Insider (film)

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German title insider
Original title The Insider
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1999
length 157 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
JMK 10
Director Michael Mann
script Michael Mann
Eric Roth
production Michael Mann
Pieter Jan Brugge
music Lisa Gerrard
Pieter Bourke
camera Dante Spinotti
cut William Goldenberg
Paul Rubell
David Rosenbloom

Insider (Original title: The Insider ) is an American thriller by Michael Mann from 1999 based on a true story that happened in the early 1990s. The main characters are Russell Crowe and Al Pacino . The film is a co-production by Touchstone Pictures , Spyglass Entertainment , Mann / Roth Productions , Kaitz Productions , Forward Pass and Blue Lion Entertainment distributed by Buena Vista International . It was released in US cinemas on November 5, 1999 and in German cinemas on April 27, 2000. Constantin Film took over the distribution in Germany .


The chemist Dr. Jeffrey Wigand works for an American tobacco company in the research department. After raising concerns about the use of addictive additives in tobacco to his superiors , he was fired and financially compensated. Together with Lowell Bergman , who is the producer of the respected television magazine 60 Minutes , he brings his knowledge to the American public - after initial reluctance - against the stubborn and sometimes criminal resistance of the tobacco industry . Despite his agreement of silence and death threats, he spoke to 60 Minutes about his research activities in the field of additives and reveals that coumarin and ammonia are added to cigarette production in order to increase the addictive effect of nicotine . His previously rather tranquil life is turned upside down and his family is broken up. Bergman's journalistic work at the broadcaster CBS is also thrown off track by the explosive material, since CBS u. a. Fears lawsuits from the tobacco industry and the CBS management is therefore putting massive pressure on the TV magazine. Bergman only succeeds in publishing the story with the help of his many contacts in the media industry and through skillful threading.


  • The film is based on the statements of the real Dr. Jeffrey Wigand and his contact Lowell Bergman . The controversy surrounding the 60 Minutes Report, which allegedly failed to fully reveal the real grievances in cigarette manufacturing, hit the headlines in 1994.
  • The representation of Dr. Jeffrey Wigand by the actor Russell Crowe was listed in 2006 by the renowned US film magazine Premiere in the list of the 100 best representations in film history at number 23 out of 100.
  • Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore plays himself in the film.
  • The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.


“One man alone against the US tobacco industry: 'Heat' director Michael Mann rolls up a real case. Masterful thriller that deliberately disregards the conventions of the genre - car chases and explosions - in order to captivate you for almost three hours. "

- Cinema

“A brilliantly photographed political thriller, carried by good leading actors, who renounces external acts of violence and builds up its tension by depicting structural violence. At the same time an impressive study of the manipulation mechanisms of the media. "


Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 1999

Academy Awards 2000

Golden Globe Awards 2000

Humanitas Prize 2000

  • Best movie

Political Film Society Awards 2000

National Society of Film Critics Awards 2000

Directors Guild of America Awards 2000

  • nominated for:
    • Best director


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Age rating for insiders . Youth Media Commission , accessed on February 4, 2018 .
  2. List of the best representations in film history on
  3. Insider. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used