Good Night, and Good Luck is a 2005 American drama film directed by George Clooney. The film was written by Clooney and Grant Heslov.
George Clooney pays homage to one of the icons of American broadcast journalism, Edward R. Murrow, in this fact-based drama, which was Clooney's second feature film as a director. Taking place during the early days of broadcast journalism in 1950's America, a chronicle of the real-life conflict between television news man Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. With a desire to report the facts and enlighten the public, Murrow, and his dedicated staff-headed by his producer Fred (George Clooney) Friendly and Joe Wershba (Robert Downey Jr.) in the CBS newsroom-defy corporate and sponsorship pressures to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist"witch-hunts". A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing the anchor of being a communist. In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on regardless and their tenacity eventually pays off when McCarthy is brought before the Senate and made powerless as his lies and bullying tactics are finally uncovered.
The movie, although released in black and white, was filmed on color film stock but on a grayscale set, and was color corrected to black and white during post-production. It focuses on the theme of media responsibility, and also addresses what occurs when the media offers a voice of dissent against the government. The movie takes its title (which ends with a period or full stop) from the line with which Murrow routinely signed off his broadcasts.
The film was critically acclaimed upon release. It was named "Best Reviewed Film of 2005 in Limited Release" by Rotten Tomatoes, where it achieved a 94% positive review rating. Roger Ebert, in his Chicago Sun-Times review, contends that "the movie is not really about the abuses of McCarthy, but about the process by which Murrow and his team eventually brought about his downfall (some would say his self-destruction). It is like a morality play, from which we learn how journalists should behave. It shows Murrow as fearless, but not flawless."
The movie received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (George Clooney), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (David Strathairn), Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography.