A 24-year-old made finest (media) movie ever

Orson WellesCitizen Kane (original trailer above), a scathing biopic of William Randolph Hearst and made when Welles was a ripe old man of 24, has once again topped the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best films of all times. And Phil Rosenthal uses the occasion to marvel at how many great movies have been on the media. How many have you seen? And what were you doing when you were 24?

All the President’s Men, 1976
A Face in the Crowd, 1957
Ace in the Hole, 1951
His Girl Friday, 1940
Network, 1976
Absence of Malice, 1981
The Killing Fields, 1984
Shattered Glass, 2003
Woman of the Year, 1942
Foreign Correspondent, 1940
Sweet Smell of Success, 1957
Call Northside 777, 1948
The Parallax View, 1974
Salvador, 1986
Broadcast News, 1987
The Year of Living Dangerously, 1982
Deadline USA, 1952
It Happened One Night, 1934
The Paper, 1994


  1. How could he miss the two recent ones that were far more mainstream, multi-Oscar winners and box-office successes!!
    The Insider
    Good Night & Good Luck

    Shattered Glass is brilliant! Maybe i’m biased because it’s a tech journo who calls the hot-shot writer’s bluff 🙂

    The bigger irony is that I saw both Shattered Glass and Broadcast News on flight entertainment systems’ “critics choice” selections! You dont get those DVDs anywhere!

  2. Aatmasakshi

    Ah, come on. There are tonnes of good films on the media or with the media as a substantive part of the proceedings.

    Mad City (Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta)
    The Pelican Brief (Denzel Washington, Juliana Roberts)
    LA Confidential (Danny deVito)
    The Front Page (Pat O Brien)—an earlier version of His Girl Friday (Cary Grant)
    Roman Holiday (Spencer Tracy)
    Country of My Skull (Samuel Jackson)
    Paparazzi (Cole Hauser)

    But most of these are Holywood. Surely, there are good Indian media films too? There was a film whose title I forget which Rajiv Gandhi’s government in 1986 took off the air just the day before it was to be telecast on DD. And there was a film made in various Indian languages (sarring Jeetendra, Amarbarish, Mammooty) based on Irving Wallace’s The Almighty.

  3. Great post, thanks.

    Three more for the list:

    “Live from Baghdad” (2002)
    “Up Close and Personal” (1996)
    “Absence of Malice” (1981)

    I agree “Shattered Glass” (2003) is an all time best!

    But I wonder why nobody’s (yet) produced a movie about the NYT Blair episodes.

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