Press Release

IIE Cited in the New George Clooney Movie on Edward R. Murrow

David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow in director George Clooney’s Good Night, And Good Luck. a Warner Independent Pictures release. Photo Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon (c) 2005 Good Night Good Luck LLC. All Rights Reserved.

George Clooney as Fred Friendly in Good Night, And Good Luck. a Warner Independent Pictures release. Photo Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon (c) 2005 Good Night Good Luck LLC. All Rights Reserved.



Edward R. Murrow Murrow was IIE's
Assisant Director During the Thirties and
a Trustee until his death in 1965.

IIE Cited in the New George Clooney Movie on Edward R. Murrow
The new film produced and directed and written by George Clooney, Good Night and Good Luck, features the groundbreaking radio and TV journalist, Edward R. Murrow, who started his professional career at the Institute of International Education and served as a member of the Board of Trustees for many years.

The Movie
Good Night and Good Luck chronicles the real-life conflict between television newsman Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy, who chaired the Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations (Government Operations Committee) in the 1950s. With a desire to report the facts and enlighten the public, Murrow and his staff defy corporate and sponsorship pressures to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist 'witch-hunts'. A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing Murrow himself of being a communist.

Murrow and IIE
In 1932, at age 24, before he began his broadcast career, Murrow was hired as Assistant Director by IIE's founder and Director, Dr. Stephen P. Duggan. Murrow's main assignment at IIE was to identify European scholars who were at risk in their home countries and arrange for them to lecture and teach at U.S. colleges and universities. This early forerunner of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund was first called the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars, and later expanded to help other "Displaced Foreign Scholars" fleeing Nazi repression throughout Europe. Hundreds of European scholars were successfully relocated to America, including Paul Tillich, Martin Buber, Thomas Mann, Jacques Maritain, Herbert Marcuse, Felix Bloch, Kurt Lewin, Otto Nathan, and Hans Morgenthau, with support from the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations and generous hosting by American campuses. Murrow worked with the Emergency Committee until early 1937, overlapping the first year of his long career at CBS News.

IIE References in the Clooney Movie
In the 1930s, Murrow had also helped set up a summer exchange program between American professors and students and their Soviet counterparts. The Institute had the support of the leading educators in America, and conducted similar exchange programs around the world. However, in the 1950s, when Senator Joe McCarthy attacked Murrow to discredit him in retaliation for his courageous TV broadcasts against McCarthy, these exchange programs were part of the ammunition that McCarthy used to label him as a communist. These attacks are the context in which Murrow's work for IIE is cited in the Clooney movie.

Murrow's courageous refusal to back down despite relentless personal attacks, and his insistence that CBS continue to cover the McCarthy hearings until the Senator's censure by the US Senate, are the focus of "Good Night and Good Luck." The film ends before Murrow was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to head the U.S. Information Agency in 1961. Already diagnosed with lung cancer, Murrow resigned from USIA in 1963 and died two years later at the age of 57. He continued to serve as an IIE Trustee until his death. We are immensely proud of this outstanding American who started his career at IIE.

Good Night and Good Luck
Synopsis
"Good Night, And Good Luck." takes place during the early days of broadcast journalism in 1950's America. It chronicles the real-life conflict between television newsman Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations (Government Operations Committee). With a desire to report the facts and enlighten the public, Murrow, and his dedicated staff - headed by his producer Fred Friendly and Joe Wershba in the CBS newsroom - defy corporate and sponsorship pressures to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist 'witch-hunts'. A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing the anchor of being a communist. In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on and their tenacity will prove historic and monumental.
Directed by:
George Clooney
Screenplay by:
George Clooney & Grant Heslov
Cast: David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Tate Donovan, Ray Wise and Frank Langella
This film has been rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language.
Scheduled to open: October 7, 2005


Related Links
Good Night and Good Luck Film Site
http://www.warnerindependent.com
Scholar Rescue Fund

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Sharon Witherell
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E-mail: switherell@iie.org

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E-mail: mbaum@iie.org

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