presents the exclusive area screening...
— Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.
"Mike Wallace is here" are four words no crooked politician or disreputable businessperson wanted to hear. As a cornerstone of 60 MINUTES, the nation's most watched news program, Mike Wallace earned a reputation as a hard-hitting, fearless journalist who spoke truth to power.
The terrific new documentary MIKE WALLACE IS HERE offers an unflinching look at the legendary reporter, who interrogated the 20th century's biggest newsmakers during more than fifty years on the air. Wallace's investigative reporting wasn't limited to interviews of the famous – he exposed grifters, scam artists, corrupt bureaucrats and members of organized crime. On the flip side, Wallace made time to profile those having a positive impact on society.
There is a fascinating and effective bonus here: more than an account of one man's career, the documentary tracks the evolution of broadcast journalism during the Mike Wallace era.
Click on the Trailer link to see the full Mike Wallace interview with Rod Serling, where he talks about working in Cincinnati, launching the Twilight Zone, etc. >>>>>>>>>>
After Mike Wallace, as 24x7 cable news emerged, the nature of news gathering and presentation changed. In the post-film discussion, we will talk about those changes – some good, some bad – which led to a new generation of journalists and a different approach to reporting and the quest for truth.
Unearthing decades of never-before-seen footage from the 60 Minutes vault and earlier archives, director Avi Belkin explores what drove and plagued Wallace. There are no narrator voice-overs or added talking head pontification about what Wallace was or was not.
Instead, Belkin relies completely on archival footage, pairing Wallace answering questions from his peers with the same tough questions he asked of others. We learn in Wallace's own words that he was an absentee father married four times, found it difficult to break into the "old-boy" news network, and was coping with deep depression.
Wallace asked the questions no one else had the guts to ask — of political leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy, John McCain, Donald Trump, Richard Nixon, Anwar Sadat; — of thought-leaders and celebrities including Rod Serling, Arthur Miller, Ben Bradlee, Johnny Carson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oprah Winfrey, Bette Davis, Barbara Streisand and
Wallace approached every interview with knowledge and passion, which director Belkin captured and distilled into a riveting 90 minutes. He was a "tough as nails" reporter who had no fear when it came to going after the truth – aggressive, exciting and impressive. There is also footage of him going up against Vladimir Putin and Ayatollah Khomeini under high-tension conditions and circumstances.
"We're a nicotine delivery business" was the famous quote obtained by Wallace from whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand when he appeared on 60 MINUTES and stated that Brown & Williamson had intentionally manipulated its tobacco blend with chemicals to increase the effect of nicotine in cigarette smoke. Probably the most important story ever reported by 60 MINUTES, CBS corporate killed the original 1995 segment due to pressure and legal threats from B&W. CBS reconsidered and it subsequently aired on February 4, 1996.