The Insider

November 5, 1999 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still of Russell Crowe, Al Pacino and Hallie Kate Eisenberg in The InsiderStill of Russell Crowe in The InsiderBeverly D'Angelo at event of The InsiderAl Pacino stars as 60 Minutes producer Lowell BergmanWriter/director Michael Mann with DP Dante Spinotti and an unidentified crew memberWriter/director Michael Mann discusses a scene with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe


A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 8.0/10 (84,632 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

Michael Mann

Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer

Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth out?

Writers: Marie Brenner, Eric Roth


Al Pacino

Lowell Bergman

Russell Crowe

Jeffrey Wigand

Christopher Plummer

Mike Wallace

Diane Venora

Liane Wigand

Philip Baker Hall

Don Hewitt

Lindsay Crouse

Sharon Tiller

Debi Mazar

Debbie De Luca

Stephen Tobolowsky

Eric Kluster

Colm Feore

Richard Scruggs

Bruce McGill

Ron Motley

Gina Gershon

Helen Caperelli

Michael Gambon

Thomas Sandefur

Rip Torn

John Scanlon

Lynne Thigpen

Mrs. Williams

Hallie Kate Eisenberg

Barbara Wigand

Two men driven to tell the truth… whatever the cost.


Official Website:
TouchStone Pictures |

Release Date: 5 November 1999

Filming Locations: Abaco Island, Bahamas

Box Office Details

Budget: $90,000,000


Opening Weekend: $6,712,361
(7 November 1999)
(1809 Screens)

Gross: $60,289,912

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Toward the end of the film, Mike Wallace shows Lowell Bergman an unflattering article and editorial about CBS in the latest New York Times. The article and editorial are clearly from different sections of the paper. This would seem to be a goof, since the Times' op-ed pieces usually appear in the back of the main news section. The real-life pieces to which this scene refers, however, were published on a Sunday (12 November 1995), which means that the news and editorials would in fact have appeared in separate sections, just one more example of director Michael Mann's eye for detail.


Factual errors:
In the beginning of the film when Mike Wallace refuses to move his chair away from the Sheik, the translator translates Mike's English into Farsi to the Arabic-speaking Hezbollah. Farsi and Arabic are not the same language and usually Persians and Arabs do not understand each others' languages, unless they studied it.


Mike Wallace:
Did I get you up?

Lowell Bergman:
No, I usually sit around my hotel room dressed like this at 5:30 in the morning, sleepy look on my face.

User Review

The film that keeps on giving


I first wanted to see 'The Insider' because it professed to show the truth
behind the lies of the Tobacco Industry. My wife and I saw it and were
thoroughly impressed. In fact we've now seen it 5 times (I think, though I
may have lost count).

If you go to the movies to be entertained mindlessly, do NOT see this
you will bored. This movie is for people who like to think, and who like to
receive superior presentation of thought provoking material. The Insider
all that.

The movie gets you thinking about mankind. The obvious problem with human
nature is obvious in this movie. The Tobacco companies knowingly selling
addictive product, whilst claiming it is not. And then almost, almost but
not quite, getting away with ruining an individual's life, an individual
who's conscience was pricked by what they had seen.

But then it moves into the CBS drama, where again the hopelessness of
mankind in general shines through. The strength of two individuals though
manages to win the day, which is what makes this true story so

I found that (contrary to those who complained of the movies length) every
scene that Mann has given us has a reason. A good reason. From the opening
scenes depicting an evil far from USA. To the hints as to why we didn't
anything about the drama when it happened, because the OJ murder story and
media frenzy drowned out what should be to us all a much more serious

For me the crowning moment in the film was when Russell Crowe (as Wigand)
was about to dig into a hamburger when behind him on TV a newscaster
reported findings about him, bad (though unfounded) findings. Crowe put his
knife and fork back down in a way that told us all that he had no more
appetite, in fact all the will left in him had been violently thrust away,
thrust away by the selfish interests of the Tobacco companies.

All in all this is a complete movie that deserved its 7 nominations and
should have gotten some awards. The sound was great, as was the camera
If you love an artistic movie, you will love this one. Crowe is thoroughly
believable and has cemented himself as a first rate actor, capable of
playing just about any part put his way. Pacino is very well cast, Plummer
is a class act, and a host of supporting cast did themselves

What we can't forget about this movie, for all its drama, and for the
pointed view it gives us of the nature we bear, its a TRUE STORY. Thats
really makes it shocking. And only those driven to the ends of despair and
loneliness such as Wigand and Bergmann were, can really truly realise
another fact pointed out in the movie, in the end of it all, we are nothing
anyway, so what does it all matter?

See it!