Broadcast News (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James L. Brooks|
|Produced by||James L. Brooks|
|Written by||James L. Brooks|
|Music by||Bill Conti|
|Editing by||Richard Marks|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox (original)
The Criterion Collection (re-release)
|Running time||133 minutes|
Broadcast News is a 1987 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. The film concerns a virtuoso television news producer (Holly Hunter), who has daily emotional breakdowns, a brilliant yet prickly reporter (Albert Brooks) and his charismatic but far less seasoned rival (William Hurt). It also stars Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack, and Jack Nicholson (billed only in the end credits) as the evening news anchor.
The film revolves around three characters who work in television news. Jane Craig (Hunter) is a talented producer who tries to conceal how important it is for her to be found sexually attractive by a handsome man who epitomizes everything about television news that appalls her. Jane's best friend and frequent collaborator, Aaron Altman (Brooks), is a gifted writer and reporter ambitious for on-camera exposure, who is secretly in love with Jane, and embittered by her rejection of him. Tom Grunick (Hurt), a local news anchorman who was up until recently a sports anchorman, is likable and telegenic, but denied respect due to his intellectual limitations, of which he is all too aware. He is attracted to Jane, although he is also intimidated by her skills and intensity.
- William Hurt as Tom Grunick
- Albert Brooks as Aaron Altman
- Holly Hunter as Jane Craig
- Robert Prosky as Ernie Merriman
- Lois Chiles as Jennifer Mack
- Joan Cusack as Blair Litton
- Christian Clemenson as Bobby
- Jack Nicholson as Bill Rorich
- John Cusack as Angry Messenger
- Marc Shaiman as News Theme Writer
The female lead was originally written for Debra Winger, who worked with James L. Brooks in Terms of Endearment. However, Winger was replaced by Holly Hunter at the last minute because of her pregnancy.
Box office 
Broadcast News was given a limited release on December 18, 1987 in seven theaters where it managed to gross USD $197,542 on its opening weekend. It went into wide release on December 25, 1987 in 677 theaters, grossing $5.5 million on its opening weekend. The film went on to make $51.3 million in North America and $16.1 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $67.3 million.
Critical response 
Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and praised the film for being as "knowledgeable about the TV news-gathering process as any movie ever made, but it also has insights into the more personal matter of how people use high-pressure jobs as a way of avoiding time alone with themselves". In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, "As the fast-talking Aaron, Albert Brooks comes very close to stealing Broadcast News. Mr. Brooks ... is more or less the conscience of Broadcast News". Jonathan Rosenbaum, in his review for the Chicago Reader, praised Holly Hunter's performance as "something of a revelation: her short, feisty, socially gauche, aggressive-compulsive character may be the most intricately layered portrait of a career woman that contemporary Hollywood has given us". Hal Hinson, in his review for The Washington Post, wrote, "[James] Brooks is excellent at taking us inside the world of television, but not terribly good at analyzing it. He has a facile, too-pat approach to dealing with issues; there's still too much of the sitcom mentality at work". In his review for Time, Richard Corliss praised William Hurt's performance: "Hurt is neat too, never standing safely outside his character, always allowing Tom to find the humor in his too-rapid success, locating a dimness behind his eyes when Tom is asked a tough question -- and for Tom, poor soulless sensation-to-be, all questions are tough ones". The magazine also ranked Broadcast News as one of the best films of the year. The film garners a 98 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an 84 metascore at Metacritic.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards at the 60th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (William Hurt), Best Actress (Holly Hunter), Best Supporting Actor (Albert Brooks), Best Original Screenplay (James L. Brooks), Best Film Editing (Richard Marks) and Best Cinematography (Michael Ballhaus).
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - #64
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes:
- "I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time." - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - Nominated
Home media 
A digitally restored version of the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray by The Criterion Collection. The release includes new audio commentary featuring Brooks and Marks, James L. Brooks—A Singular Voice,a new documentary on Brooks’s career in television and film, featuring actresses Marilu Henner and Julie Kavner, among other collaborators, an alternative ending and deleted scenes, with commentary by Brooks, new video interviews with veteran CBS news producer Susan Zirinsky, one of the models for actress Holly Hunter’s character and an associate producer on the film, and a featurette containing on-set footage and interviews with Brooks, Hunter, and actor Albert Brooks. There is also a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Carrie Rickey.
- Box Office Information for Broadcast News. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Worrell, Denise (December 21, 1987). "Holly Hunter Takes Hollywood". Time. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "Weekend Box Office : Appealing to All 'Generations'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- "Broadcast News". Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Ebert, Roger (December 16, 1987). "Broadcast News". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Canby, Vincent (December 16, 1987). "Broadcast News". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1987). "Broadcast News". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Hinson, Hal (December 25, 1987). "Broadcast News". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Corliss, Richard (December 14, 1987). "A Season Of Flash And Greed". Time. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "Best of '87". Time. January 4, 1988. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "Broadcast News". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- "Broadcast News Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- "Berlinale: 1988 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- "Broadcast News". The Criterion Collection.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Broadcast News (film)|
- Broadcast News at the Internet Movie Database
- Broadcast News at AllRovi
- Broadcast News at Rotten Tomatoes
- Broadcast News at Box Office Mojo
- Broadcast News at The Numbers
- Criterion Collection Essay