In the 1970s, the name James L. Brooks was synonymous with intelligent television comedy—his shows were insightful about work and love and always tapped into the zeitgeist. With his transition to film in the 1980s, he became a master Hollywood storyteller, and none of his films was more quintessentially Brooks than Broadcast News. This caustic inside look at the Washington news media stars Holly Hunter, in her breakout role, as a feisty television producer torn between an ambitious yet dim anchorman (William Hurt) and her closest confidant, a cynical veteran reporter (Albert Brooks). Brooks’s witty, gently prophetic entertain ment is a captivating transmission from an era in which ideas on love and media were rapidly changing. –The Criterion Collection
One of the few producer/director/writers to handle both movie and TV assignments with equal aplomb, James L. Brooks was born May 9, 1940, in Brooklyn and spent his college years in New York City. Brooks spent much of his childhood “surviving” and reading numerous comedic and scripted works, as well as writing; he sent comedic short stories out to publishers and occasionally got positive responses although none were published, and he did not believe he could make a career as a writer. Brooks attended Weehawken High School but was not a high achiever. He was on his high school newspaper team and frequently secured interviews with celebrities including Louis Armstrong. He lists some of his influences as Sid Caesar, Jack Benny, Lenny Bruce, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, as well as writers Paddy Chayefsky and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Following an apprenticeship with CBS news, Brooks went to work for documentary producer David L. Wolper. In 1969, Brooks broke into the non-documentary end of the… read more
The problems of attractive white people in Washington, DC while being very successful do not interest me. Nor does the issue of Holly Hunter choosing between a gorgeous vapid man and an average looking intelligent man. I asked my friend Jean Davis if I was bad for not wanting to finish this. She said "It ain't the boss of you!" You hear that movie, you aren't the boss of me!