Good Night, and Good Luck

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German title Good Night, and Good Luck
Original title Good Night, and Good Luck.
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2005
length 93 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director George Clooney
script George Clooney
Grant Heslov
production Grant Heslov
music Dianne Reeves
camera Robert Elswit
cut Stephen Mirrione

Good Night, and Good Luck is an American movie about the McCarthy era . The focus is on the dispute between television journalist Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy . George Clooney not only directed this black and white film, he also wrote the script and acted as an actor in front of the camera. Thefilm opened in Switzerland on January 12, 2006, in Austria on February 17, 2006 in the original English version (in some cinemas with German subtitles) and on April 6, 2006 in Germany (there in German dubbed version).

The person Joseph McCarthy is portrayed in the film by himself using original excerpts from television programs from that time in which he gives his speeches.


Framed by an award ceremony for the journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1958, the film looks back on the years 1953 and 1954, in which Murrow, together with his producer Fred Friendly and a small team of reporters in the political television magazine See It Now, fought against the The machinations of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Senate committee he chaired . This committee was set up to expose communist conspiracies within state organs, but it repeatedly violated civil rights .

Based on the case of an Air Force soldier who was discharged from service for refusing to denounce his sister and father , Murrow dares a direct attack on McCarthy. Murrow and his team encounter resistance from the sponsors and the management of the broadcaster CBS .

Nevertheless, the show about McCarthy turns out to be a great triumph. Murrow cut mostly original McCarthy tones together, which showed that - in Murrow's view - he posed a greater threat to democracy than the communists he was looking for. When McCarthy failed to credibly refute the arguments against his actions in another broadcast, his political decline began.

Murrow's success is marred by the suicide of his newscaster friend Don Hollenbeck and the success of trivial entertainment programs - primarily game shows - and in the end See It Now only runs irregularly on Sunday afternoons instead of weekly in the evening program.

Eventually, the film returns to Murrow's speech at the awards ceremony, which it ends with warning that it must be the job of television to educate and perhaps even inspire viewers. This also depends on the willingness of the audience to accept the task of television as such. Otherwise the television would be nothing more than a box of wires and lights.


The film is based on historical events: Edward R. Murrows actually criticized McCarthy's anti-communism campaign in his program "See It Now" and thus contributed to the end of his political career. The attacks by the American journalist Jack O'Brian , a supporter of Joseph McCarthy , on Murrow's colleague Don Hollenbeck , who may have committed suicide for this reason, are also guaranteed .

During test screenings, some viewers did not recognize Senator McCarthy's original recordings as authentic material. In the subsequent interviews, they criticized the supposed actor for his theatrical and exaggerated portrayal. As director and co-writer Clooney told The Advocate magazine :

“I read that when test audiences saw footage of McCarthy, they thought he was some bad ham actor. [Laughs] That happened a lot. [...] Most of the audience had heard of McCarthyism, but about 30% didn't know who Joe McCarthy was. A lot of people asked us who that actor was, and said, you know, he was a little too much. "

“I read that through the archive footage of McCarthy, the test audience thought he was some lousy actor. [laughs] That happened a lot. […] Most of the audience had heard of McCarthyism, but about 30% did not know who Joe McCarthy was. Lots of people asked us who this actor was and they said he was a little too thick. "

- The Advocate

In the film, Edward R. Murrow can almost always be seen with a cigarette. He died of lung cancer on April 27, 1965 at the age of 57 .


The film opened in theaters on October 7, 2005 and grossed $ 54 million worldwide on a production budget of $ 7 million. The film started in Germany on April 6, 2006 and was seen by a total of 194,629 cinema-goers. The film has been available on DVD since October 10, 2006 .


source rating
Rotten tomatoes

"'Good Night, And Good Luck' is excellently played, excellently equipped and superbly photographed political cinema, in which only the imperfections inherent in the chosen handling of the source material are minor points of criticism, which in turn are somewhat neutralized by cleverly woven details."

- Simon Staake :

“This is a picture about a turning point in the media that also helped force a turning point in history, and a movie that asserts, by example, that contemporary news media have let us down. […] What's exceptional about 'Good Night, and Good Luck' […] is that it doesn't sacrifice craftsmanship and elegance at the altar of its strong convictions. "

“This film is about a turning point in the media that also brought about a turning point in history, and it provides an example of how contemporary media have failed us. What is so extraordinary about 'Good Night, and Good Luck' is that it does not sacrifice craftsmanship and elegance on the altar of his firm belief. "

- Stephanie Zacharek :

The film evaluation agency Wiesbaden gave the film the rating of particularly valuable . In the justification of the FBW report it says u. a .: “George Clooney's committed directorial work offers the viewer a lot of information and insights into a dark chapter of American history that can also be seen universally. The climate of fear and intimidation conveyed here, and the power of straightforward and strong-willed journalists to counteract it, should be seen as an appeal to responsible journalism. The warning not to underestimate the manipulation by politicians and the media becomes extremely clear - and also encourages discussion of today's problems and the superficiality of the mass medium of television. "

“Regardless of how consistent or vain you may find it that George Clooney staged himself as Lancelot at Murrow's Round Table, or whether you understand the parallel between McCarthy and Bush: Raised to this political level, it is remarkable that the The criticism formulated here never questions whether communists should be persecuted at all. Murrow's confirmed position targets only the wrong methods, the prejudice, curtailed fundamental rights of those who have not been found guilty through due process. The political stance of his film, forced into view by Clooney himself, appears less left-wing or particularly liberal than a theatrical translation of the Welch indictment: Do you have no sense of decency? "

- Jan Distelmeyer : Spiegel Online

“The committed film suggests that the communist hunter fell through the involvement of the television man who got into the line of fire at his station. Well played, atmospherically photographed and staged, he breaks a lance for responsible television journalism, whereby the function of the media as instruments of manipulation is also discussed. "


Academy Awards 2006

Golden Globe Awards 2006

British Academy Film Awards 2006

  • Nominations in the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (David Strathairn), Best Supporting Actor (George Clooney), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing

European Film Award 2005

  • Prix ​​Screen International - Best Non-European Film

Venice International Film Festival 2005

  • FIPRESCI Award : George Clooney
  • Golden Osella: Best Screenplay
  • Human Rights Film Network Award - Special Mention: George Clooney
  • Pasinetti Prize: Best Film
  • Coppa Volpi : Best Actor: David Strathairn

further awards

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Certificate of Release for Good Night, and Good Luck . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , August 2006 (PDF; 61 kB).
  2. "Clooney vs. the Far Right “ ( Memento June 15, 2006 in the Internet Archive ), The Advocate , 12/2005.
  3. Good Night, and Good Luck. from , accessed December 15, 2011
  4. "Top 100 Germany 2006" on , accessed on December 15, 2011
  5. a b Good Night, and Good Luck. at Rotten Tomatoes , accessed April 2, 2015
  6. a b Good Night, and Good Luck. at Metacritic , accessed April 2, 2015
  7. Good Night, and Good Luck in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  8. ^ Jan Distelmeyer: Food for Paranoia on Spiegel Online from April 5, 2006, accessed on December 15, 2011