Savitch did. Its guilty pleasures are ones we all remember and plenty of us miss. But appealing characters and a tart view of television news are enough to hold the interest here, at least until a prison riot, trumped-up lovers' quarrels and a sanctimonious Mrs. Norman Maine speech do a great deal to break the mood. It helps that the stars' roles are tailor-made to their talents, especially Redford's Warren Justice. The very name bespeaks integrity, practically at the Supreme Court level.
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The veneer is flirty and casually jaded. And the man's history, that of a seasoned journalist and inveterate ladykiller, seems assembled entirely from high points on the Redford resume. Pfeiffer is just as comfortable with the role of Tally Atwater, putty in the hands of Redford's chino-wearing Svengali.
Though everything about Tally is molded by others and steadily refashioned including her name, which starts out as Sallyanne , Ms. Pfeiffer has no trouble giving this woman a solid core. Warren soon realizes - who wouldn't?
Obviously, Ms. Pfeiffer shares Ms. Savitch's special talent for brightening magically in front of a camera lens.
Up Close and Personal
The screenplay, like Redford's expert delivery, can be beautifully bone-dry. Suspending disbelief, it's easy to enjoy what the film's cliche-happy broadcasters would call Tally's meteoric rise. Tally struggles at her new post, in no small part due to the hostility of veteran reporter Marcia McGrath Stockard Channing , who jealously protects her position as the top reporter. Warren turns up to inspire Tally, and the two partners begin a new career together. However, on a routine assignment in a Philadelphia prison, Tally and her cameraman are taken hostage in a prison riot and forced to endure hours of intense violence.
Tally covers the groundbreaking story from within the walls of the collapsing prison as Warren looks on from outside, guiding her through her first national broadcast. This incredible act of bravery leads to Tally's eagerly anticipated advancement to a national network newscaster position and the continuation of the dynamic duo's rise to fame - but shortly after, disaster strikes when Warren is killed during an assignment.
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According to Dunne, who chronicled his experiences dealing with studio executives in his book Monster: Living Off the Big Screen , the majority of these changes were made in order to appeal to a broader mainstream market. Producer Scott Rudin was reported to have said, when asked by a weary Dunne what the film was supposed to be, "it's about two movie stars. Critics largely ridiculed the screenplay for bearing little resemblance to the biography of Jessica Savitch , which was supposed to have inspired it.
Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: " Up Close and Personal is so different from the facts of Savitch's life that if Didion and Dunne still have their first draft, they probably could sell it as a completely different movie. While an insipid, rock ballad covers the proceedings with auditory treacle, Cushion Lips Michelle Pfeiffer and Armchair Man Robert Redford walk together, laugh together, frolic in the waves with their clothes on - that sort of thing In this movie, network executives - who depend entirely on focus groups, marketing and advertisers to inform their decisions - are painted as the moral bad guys, while Redford and the emerging Pfeiffer are the embodiment of integrity And the fact that this is a Touchstone Pictures production - part of the marketing-obsessed, truth-sweetening Disney empire which just purchased ABC - is far too hilarious an irony to ignore.
Blow-dried, bleached blonde-on-bland entertainment. However, certain critics argued that the film had its merits. Two star images meet and enhance each other. Redford , as usual, plays a rugged, outdoorsy, uncompromising man of unshakable integrity who just happens to be news director at a Miami station.
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Pfeiffer , as usual, is gorgeous, pretty, gawky and a lot tougher and smarter than she looks. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the motion picture.
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Close and Personal. Jordan Kerner David Nicksay. Joan Didion John Gregory Dunne.