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Hot off the press! 5 classic journalism movies #ThePost

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Steven Spielberg's acclaimed new drama The Post dramatises The Washington Post's battle to publish the Pentagon Papers, incriminating documents that exposed the US government's lies over the Vietnam War.

At the centre of the fight between the paper and the Nixon government were editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Katherine Graham, portrayed in the movie by Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. They subsequently came to embody the importance of a free press, helping bring a shocking conspiracy to international attention.

Nominated for six Golden Globes with potential Oscar nominations incoming, the movie is a salute to journalistic integrity. With The Post on release from this Friday, here are five other journalism classics.


1. Citizen Kane (1941)

Orson Welles famously admitted to not knowing what he was doing when he first stepped onto the set of his debut movie. Not that you'd know from the seminal end result, a movie that altered Hollywood's entire understanding of narrative and visuals. From its pioneering use of flashbacks to the myriad camera tricks (Welles reflected in a series of mirrors), it often tops critics' polls of the greatest movies ever made.

The movie is a thinly veiled account of infamous newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst's rise to power. (The powerful media magnate in fact moved hell and high water to prevent the movie being released.) Welles stars as Hearst surrogate Charles Foster Kane, a young man who becomes a rich media tycoon in his mid-20s and subsequently develops an empire with the New York Inquirer.


2. All the President's Men (1976)

This Alan J. Pakula thriller defined the cinematic image of the journalist. It's the story of Woodward and Bernstein, the Washington Post reporters who helped expose the Watergate scandal that subsequently brought down President Richard Nixon.

Although charismatic stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are undeniably more 'Hollywood' then their real-life counterparts, the attention to detail in William Goldman's script, the set design (all cavernous offices and clacking typewriters) and Jason Robards' Oscar-winning turn as the aforementioned Ben Bradlee, helped secure it masterpiece status.


3. Broadcast News (1987)

Taking a lighter approach to journalism, this comedy hit from As Good As It Gets filmmaker James L. Brooks nevertheless remains true to the tenacious atmosphere of news reporting. William Hurt and Albert Brooks are the fractious duo at loggerheads over editorial integrity and also the affections of news reporter Holly Hunter. It's a smart movie that understands its subject matter whilst also serving as both a hilarious comedy and sweet romance.


4. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

Journalists rarely came braver than Edward R. Murrow, the radio and television reporter who took on the might of Senator Joseph McCarthy during the latter's infamous 1950s communism trials.

Director George Clooney's atmospheric black and white drama hinges on an excellent central performance from David Strathairn as Murrow. Playing him as a softly spoken bastion of integrity, one man against the force of the political establishment, Strathairn is an inspiring presence. Like The Post, Clooney's film is a reminder of the importance of free speech, especially when it threatens to become suppressed altogether.


5. Spotlight (2015)

When it comes to sheer tenacity and commitment to a story, the journos seen in this riveting drama are hard to beat. Spotlight dramatises the Boston Globe's 2002 exposure of the devastating Roman Catholic abuse scandal. It was a case that not only required extraordinary amounts of digging, lead sourcing and cross-referencing; the disturbing nature of the investigation also threatened serious emotional repurcussions for those involved.

The pitch-perfect cast is led by Michael Keaton as Spotlight team editor Walter 'Robby' Robinson, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo as reporters Sacha Pfeiffer and Mike Rezendes, and Liev Schreiber as Globe editor Marty Baron. Neither the actors nor Josh Singer's Oscar-winning screenplay ever strike a false note, and it's since been hailed as a modern classic.

Click here to book your tickets for The Post and tweet us your favourite journalism movies @Cineworld.