ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Analysis of “Good Night and Good Luck”

Updated on June 20, 2022
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.


“Good night and Good Luck (2005) is a film produced by George Clooney. The core message of the movie is basically a warning to the modern YouTube culture where mass hysteria has jeopardized civil rights and liberties. Notably, Clooney has employed a Marxist ideology to attack the prevalent corporate influence and the government over the media industry. This influence of the media by the government and the corporate world according to Clooney, has led to undermining of the freedom of speech, and the right to information which are the most basic liberties in America. The center of Clooney’s ideology is an emphasis for writers/journalists to provide some form of interpretations to the kind of news they write instead of simply reporting verbatim what they encounter. This may even entail questioning the integrity and operations of the government and or corporation firms irrespective of their relationships to the media organizations. The author also revisits the tensions that resulted from the post-war paranoia through the sound, editing, lighting, characterization and acting.

The events of the film are clearly a reflection of the modern world where the news and news media are largely run through advertisements. On the same note, the government, particularly the American one has taken control of the media industry and is keen on the news that seeks to tarnish or expose its evil dealings. Those that do so are treated to a harsh environment that threatens their business sustainability. On the same note, media corporations would not want to write negative stories of entities that advertise through them. Therefore, in Marx’s perspective, capitalism has contributed to the “bourgeoisie” of corporations including the media outlets (Etienne, 1995).

Amidst these restrictions and media environment, some reporters are known for going against the whims of the seniors when doing their work. One of these newsmen is Edward Murrow who is considered as the master of the pause. The journalist is accredited for being courageous, principled, and clear who adheres to the specifications of his profession. During the tumultuous moment in his time, he and his producer, Fred Friendly at the CBS chose to remain brave and refused to be influenced by the political class. For instance, they took and exposed the wickedness of Senator Joe McCarthy with disregard to the position he had held at that time. The period was in 1950s when the senator was popular in America as well as the entrancement of capitalism in the society. The phrase, Good night and good luck is commonly employed by Murrow as a signature of his TV and radio news programs.

During the 1950s, the activities of the then senator McCarthy and the political environment which generated a climate of fear became too much for Murrow, the CBS reporter to tolerate. Through his speeches and outrageous claims such as the prevalence of 205 card carrying communists who were operating for the government, McCarthy was intimidating everyone including the president. It is also clear that he was also brandishing the idea of communism at the expense of promoting capitalism. In other words, McCarthy was against communism and as such, he was using evil tactics to attack it and portray it negatively. It is also suffice to say that being in the political class and having amassed a substantial level of wealth at that time, McCarthy was protecting capitalism for his own advantage.

The Marxist ideology is best applicable to the hierarchical nature of the CBS Corporation. In this corporation, the chief executive of CBS William Paley bars the station’s reporter Murrow from reporting the news in an interpretive perspective. The reason why he prevents them from doing this is because he wants to conform to the pressures of advertising and to earn good rating in the industry. Stated differently, William Paley is clearly avoiding the risk to the source of income by doing something that is contrary to the advertiser’s demands. Consequently, the reporters are deprived of the autonomy in making decisions pertaining to how or what stories to make. In this CBS context, Marx would opine that the “bourgeoisie” of CBS has pulled back the vocal news reporters presenting the class struggle between the capitalists and the citizens.

In light of the current political environment, Good Night, and Good Luck has showcased the danger of the government and corporate influence on the news media. As explicitly depicted, this grasp of the media will eventually lead to social and political chaos and the widespread hysteria. The Murrow/McCarthy feud portrayed in the movie is certainly is certainly used by the Clooney, the film author to encourage citizens to freely question the government and corporations regarding their motivations in relation to their actions. If the integrity of the news outlets are threatened, then the civil liberties will be jeopardized. Just like the time of the film’s era, there are many ways in which governments and corporations tries to control the media. To avoid repercussions which include possible loss of business, these news organizations have to tilt towards the whims of these entities.


Clooney, G., Strathairn, D., Clarkson, P., Daniels, J., & Downey, R. (2006). Good night,

and good luck. Montreal: Distributed by TVA Films.

Etienne, B. (1995). The Philosophy of Marx. Verso: La Découverte, Repèrs.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)