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Winchell
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10 from R votes
Release: 21 Nov 1998 /

Winchell

Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Paul Mazursky,
Stars: , ,
Synopsis: The true story of the influential and controversial columnist, Walter Winchell.

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Critic Reviews


In the 20's, the controversial New Yorker journalist Walter Winchell (Stanley Tucci) begins his career writing gossips about his acquaintances. He is hired by the New York Daily Mirror and using inside information from informers, he becomes the first American gossip columnist. He becomes successful and is invited to host a successful broadcast show in the radio. In the 30's, he attacks Adolf Hitler and befriends President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Christopher Plummer). After the World War II, Winchell attacks the communists and becomes a collaborator of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Winchell is not able to adapt his show to the audience of television and when McCarthy is censured by the Senate, Winchell becomes unpopular and his career virtually ends.

"Winchell" is a good HBO movie about the polemic columnist Walter Winchell, who was feared by the powerful and famous in the 30's and 40's. Along the years, Winchell hires a ghost-writer, Herman Kurfeld (Paul Giamatti), who admires him and has a lover, the showgirl Mary Louise "Dallas" Wayne (Glenne Headly) that likes him. Winchell is shown as a manipulative man that uses his personal dossier to force people to provide inside information for his column and his radio show; a man that neglects his family and has a wrong move supporting the McCarthyism and denouncing people. In the end, he pays a high price for his mistakes, and is forgotten by the public opinion He ends his life alone, without family or friends, and his son commits suicide. The last scene with his mentally disturbed daughter attending his funeral alone is one of the saddest conclusions of a film (and a life) that I have seen. Stanley Tucci gives one of his best performances in the role of Winchell. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Poder da Notícia" ("The Power of the News")

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