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The Insider (1999)

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A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Marie Brenner (article), Eric Roth | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,052 ( 247)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Lowell Bergman
Russell Crowe ... Jeffrey Wigand
Christopher Plummer ... Mike Wallace
Diane Venora ... Liane Wigand
Philip Baker Hall ... Don Hewitt
Lindsay Crouse ... Sharon Tiller
Debi Mazar ... Debbie De Luca
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Eric Kluster
Colm Feore ... Richard Scruggs
Bruce McGill ... Ron Motley
Gina Gershon ... Helen Caperelli
Michael Gambon ... Thomas Sandefur
Rip Torn ... John Scanlon
Lynne Thigpen ... Mrs. Williams
Hallie Eisenberg ... Barbara Wigand
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Storyline

Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth come out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warning: Exposing the Truth May Be Hazardous See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | Arabic | Persian

Release Date:

5 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

60 Minutes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,712,361, 7 November 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$28,965,197, 23 April 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,289,912, 31 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shots of Pascagoula Beach Boulevard show a seawall next to the road where the Gulf comes up to it. Since filming, the Army Corps of Engineers pumped sand from the sound and created a sand bar that runs the entire length of the beach-front connecting it to the "sandbox" on the east end, extending a one-fourth mile sand beach, into one approximately two miles long. The concrete barriers along the road, were replaced with a promenade between the street and the sand. See more »

Goofs

Wigand stands in the hallway at his school in Kentucky as he talks on a pay phone to Scruggs, who is in his office in Louisiana. Although Louisiana is west of Kentucky, via the window at Scruggs's office, we see the sun has set, yet the hallway at the school is filled with light, indicating the sun is still shining. See more »

Quotes

Lowell Bergman: I did not burn you. I did not give you up to anyone!
Jeffrey Wigand: This is my house... In front of my wife, my kids? What business do we have?
Lowell Bergman: To straighten something out with you. Right here. Right now.
Jeffrey Wigand: So, you didn't mention my name? You haven't talked to anybody about me?
Lowell Bergman: Why am I gonna mention your name?
Jeffrey Wigand: How did Brown & Williamson know I spoke to you...?
Lowell Bergman: How the hell do I know about Brown & Williamson?
Jeffrey Wigand: It happened after I talked to you. I do not like coincidences!
Lowell Bergman: And I don't like paranoid accusations! ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The TV version is actually longer than the theatrical version and was extended over two nights. The edit was supervised by director Michael Mann. See more »

Connections

References Saving Private Ryan (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Safe from Harm
(Perfecto Mix)
Written by Bill Cobham (as Billy Cobham), Robert Del Naja (as Robert Del Naja),
Grant Marshall (as Grantley Marshall), Shara Nelson and Andrew Vowles (as Andrew Vowles)
Performed by Massive Attack
Courtesy of Circa Records, Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Smart film making.

"The Insider" in many ways reflects the golden days of American cinematography, where every scene serves a purpose, dialogue is sharp and poignant, and characters and events remain true to their emotions and nature.

The film presents certain questions throughout its duration that are intended to invoke thought in the viewer, and at the same time explores them to unprecedented depths which are by no means native to the film industry. The story is of a quick-paced nature, and demands that the viewer pay the utmost attention to every single line and image presented; it flabbergasts in its unparallelled structure of continuity and coherence to those sentient enough.

After watching this film, it became apparent why Crowe was so reluctant to play the role of Maximus in "Gladiator" after acting the part of Jeffrey Wigand. It appears more or less as if Crowe had been this character in reality, and it really inspires to see that such a talented actor is finally beginning to enjoy the prominence that he deserves.

In the past decades, there has been a progressive decline in the number of intelligent films making it onto the market, but the success of "The Insider" will hopefully serve as a shout-out to all the film companies and directors reluctant to tread on such sensitive ground. This movie could not receive a higher recommendation!


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