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DETAILS

MPAA Rating - PG13

Length:
    115 Minutes

Genre:
    Drama

Original Release Date:
    Mar 31, 1998

Director
    Costa-Gavras

Cast
    John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Mia Kirshner, Alan Alda, Robert Prosky

 
Movie Summary
Investigative TV journalist Max Brackett (Dustin Hoffman) suffers setbacks and winds up filing routine reports from Madeline, California. Max and his eager intern Laurie (Mia Kirshner) are doing a story at the local Museum of Natural History when a bigger story erupts. The Museums director, Mrs. Banks (Blythe Danner), refuses to talk to former museum security guard Sam Baily (John Travolta) about his firing due to budget cuts. Angered, Sam shoots a shotgun, accidentally hitting another security guard. Realizing hes in the middle of breaking news, Max phones his supervisor (Robert Prosky) and goes to live coverage. A class of young children is visiting the Museum, and Sam holds them hostage. Sams link to the outside world is the opportunistic Max, who manipulates the situation, telling Sam what to say on camera. Within hours, as the event escalates to national interest, vendors arrive to hawk products at the museum grounds, while the entire country tunes in the ongoing coverage. The screenplay by Eric Williams and Tom Matthews (former managing editor of Boxoffice) is a technological updating of the 1951 Billy Wilder classic Ace in the Hole (aka The Big Carnival) about a scheming journalist (Kirk Douglas) who delays the rescue of a man trapped by a rockfall in order to continue his newspaper reports. Acknowledging the Wilder film, the name Brackett is an obvious nod to Charles Brackett, Wilders long-time collaborator. Filmed in Los Angeles and San Jose, where the San Jose Athletic Club served as the museum location site. Shown at the 1997 Denver Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide


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