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Read all about it: The top 10 newspaper movies

By Jake Coyle

Associated Press


As an entry into the pantheon of great newspaper movies, Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers drama “The Post” is inked with deep affection for the analog apparatus of the newspaper business, circa 1971: the hum of broadsheets rolling through the presses, the metal clanking of handset type, the thump of a newsstand’s morning delivery.

The lede on “The Post,” which is considered a contender for Tuesday’s Oscar nominations, is that it has resurrected a chapter in journalism history to shed light on today’s battles between the press and a White House that critics claim is disdainful of the Fourth Estate.

And if Spielberg’s film is as timely as a morning edition blaring an urgent headline, it’s also a knowing entry in a long-running series: the newspaper movie. It’s a section of cinema that might not fill a Sunday paper but, movie for movie, has a higher batting average than most any genre. And if you think that’s a biased opinion, of course it is. We reporters love to see ourselves on screen, in all our khaki glory, depicted as crusading heroes for the truth – and it doesn’t hurt when the likes of Tom Hanks and Robert Redford play us.

But it’s worth remembering that one of the greatest films ever made, “Citizen Kane,” is a story laid out for an inquisitive obituary newsreel producer. From “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962) to last year’s “Jackie,” reporters are often stand-ins for the audience, the ears to a good story. In other films, journalists are a less cloak-and-dagger version of detectives, following leads and piecing together a mystery.

It’s a surprisingly robust genre, from Humphrey Bogart’s heroics in “Deadline – U.S.A.”

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