very easy way, in “a resonant, godly rumble” and has powerful influence in his form of sentence. Everybody from bottom to top of the social ladder was able to understand at that time.
In this film, the audience can also feel a Kafkaïenatmosphere. Indeed Good Night and Good Luck is almost set in a unique place: the CBS’s office. That creates a sentiment of pressure, detention in which people were afraid of going out at that time. Few sequence are shoot in a pub, which is one more time an inside place and also a court. This idea of pressure and detention is emphasize with the black and white of the film, it is very strange nowadays...