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Good Night and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney Essay

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The 1950s are said to have been some of the most prosperous times in American history. It is completely reasonable if one looks at our current economic state, the “50s” was a more lucrative time for Americans however our safety was not as secure. “The Red Scare,” a time that everyone knows as a time when a war with Russia was likely and security measures were as serious, if not more, than today’s antiterrorist initiatives. Through Good Night and Good Luck audiences are able to view today’s issues through past events, and the music involved in the film plays a prevalent part in how the story is told. Dianne Reeves sings most of the songs in the film and has a decidedly soothing and “50s” style voice that contributes to the form of the scenes that her songs take place in. The film starts off with “TV is the Thing This Year” and continues throughout the movie with “I’ve Got My Eyes on You” as well as “How High the Moon.” Each of these songs has some sort of significance in the film that assists in fashioning the mood behind the scene and a feel of the real 1950s.
Good Night and Good Luck starts of with Edward Murrow (Strathairn) giving a speech in front of, who the audience finds out to be, his friends and colleagues. Then the audience is hurled back to the early 1950s where Edward Murrow begins his assault on Joseph McCarthy. This first scene has Natalie (Borstein) and Millie (Abdoo), two secretaries for CBS, walking into the news studio with the song “TV is the Thing This Year” (Reeves) blasting in the background, while information regarding the search for communists is being presented. While the film is all in black and white this open scene with the upbeat music to compliment it give the feel of prosperity, which proves to be s...


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...ughout the film Good Night and Good Luck, music is a defining quality in how the movie progresses in the fight against communism, and McCarthy, and helps in the development of characters as well as the emotion that the audience is meant to feel. With the country’s safety being put into question America needed an advocate against unnecessary accusations and Murrow was that advocate. These three songs presented give an acceptable representation of the growth of media, the fear of having not only an enemies “eyes” on you but having friends “eyes” on you as well, the instability that the country has faced over the years and of 1950s America.



Works Cited
Good Night and Good Luck, Dir. George Clooney. Perf. David Strathairn, George Clooney, and Patricia Clarkson. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2005. Film.
Dianne Reeves. Good Night, And Good Luck Album. Warner Bros, 2005. CD.


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