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Broadcast News (1987) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2)  | Spoilers (1)
Albert Brooks revealed that when he first read the script, the scene where Aaron does a weekend broadcast simply noted "Something bad happens to Aaron on the air." Albert was watching CNN, when a reporter he'd never seen before (and hasn't seen since) began sweating badly. Albert phoned Writer and Director James L. Brooks at three in the morning, and stated that Aaron HAD to start sweating profusely.
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Jack Nicholson was not paid for his role, at his own request.
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Debra Winger was originally cast as Jane Craig. Holly Hunter was cast two days before shooting was to begin to replace the pregnant Debra Winger, for whom the part had been written.
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John Cusack is credited as "Angry Messenger". During the staff firings, a young man yells "sons of bitches!", and angrily throws a messenger bag to the office floor. The character's face isn't seen, but the voice sounds like Cusack's.
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Peter Hackes, who plays News Division President Paul Moore, was an NBC News correspondent in Washington, D.C. until retiring from the network a year before the movie was made.
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James L. Brooks wrote this movie especially for Debra Winger, but she was forced to turn it down because she was pregnant with her son Noah Hutton. Before casting Holly Hunter as a replacement, Brooks considered Sigourney Weaver, Judy Davis, Elizabeth McGovern, Christine Lahti, and Elizabeth Perkins.
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Marc Shaiman and Glen Roven, who played News Theme Writers, are real-life composers, who have also done television jingles. Shaiman, after doing this movie, went on to score major motion picture films, and has since been nominated for seven Academy Awards.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to not be nominated for Best Director.
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Aaron Altman asks Tom Grunick if he can name each of the Cabinet Members, and, when Tom tells him yes, and Aaron asks, "All twelve?", to which Tom replies, "Yes, Aaron, all twelve", and then Brooks says, "There are only ten." There were actually 13 in 1986: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and Treasury. As of 2016, there are 15: the 13 in 1986 plus Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.
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Early in the film, Aaron is told a man is waiting for him downstairs for an interview. Tom asks if he can come along. There were scenes filmed that showed the interview. The man they interviewed went on to inspire Tom to be a better reporter. Those scenes were cut from the final film.
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Jane Craig was inspired by CBS News Producer Susan Zirinsky. Before filming began, Holly Hunter spent time job shadowing Zirinsky to see how things worked in a real newsroom. Hunter also cut her hair into a "bob" style haircut to resemble Zirinsky.
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This was James L. Brooks's first theatrical film in four years. His previous film, Terms of Endearment (1983), won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Albert Brooks and Jack Nicholson appeared in this movie and Terms of Endearment (1983). At least 18 members of cast and crew worked on both of these movies. Also, both movies were Oscar nominated in numerous categories, with this movie receiving seven Academy Award nominations.
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The movie was selected to be included in TIME Magazine's Best Films of the 1987 year list.
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Jack Nicholson appears in this movie, but not in any artwork and promotional materials. His name appears only in the film's closing credits.
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James L. Brooks hand-picked some real-life reporters to appear as guests in the ball scene.
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Jennifer is sent to Anchorage, Alaska, to report on bodies that had been found after being buried by a serial killer. It's a reference to the Robert Hansen case. Hansen would abduct women, sometimes flying them to remote locations in his plane, rape them, and hunt them. In 1983, he was convicted of 17 murders, and sentenced to 461 years in prison with no possibility of parole. He died August 21, 2014.
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On Late Night with David Letterman (1982), David Letterman asked Kathleen Turner if Switching Channels (1988) was like Broadcast News (1987). Turner replied that it was better. The film was a critical and box-office failure.
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Holly Hunter won the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress, for her performance in this movie at the Berlin Film Festival in 1988.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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The anchor desk and on-air broadcast newsroom scenes were filmed on the backstage area of Wolftrap Farmpark for the Performing Arts, in Vienna, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.
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William Hurt is seven years younger than Stephen Mendillo, who played his father.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the four hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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This is one of ten movie collaborations (as of 2015) between John Cusack and Joan Cusack.
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Was selected for preservation in The National Film Registy by the Library of Congress in 2018, for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
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The only ever film and television credit where John Cusack has been billed under the name "John Cusak" with this spelling.
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The film is ranked at the No. #64 spot on the American Film Institute (AFI)'s "100 Years...100 Laughs" list of the Top 100 Funniest Movies in American Cinema.
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: William Hurt, Holly Hunter, and Jack Nicholson; and three Oscar nominees: Albert Brooks, Joan Cusack, and Marc Shaiman.
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Holly Hunter and William Hurt appeared in the two-part television miniseries, Bonnie & Clyde (2013), as Emma Parker and Frank Hamer, respectively.
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William Hurt and Holly Hunter share the same birth date of March 20. Hurt was born in 1950, and Hunter was born in 1958. Both have won Academy Awards.
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Jack Nicholson appeared briefly in this James L. Brooks film after having also acted in a supporting role in Brooks' earlier Terms of Endearment (1983), in a part which had been turned down by Burt Reynolds. After this movie, another television comedy movie was produced, Switching Channels (1988), with Reynolds starring in one of the leading roles.
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Near the end of the movie the cabbie at the airport is played by J. Alan Thomas who played Jeff on "Taxi" for the entire run of the series.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Jack Nicholson and James L. Brooks second film together.
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This motion picture's closing credits declare that the film was "shot entirely on-location".
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Switching Channels (1988) was made and released following on the heels of this multi-Academy Award nominated, and more successful, movie. Switching Channels (1988) ended up being a critical and box-office failure.
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The office building where the network's Washington, D.C. offices are located is 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, a 1986 building where occupants were still moving in the year before the movie was released.
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William Hurt starred in another film about television media, Eyewitness (1981). Both were produced by 20th Century Fox.
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When Aaron is anchoring the news, one of the technicians notes that Richard Nixon never sweated as much. Later, when Jane comes to Aaron's house after the correspondents gala and they are talking, a picture of Richard and Pat Nixon is visible on his wall.
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Holly Hunter has the same first name as Holly Holmberg Brooks, who is the wife of James L. Brooks.
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Tom tells Jane about a problem with the "Allen Fighting Vehicle." It's based on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Originally intended to be a transport with offensive capability, so many features were added that it became completely untenable. Adding heavier armor and greater armaments required a sturdier build, which required a more powerful engine and greater fuel capacity, which meant it could carry fewer soldiers. The added weight made it sink in marshy ground. Tests showed to to be little more than a portable soldier incinerator. In the end, the design had to be reworked, leading to $5 billion in cost overruns. The story was dramatized in The Pentagon Wars (1998).
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Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter have both voiced characters in Pixar movies. Brooks in Finding Nemo(2003) and Finding Fory(2016). Hunter in The Incredibles(2004) and The Incredibles 2(2018).
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Cameo 

Marc Shaiman: The Emmy Award winning music composer as a News Theme Writer.
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Glen Roven: The Emmy Award winning music composer as a News Theme Writer.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

James L. Brooks said he was open to who Jane would end up with at the end. He told Premiere Magazine: "After principal photography, I got the idea for a cab ride at the end, and I set it up so that Holly didn't know Bill was on the set. Bill was prepared, but no dialogue. All he'd know is that he couldn't get on that plane, and that he goes back and gets in that cab with her. I knew I'd get one take, and I knew that Holly wouldn't break character, and I'd get, who knows. So you can imagine the excitement built up to this. It's ready, and a guy on the crew gave it away by saying 'Bill' just before we started to roll, and it ruined it, and I had an out-of-body experience. (Hurt and Hunter) saw that scene later, and they both thought I should end the movie that way. But it just wasn't right."
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