Broadcast News

December 16th, 1987


Broadcast News

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Take two rival TV reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one producer, female. Mix well and watch the sparks fly.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 7.1/10 (12,845 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

Director: James L. Brooks

Stars: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter

Basket-case network news producer Jane Craig falls for new reporter Tom Grunnick, a pretty boy who represents the trend towards entertainment news she despises. Aaron Altman, a talented but plain correspondent, carries an unrequited torch for Jane. Sparks fly between the three as the network prepares for big changes, and both the news and Jane must decide between style and substance.

William Hurt - Tom Grunick
Albert Brooks - Aaron Altman
Holly Hunter - Jane Craig
Robert Prosky - Ernie Merriman
Lois Chiles - Jennifer Mack
Joan Cusack - Blair Litton (as Joan Cusak)
Peter Hackes - Paul Moore
Christian Clemenson - Bobby
Jack Nicholson - Bill Rorich
Robert Katims - Martin Klein
Ed Wheeler - George Wein
Stephen Mendillo - Gerald Grunick
Kimber Shoop - Young Tom
Dwayne Markee - Young Aaron
Gennie James - Young Jane

Taglines: It's the story of their lives.

Release Date: 16 December 1987

Filming Locations: 600 East Capitol Street SE, Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $197,542 (USA) (20 December 1987) (7 Screens)

Gross: $51,249,404 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Albert Brooks revealed that when he first read the script, the scene where Aaron does a weekend broadcast simply noted "Something bad happens to Aaron on the air." Albert was watching CNN when a reporter he'd never seen before (and hasn't seen since) began sweating badly. Albert phoned writer/director James L. Brooks at three in the morning and stated that Aaron HAD to start sweating profusely.

Continuity: Tom's jacket collar in the airport scene when Jane and Tom argue.

Jane Craig: Bastard! Sneak! Quitter!
Aaron Altman: [cheerfully] Speaking!

User Review

A forgotten classic which should be re-evaluated

Rating: 9/10

For me this wonderful rollercoaster of a film bears repeated pleasurable viewings. Its about the tangled lives of three very different people. Holly Hunter is the obsessive workaholic producer. Albert Brookes plays the unprepossessing but brilliant journalist. William Hurt is the affable but dumb new kid on the block, news anchor.

The classical love triangle emerges with the stunningly witty and self deprecating Brookes in love with Hunter but she of course is attracted to Hurt.

This film works on many levels. At the very least it is a brilliant comedy with the one liners flying so thick and fast that each viewing bears a new harvest of ones that you may have missed last time. Its also a film about attraction and unfulfilled romance.

But perhaps most importantly the film examines the modern obsession with physical appearance and its ultimate triumph over intellect as a valued human attribute. This is personified by the meteoric career success of the Hurt character in contrast to Brookes relative decline.

Despite being fifteen years old the film has some startingly relevant messages about modern news values and the continuing decline in journalistic standards.

This film is a classic in every sense and it is difficult to understand why it has been so neglected


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