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Broadcast News [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs] [DVD] [1987]

SKU:18896422
Release Date:01/25/2011
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Description

Writer/director/producer James L. Brooks scores on all counts with this clear-eyed look at the television news business and the dysfunctional types who work in it. Brooks' intelligent script introduces us to Jane Craig (Holly Hunter), an ambitious producer at the network news division's Washington D.C. branch, who is calm under fire yet has a good cry at her desk every morning over her empty personal life. Jane works well with Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks), an excellent reporter who lacks the visual charisma to make him a star. Into their lives comes Tom Grunick (William Hurt), a regional newscaster who admits he can't write news and doesn't understand many of the events he's covering, but has the presence and physical appeal that the increasingly entertainment-oriented network wants for its news programs. Jane is also physically attracted to him, which drives her crazy, because Grunick stands for everything she's fighting against in the news business, while Altman is devastated by her attraction because he secretly yearns for Jane. As Grunick becomes a rising star at the network, and layoffs of the old guard loom, the three leads deal with their feelings for each other, their careers, and their values. Hunter, Hurt, and Brooks are all superb, as is the excellent supporting cast (including an unbilled turn by Jack Nicholson as the network's smarmy national anchor). Brooks' script is funny, poignant, gritty, and brutally honest in its examinations of the television industry and the ways in which professionals interact on and off the job.~Don Kaye

Features

Disc One:

New Audio Commentary Featuring Brooks and Marks

Original Theatrical Trailer

Disc Two: 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

Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes, with Commentary by Brooks

New Video Interview with Veteran CBS News Producer Susan Zirinsky, one of the mondel for Actress Holly Hunter's character and an Associate Producer on the film

Featurette containing on-set footage and Interviews with Brooks, Hunter, and Actor Albert Brooks

Plus: a Booklet Featuring an Essay by Film Critic Carrie Rickey