The 30 greatest media movies

From All The President's Men to Under Fire journalists and photographers have always been a dream asssignment for actors - and provided gripping storylines for directors and scriptwriters to get their teeth into


Salvador (1985)
James Woods, James Belushi

Salvador (1985) James Woods, James Belushi

A gonzo journalist and his DJ mate accidentally drive into a horrible Central American war zone to drink tequila and highlight the result of American military aid. Directed by Oliver Stone.

All the President's Men (1976) Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford

Woodward, Bernstein, Deep Throat and Nixon in the all-time classic telling of the Watergate story. Directed by Alan J Pakula.

Almost Famous (2000) Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson

A 15-year-old boy blags a job as a Rolling Stone writer to tour America with Stillwater. True story, based on the experiences of director Cameron Crowe

To Die For (1994) Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon

An ambitious weathergirl encourages a teenager to kill her husband to further her career. Directed by Gus Van Sant.

City of God (2002) Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge

Bad boys of gangland Rio de Janeiro as seen through the eyes of a teenage ghetto photographer. Another true story. Directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton

A reporter explores the life of a newspaper magnate and the meaning of his last word, "rosebud". Often voted the best film of all time. Directed by Welles.

Defence of the Realm (1985) Gabriel Byrne, Greta Scacchi

Excellent paranoiac thriller, with a reporter stumbling across a link between a leading MP and a KGB agent. Directed by David Drury.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro

Gonzo writer Raoul Duke (aka Hunter S Thompson) attempts to cover a motorbike race and police convention while high on drugs. Directed by Terry Gilliam.

The Front Page (1931) Adolphe Menjou, Pat O'Brien

Classic, fast-talking adaptation of the Hecht and MacArthur play about an ace reporter trying to escape his cynical, manipulative editor. Never were newshounds better portrayed. Directed by Lewis Milestone.

Good Morning Vietnam (1987) Robin Williams, Tung Thanh Tran

US armed forces radio DJ Adrian Cronauer winds up the military in Sixties Saigon with wild language and off-colour jokes. Directed by Barry Levinson.

Natural Born Killers (1994) Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis

A crazed duo go on a killing spree to attract the attention of tabloid TV man Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jnr). Badlands for the MTV generation. Directed by Oliver Stone.

The Killing Fields (1984) Sam Waterston, Haing S Ngor

An award-winning war reporter is forced to leave his personal assitant to suffer at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Directed by Roland Joffé.

Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis

Portrait of the gossip columnist as media monster. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick.

The Insider (1999) Al Pacino, Russell Crowe

A 60 Minutes producer and a tobacco research scientist fight the powers that be for the right to expose the harmful ways of the cigarette industry. Directed by Michael Mann.

Network (1976) Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch

A news anchorman ends his career in dramatic style during the evening bulletin. Directed by Sidney Lumet.

The People vs Larry Flynt (1996) Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton

The infamous pornographer turns defender of free speech to get his beaver shots to the nation. Directed by Milos Forman.

Superman (1978) Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder

An unimpressive newspaper nerd takes time out to save the world, fly like a bird/plane and win the heart of Lois Lane. Directed by Richard Donner.

Play Misty for Me (1971) Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter

A late-night DJ is stalked by a mad woman. Motto: never sleep with your listeners... Directed by Eastwood.

The Truman Show (1998) Jim Carrey, Ed Harris

Truman Burbank is the unwitting subject of a lifelong reality show until a TV camera falls out of the sky on his head. Directed by Peter Weir.

Shattered Glass (2003) Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard

The true story of a magazine journalist who fell from grace when it was found he had fabricated more than half of his articles. Directed by Billy Ray

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) Will Ferrell

Comic tale of a top 1970s newsman under pressure when confronted by a ambitious female colleague. Directed by Adam McKay.

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver

An Australian photojournalist encounters danger, intrigue and politics in mid-Sixties Indonesia. An early hit for Gibson. Directed by Peter Weir.

Broadcast News (1987) Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, William Hurt

Foiled ambition, political in-fighting and vacuous anchormen in the dog-eat-dog world of US cable news. Directed by James L Brooks.

The Parallax View (1974) Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss

A small-town alcoholic news reporter stumbles across a conspiracy to silence the witnesses of a political assassination and pursues the story in terrier-like fashion. Absolutely gripping. Directed by Alan J Pakula.

Talk Radio (1988) Eric Bogosian, Ellen Greene

Early foray into the world of the radio shock-jock and the potentially dangerous consequences of being too rude to your nutter callers. Directed by Oliver Stone.

Private Parts (1997) Howard Stern, Mary McCormack

Foul-mouthed iconic shock jock Stern's autobiographical account of his battle for the right to be rude in public. Directed by Betty Thomas.

Under Fire (1983) Nick Nolte, Joanna Cassidy

"I don't take sides, I take pictures," says war photographer Nolte in this edgy, intelligent drama set in Central America. Cassidy excels as a tough journalist. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode.

Ace in the Hole (1951) Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling

A failed reporter spots a scoop in New Mexico - a man trapped by rockfall - and spins it into a nationwide carnival while the victim dies. An acidulous look at media exploitation. Directed by Billy Wilder.

His Girl Friday (1939) Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell

This adaptation of The Front Page is the fastest-talking movie ever. Directed by Howard Hawks.

Newsfront (1978) Bill Hunter, Chris Haywood

An ambitious Australian flick, showing three decades of shifting history as recorded by a newsreel cameraman. Directed by Phillip Noyce.

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