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Story

As revisionist history, Michael Mann's intelligent docudrama The Insider is a simmering brew of altered facts and dramatic license. In a broader perspective, however, the film (cowritten with Forrest Gump Oscar-winner Eric Roth) is effectively accurate as an engrossing study of ethics in the corruptible industries of tobacco and broadcast journalism. On one side, there is Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), the former tobacco scientist who violated contractual agreements to expose Brown & Williamson's inclusion of addictive ingredients in cigarettes, casting himself into a vortex of moral dilemma. On the other side is 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), whose struggle to report Wigand's story puts him at odds with veteran correspondent Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) and senior executives at CBS News.

As the urgency of the story increases, so does the film's palpable sense of paranoia, inviting favorable comparison to All the President's Men. While Pacino downplays the theatrical excess that plagued him in previous roles, Crow is superb as a man who retains his tortured integrity at great personal cost. The Insider is two movies--a cover-up thriller and a drama about journalistic ethics--that combine to embrace the noble values personified by Wigand and Bergman. Even if the details aren't always precise (as Mike Wallace and others protested prior to the film's release), the film adheres to a higher truth that was so blatantly violated by tobacco executives seen in an oft-repeated video clip, lying under oath in the service of greed. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Al PacinoLowell Bergman
Russell CroweJeffrey Wigand
Christopher PlummerMike Wallace
Diane VenoraLiane Wigand
Philip Baker HallDon Hewitt
Lindsay CrouseSharon Tiller
Debi MazarDebbie De Luca
Stephen TobolowskyEric Kluster
Colm FeoreRichard Scruggs
Bruce McGillRon Motley
Gina GershonHelen Caperelli
Michael GambonThomas Sandefur
Rip TornJohn Scanlon
Lynne ThigpenMrs. Williams
Hallie Kate EisenbergBarbara Wigand
Michael Paul ChanNorman the Cameraman
Linda HartMrs. Wigand
Robert HarperMark Stern
Nestor SerranoFBI Agent Robertson
Pete HamillNY Times Reporter
Wings HauserTobacco Lawyer
Cliff CurtisSheikh Fadlallah (as Clifford Curtis)
Renee OlsteadDeborah Wigand
Michael MooreMichael Moore
Gary SandySandefur's Lawyer
Willie C. CarpenterJohn Harris
Paul ButlerCharlie Phillips
Jack PalladinoJack Palladino
Megan OdebashSandra Sutherland
Roger BartSeelbach Hotel Manager
Alan De SattiHezbollah Interpreter
Sayed BadreyaHezbollah Head Gunman
Chris UflandDoug Oliver, F.D.A.
Douglas McGrathPrivate Investigator
Bill SageIntense Young Intern
Joseph HindyBaldo the Editor
Dennis GarberFBI Agent #1
Tim GrimmFBI Agent #2
Paul PerriGeologist / FBI Man
Wanda De JesusGeologist / FBI Woman
Robert Patrick BrinkPoliceman (as Robert Brink)
V.J. FosterBill Felling
James HarperFBI Agent #3
Eyal PodellLowell's Son
Breckin MeyerSharon's Son
David RobersonJohn Telefarro
Gregg E. MuravchickPrivate Security Guard
William P. BradfordSubpoena Man
David CarrLocal Newscaster
Ann ReskinSeelbach Hotel Desk Clerk
Claire SlemmerEdie Magnus
Steve SalgeDan Rather
Derrick JonesMississippi Reporter
Donald F. BurbrinkB & W Male Security Officer
Vyto RuginisJunior Lawyer
George R. ParsonsB & W Uniformed Security Officer
Isodine LouryMississippi Court Stenographer
Charlene BosargeMr. Scruggs' Assistant
Saemi NakamuraJapanese Waitress
Ronal G. YokleyPolice Detective
Bob LazarusStage Manager
Robert J. Ragno Jr.New Media Photographer
Alvin L. WelchJudge
Nathan Lewis HillProduction Assistant
Paula BisbikosMike Wallace's Assistant
Christi EvansCBS News Producer
Knox WhiteSoundman (as Knox Grantham White)
Amy L. CaudillA Student

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Producer: Buena Vista
  • Length: 157 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaNov 5, 1999
    EuropeMar 10, 2000
    JapanMay 27, 2000
    AustraliaJan 26, 2000
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaApr 2, 2002
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