With the current critical success of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep’s latest film venture, “The Post” — currently sitting at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes — cinematic newsrooms are once again lighting up the silver screen. “The Post” tells the real life saga of The Washington Post’s coverage of a government cover-up during the Vietnam War Era. Coupled with 2015’s Academy Award winning “Spotlight,” it seems like cinematic newsrooms are back in vogue. Here are some of the best newsrooms to grace the silver screen:
1. “All the President’s Men” (1976) — Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star as real-life journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post. The film tells the story of Woodward and Bernstein’s coverage of The Watergate Scandal, which infamously lead to the resignation of President Nixon.
2. “Citizen Kane” (1941) — This iconic piece of cinematic history tells the tale of newspaper magnate/asshole, Charles Foster Kane, played by Orson Welles. A sterling example of filmmaking at its finest, there’s a reason “Citizen Kane” is a cultural touchstone. Give it a watch if you want to understand the countless homages to the movie, finally understand cinematic ‘Rosebud’ references, or just want to watch a classic movie.
3. “His Girl Friday” (1940) — An adaptation of the stage play, “The Front Page,” this 1940s-era flick stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. “The Front Page,” written in 1928, focused on a male reporter, his editor, and a white gunman accused of shooting a black cop in 1920s Chicago. “His Girl Friday” changes up the dynamic of the reporter and editor by having Grant’s Walter Burns, news editor, be the ex-husband of Russell’s Hildy Johnson in the star-reporter role. While both the film and play are dated in terms of contemporary attitudes regarding race and gender (the original play even more so), it is one of the first — if not the first — movie to utilize overlapping dialogue with characters talking over each other.
4. “Zodiac” (2007) — Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in David Fincher’s ’70s thriller, focused on the detectives and newspaper staff on the hunt for the (still) unidentified Zodiac Killer. Fans of Fincher’s other works will find “Zodiac” to be a bridge between his more pulpy flicks like “Se7en” and “Fight Club,” and his recent works such as “The Social Network” and “Gone Girl.”
5. “Almost Famous” (2000) — While not about a newsroom per se (it’s more about that big newsroom we call life,) this iconic piece of early 2000s cinema is about a magazine writer, and since the full name of F News is F Newsmagazine, we’re making an exception. Cameron Crowe’s ’70s set coming-of-age story revolves around teenage writer, William Miller (Patrick Fugit), who manages to land a gig writing for Rolling Stone Magazine, accompanying the fictional rock band Stillwater on tour. This movie has a killer soundtrack, a loaded cast, and the most iconic road-trip/sing-along/”Tiny Dancer” scene to ever be filmed. It also manages to capture that magical time of life when you’re figuring it all out, in particular, those first disappointments that accompany the realization that even your heroes are human.
As both a nod to our former managing editor, Sophie Lucido Johnson, and a nod to stellar TV shows in general, “Gilmore Girls” deserves to be included in this list for tracking its central protagonist Rory Gilmore’s (Alexis Bledel) career as a journalist. Whether she was covering parking lots for her high school paper, The Franklin, or the arts beat for The Yale Daily News, Rory’s reverence for journalism deserves honorable mention, even when that reverence is focused on something as fruitless as trying to revamp the Stars Hollow Gazette.