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Broadcast News

121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In James L. Brooks' quirky, romantic comedy, three ambitious workaholics are set loose in a network TV newsroom where their professional and personal lives become hopelessly cross-wired. Tom (William Hurt) is the modern anchorman, smooth, handsome and a bit dumb. Jane (Holly Hunter) is his driven, brilliant producer, determined to turn Tom into a real newsman. And Aaron (Albert Brooks) is a seasoned, totally uncharismatic reporter who can't stand Tom's instant success on-camera or with Jane. It all adds up to one explosively funny romantic triangle.


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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles
  • Directors: James L. Brooks
  • Writers: James L. Brooks
  • Producers: James L. Brooks, Kristi Zea, Penney Finkelman Cox, Polly Platt, Susan Zirinsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K3CS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,807 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Broadcast News" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on January 21, 2011
Format: DVD
Of all James L. Brooks' films, Broadcast News is the most successful at merging his T.V. sitcom sensibilities with his cinematic aspirations. His film is not only chock full of truisms about network news but is also an incredibly entertaining and witty romantic comedy that is unafraid to sprinkle moments of compelling drama throughout.

The first disc includes an audio commentary with writer-director-producer James L. Brooks and editor Richard Marks. Rather appropriately, Brooks starts off with talking about the genesis of the film and how the success of Terms of Endearment affected it. He points out the bits in the film that came from his extensive research and touches upon the casting of the lead roles - for example, Holly Hunter was a last minute addition. Brooks is refreshingly candid and tells all kinds of fascinating filming anecdotes.

Also included is a theatrical trailer.

The second disc starts off with a 36-minute documentary entitled, James L. Brooks - A Singular Voice, with past collaborators singing his praises. It starts off with his trailblazing work in T.V. with 227, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Simpsons and how he helped change the medium. It also examines his transition into film and the success of Terms and how it led to Broadcast News.

There is an alternate ending and 19 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Brooks. The ending is quite visceral and emotionally raw but is fascinating alternative to what is in the final film. For the deleted footage, Brooks talks about why it was cut and puts it into context. Interestingly, an entire subplot involving Tom and his news source was cut out.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
". . . if desperation and insecurity made us attractive? If needy were a turn on?" Though Albert Brooks delivers this line, *Broadcast News* is not directed by him; it's directed by JAMES Brooks (who also wrote and produced -- truly a product of one creative mind, here). It's a measure of how well James Brooks knows his 3 principal characters that the actors who play them speak as if they wrote their own dialogue. *Broadcast News* is a classic primarily because these characters are so completely realized, so lived-in, as it were. We end up knowing these characters nearly as well as they seem to know themselves ("I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time"). William Hurt is the not-terribly bright aspiring anchorman; Holly Hunter is the type-A news producer; and Albert Brooks is the reporter after "hard news" (meaning, REAL news). One reviewer here complained that he didn't like Albert Brooks as much as he was "supposed to" and that Hurt's character wasn't villainous enough. But that's the point. While we side with Brooks' work ethics throughout, we are often disappointed in him, particularly when out of lovesick frustration he descends to cheap pettiness by rubbing his intellectual superiority in Hurt's nose and says hurtful things to Hunter's character. And while we disdain Hurt's corner-cutting career ambitions, we're also surprised at the man's humaneness, as when he calls his father in a touching scene, joyously proclaiming, "Dad, I think I can do this job!" The point being, of course, that these are REAL people, presented in such a way as nowadays seems impossible in mainstream Hollywood productions.Read more ›
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on March 27, 2005
Format: DVD
A crackerjack of a movie, it's an intelligent and very funny look at TV broadcast news and the people who bring it to us. William Hurt is the pretty face/no brains anchor, Albert Brooks the smart writer who wants to be an anchor but doesn't have the talent, and Holly Hunter is the hyperactive producer who falls for both guys and loses both. So much is going on in this movie that repeated viewings reveal new insights and are always enjoyable. Great acting by all, and the script is terrific. The only fault, and it's a minor one, is the epilogue: it's superfluous. To me, this is one of the best, if not THE best, movies of the 80's.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gary Vidmar on January 30, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The accuracy of Criterion's new blu-ray version of BROADCAST NEWS is evident the minute the 20th-Century Fox logo is displayed: it is rich in the kind of grain that dominated film stock of the eighties. The color timing is superb and topples all previous video releases in richness and detail. The video extras are indulgent promotional pieces - crass for Criterion; but the commentary by Brooks will be of interest for those that want to delve deeper.
The film is a pinnacle in Brooks' career - he never did anything better, before or since, and all his experience in the tacky world of sitcom television really pays off here - and he successfully avoids making a pastiche of Chayefsky's cynically brilliant NETOWRK in favor of his own perceptive humanist view. Brooks rightfully and continually praises his marvelous BROADCAST NEWS cast; it's a picture dependent on their perfectly pitched performances.
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