It’s hard to believe that just 20 years ago, it was possible for a news show to come up with a story which could totally destroy a multi-billion dollar industry. However, as The Insider shows, even then it was not that easy. Corporate cowardice and legal maneuvering came very close to scuttling this story, which in the end precipitated the – if not fall, at least major swoon – of cigarette companies in the US.
The Insider is a slightly whitewashed version of the story of Jeffrey Weigand, a former management worker for major tobacco company Brown & Williamson who became a whistle-blower in a story for the iconic news magazine 60 Minutes, only to have his life disrupted, his family threatened, his new job as a teacher smeared, and eventually find that due to legal worries by CBS Television, his story would not even run.
It’s real life as a corporate espionage thriller and the two and a half hours fly by much more smoothly than you’d expect. And this is mostly down to an intriguing story and some spectacular acting.
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