Broadcast News (1987)

Broadcast News (1987)

Taglines: It’s the story of their lives.

Basket-case network news producer Jane Craig falls for new reporter Tom Grunnick, a pretty boy who represents the trend towards entertainment news she despises. Aaron Altman, a talented but plain correspondent, carries an unrequited torch for Jane. Sparks fly between the three as the network prepares for big changes, and both the news and Jane must decide between style and substance.

Broadcast News is a 1987 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. The film concerns a virtuoso television news producer (Holly Hunter), who has daily emotional breakdowns, a brilliant yet prickly reporter (Albert Brooks) and his charismatic but far less seasoned rival (William Hurt). It also stars Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack, and Jack Nicholson (billed only in the end credits) as the evening news anchor.

About the Story

The film revolves around three characters who work in television news. Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) is a talented, neurotic producer whose life revolves around her work. Jane’s best friend and frequent collaborator, Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks), is a gifted writer and reporter ambitious for on-camera exposure who is secretly in love with Jane.

Broadcast News (1987)

Tom Grunick (William Hurt), a local news anchorman who until recently was a sports anchorman, is likeable and telegenic, but lacks news experience and knows that he was only hired for his good looks and charm. He is attracted to Jane, although he is also intimidated by her skills and intensity.

All three work out of the Washington, D.C., office of a national television network. Craig is drawn to Grunick, but resents his lack of qualifications for his new position as news anchor. Altman also is appalled by Grunick’s lack of experience and knowledge, but accepts his advice when finally getting an opportunity to anchor a newscast himself. Unfortunately, he lacks Grunick’s poise and composure in that seat, and his debut as an anchor is a resounding failure.

Altman acknowledges to Craig that he is in love with her while trying to dissuade her from pursuing a romantic relationship with Grunick. As a massive layoff hits the network, resulting in many colleagues losing their jobs, Altman tenders his resignation, and tells her he plans to take a job in Portland, Oregon.

However, before he leaves, he tips off Craig to a breach of ethics on Grunick’s part. She decides she cannot in good conscience get personally involved with Grunick, whom the network is transferring to London. She no longer has either man in her personal or professional life, at least until the three of them reunite several years later.

Broadcast News Movie Poster (1987)

Broadcast News (1987)

Directed by: James L. Brooks
Starring: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack, Jack Nicholson, Stephen Mendillo, Peter Hackes, Christian Clemenson
Screenplay by: James L. Brooks
Production Design by: Charles Rosen
Cinematography by: Michael Ballhaus
Film Editing by: Richard Marks
Costume Design by: Molly Maginnis
Set Decoration by: Jane Bogart
Music by: Bill Conti
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 16, 1987