Winchell (1998)

 

 

 

 

Director:    Paul Mazursky

Starring:     Stanley Tucci (Walter Winchell), Glenne Headly (Dallas Wayne), Paul Giamatti (Herman Kurfeld), 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), Michael Greene (Bellamy), Rod McCary (Emcee), Victoria Gabrielle Platt (Josephine Baker), Jonathan Aaron (Rabbi), Pat Asanti (Vaudeville Magician), Sean Michael Allen (Mirror Reporter).

Walter, the gossip journalist, who became tainted by flirting with McCarthyism and suspicions of racism toward blacks 

 

 

Based on the biography of Winchell's right hand man and ghostwriter, Herman Klurfeld (Paul Giamatti).  Walter Winchell (Stanley Tucci) was a famous radio gossip columnist who became a powerful political figure in the United States.  In his early days, he was somewhat liberal, but became very conservative over time.  Klurfield's growing disillusionment with Winchell makes the film somewhat poignant.  

It's hard to be conservative in Hollywood and the downfall of Winchell comes when Josephine Baker, the black American who became a virtual national monument in France, accused Winchell of racism when he did not take action to prevent her from being thrown out of a high-class restaurant because of her color. Foolishly, Winchell defended himself instead of expressing regret and thereby sealed his doom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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