Movies and Magazines

This list started as a blog posting about movies that are somehow related to magazines: For example, as the setting in such films as Sleepless in Seattle and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days).

Adaptations from stories first appearing in magazines have also been the source of many movies, including my favorite of 2002, Adaptation, for which Charlie Kaufman and his “brother,” Donald, received an Oscar nomination.

After this posting, several people e-mailed me with other movie titles they thought of in which a magazine plays a part. Feel free to e-mail me your additions. (Later: Will Sanford, a fan of rexblog (or should I say “the” fan of rexblog?), sent me some great films to add to this list. Thanks, Will.]<

More magazine movies:

The People vs. Larry Flynt (submitted by Blair, hmmm.)

Almost Famous Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical tale of a young Rolling Stone writer.

Personal Velocity Greta’s husband, Lee, is a fact checker with the New Yorker

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle: About Dorthy Parker. We could do a list limited to New Yorker-related movies.

L.A. Confidential But I can’t recall, was “Hush Hush” a magazine or a newspaper?

Perfect: Remember this one? Magazine reporter John Travolta meets aerobics instructor Jamie Lee Curtis.

The Philadelphia Story:(released in 1940, and a 1956 remake, High Society: Magazine reporter Jimmy Stewart/Frank Sinatra covers Katherine Hepburn/Grace Kelly’s wedding. You can figure out the rest. (Thanks to Maggie for this pair)

Bridges of Madison County: Clynt Eastwood stars [and directs] as a National Geographic photographer who’s into more than covered bridges.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: Speaking of Clynt Eastwood, he also directs this movie in which John Cusack plays a magazine writer spending some surreal time in Savannah.

Bright Lights, Big City: How could I have forgotten this movie with some magazine AND Nashville connections?

Zoolander: Christine Taylor plays a Time Magazine reporter to whom Ben Stiller makes this memorable magazine-related quote:

Do you understand that the world does not revolve around you and your do whatever it takes, ruin as many people’s lives, so long as you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist, no matter how many friends you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied along the way, just so long so you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist, no matter how many friends you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied and dying along the way?

Vanilla Sky: Tom Cruise plays a magazine publishing scion who has this “nightmare” relationship with a character who apparently is the daughter of Alex Forrest. Then, he falls for his dream girl, Penelope Cruz. By the end of the movie, everyone watching the movie has fallen asleep. Can someone call
technical support?

Shattered Glass: The NY Times’ David Carr says the real star of this movie is the New Republic. The tale of Stephen Glass, the reporter at TNR who fabricated a series of award-winning stories (pre-Jason Blair) and then got caught.

Funny Face: In this 1957 musical’s opening scene, Quality magazine editrix Maggie Thompson (the scene-stealing Kay Thompson, doing a pedal-to-the-metal parody of celebrated fashion infanta Diana Vreeland) proclaims to her staff that, “A magazine must be like a human being. If it comes into the home it must contribute. It just can’t lie around. A magazine must have blood. And brains. And ‘bizzazz'” (Thanks to magazine-junkie Rick Nelson for this one.

In Good Company: Dennis Quaid plays the role of Dan Foreman, the head of advertising sales for a major magazine, who gets a new boss half his age, Carter Duryea, played by Topher Grace, who, coincidentally, played Eric Forman on the TV program, “That 70s Show.” Neither Dan Foreman or Eric Forman are related to George Foreman.

Star 80 and the TV movie Death of a Centerfold: The Dorthy Stratten Story: both based on the real-life tragedy of a centerfold model who was murdered.

Additional resources:

Searching for something completely unrelated to this subject, I googled upon this incredible resource instructor notes from a journalism course at USC on the image of journalists in popular cuture (it must be for scholarship athletes). I didn’t surf through it in detail, but it appears to exhaust the topic of portrayals of writers and reporters in film. Especially impressive is this course schedule’s list of films from which the class will view excerpts.