BEST JOUR­NAL­ISM MOVIES

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - The Comics - BY JAY BOB­BIN

“Cit­i­zen Kane” (1941) The enigma of “Rose­bud” is just one of many clas­sic el­e­ments of Or­son Welles’ saga of a tyran­ni­cal pub­lisher, right­fully one of the most ac­claimed at­trac­tions in movie his­tory.

“Sweet Smell of Suc­cess” (1957) One of the nas­ti­est – and that’s a com­pli­ment in this case – movies yet made, this sear­ing drama has the aroma of New York nightlife as a des­per­ate pub­li­cist (Tony Curtis) seeks the fa­vor of, and fa­vors from, a pow­er­ful and un­for­giv­ing colum­nist (Burt Lan­caster).

“All the Pres­i­dent’s Men” (1976) The Os­car-win­ning drama­ti­za­tion of Bob Wood­ward (Robert Red­ford) and Carl Bern­stein’s (Dustin Hoff­man) probe of the Water­gate break-in re­mains ev­ery bit as com­pelling as when the film first was seen al­most 45 years ago ... when it was in close prox­im­ity to the real events it de­picts.

“Ab­sence of Mal­ice” (1981) An in­no­cent man (Paul New­man) craftily turns the ta­bles on those who have tar­geted him for in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing an am­bi­tious re­porter (Sally Field) and a bri­gade of lo­cal politi­cians, in di­rec­tor Syd­ney Pol­lack’s ex­cel­lent drama.

“The Year of Liv­ing Dan­ger­ously” (1982) Un­rest in mid-1960s In­done­sia is cov­ered by an Aus­tralian jour­nal­ist (Mel Gib­son) who be­comes in­volved with an em­bassy of­fi­cial (Sigour­ney Weaver) and a some­what mys­ti­cal lo­cal (Os­car win­ner Linda Hunt) in this fine film from di­rec­tor Peter Weir.

“The In­sider” (1999) Michael Mann’s great, some­what un­der­rated drama boasts top-notch per­for­mances by Rus­sell Crowe as a to­bacco-in­dus­try whistle­blower and Al Pa­cino as “60 Min­utes” pro­duc­ing vet­eran Lowell Bergman, who fought to bring the man’s story to pub­lic at­ten­tion.

“Good Night, and Good Luck.” (2005) Ge­orge Clooney, both the di­rec­tor and a co-star here, very ef­fec­tively re­vis­its the bat­tle be­tween news­man Ed­ward R. Mur­row (played by David Strathairn, who con­veys Mur­row’s fa­mous bowed-head image per­fectly) and com­mu­nist-seek­ing politi­cian Joseph McCarthy.

“Spot­light” (2015) Os­car’s best pic­ture for its year, this true drama of a Bos­ton in­ves­tiga­tive-jour­nal­ism unit’s fact-find­ing on the sex abuse com­mit­ted by a shock­ing num­ber of priests of­fers a su­perb cast led by Mark Ruf­falo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McA­dams, Liev Schreiber and John Slat­tery.

“Cit­i­zen Kane”

“Ab­sence of Mal­ice”

“All the Pres­i­dent’s Men”

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