6.8/10
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11 user 7 critic

Winchell (1998)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
The true story of the influential and controversial columnist, Walter Winchell.

Director:

Paul Mazursky

Writers:

Herman Klurfeld (book), Scott Abbott (teleplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Tucci ... Walter Winchell
Glenne Headly ... Dallas Wayne
Paul Giamatti ... Herman Klurfeld
Christopher Plummer ... Franklin D. Roosevelt
Xander Berkeley ... Gavreau
Kevin Tighe ... William Randolph Hearst
Frank Medrano ... Melvin Diamond
Vic Polizos ... Sam Hague
John F. O'Donohue ... Harry the Doorman (as John O'Donohue)
Michael Greene ... Bellamy
Rod McCary ... Emcee
Victoria Gabrielle Platt ... Josephine Baker
Jonathan Aaron Jonathan Aaron ... Rabbi (as Rabbi Jonathan Aaron)
Pat Asanti ... Vaudeville Magician
Sean Michael Allen Sean Michael Allen ... Mirror Reporter (as Sean Barnes)
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Storyline

Biopic of the controversial muckraking journalist Walter Winchell. After spending 12 years in vaudeville, Winchell began writing a column in the New York Mirror. Part gossip, part half-truths, the reporting focused on well-known or prominent individuals and their dalliances. Winchell grew in popularity, particularly when he started his weekly Sunday night radio show. His reporting became more political in the late 1930s when he railed against Hitler. His star began to fall in the 1950s when Josephine Baker was refused service at the Stork Club and Winchell allegedly refused to do anything about it. The end came with his support of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his own rabid anti-communism. Following McCarthy's style, Winchell accused anyone who stood in his way of being a communist. Soon, he found himself facing lawsuits, a failed attempt at a television show and eventually, the cancellation of his radio show. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex, scandal, Sensationalism. He was the first of his kind ... but certainly not the last. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of strong sexuality | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Dallas Wayne is a fictionalized version of real-life Winchell confidante and speakeasy owner Texas Guinan. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film there is a shot of two newspaper headlines: one saying Winchell lost his radio show and the other that the Stork Club was closing. The articles under the headlines do not refer to either subject, and most of the wording in one article is repeated exactly in the other. See more »

Quotes

Franklin D. Roosevelt: The face of fear is coming. And when it comes, Walter, you'll answer to no one, not even me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Richard Kent Green was Stanley Tucci's stand-in for both the Central Park scenes in New York and the photo shoot for the poster. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Last Call
Written by David Wilson
Performed by David Wilson
See more »

User Reviews

 
Better Than Average Biopic
7 October 2000 | by Mitch-38See all my reviews

Stanley Tucci leads a super ensemble cast, in this HBO movie biography of Walter Winchell. His knack for sensationalism, gossip mongering and trademark rapid fire bark zoomed him to a pinnacle of media influence. His heavy handed approach brought the news to many, and the ire of many, as well. His tirade over the differences over FDR, as opposed to Harry Truman, really nailed home the notion of Winchell's megalomania. His ghost writers (who did an inordinate amount of the work he claimed) argued the resulting event was the same. Winchell rattled on about the difference in "finesse."

Mr. Tucci makes his subject a sympathetic, zealous and outrageous character. An excellent perormance. The supporting cast is above par, with Glenne Heady, Christopher Plummer and Kevin Tighe as W.R. Hearst (who could use a biopic of his own...oh, that's right...a movie HAS been made about him! *wink, wink*). The stand out is truly Paul Giamatti, as the talented and much-abused Herman Klurfeld, whose book was the basis for this movie.

The only detractions is that some other characters are not well developed, and seem to suffice as only background setting. The business relationship between Winchell and FBI Chief Hoover would've been interesting to delve into. Also, Winchell's family life and the tragedy of his son, would've been interesting to explore. Of course, with that said, this movie is still very interesting, and well worth your time.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Poder da Notícia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HBO Films, Fried Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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