"The Insider" Is Released

The Insider is a 1999 film that tells the true story of a 60 Minutes television series exposé of the tobacco industry, as seen through the eyes of a real tobacco executive, Jeffrey Wigand.

The 60 Minutes story originally aired in November 1995 in an altered form because CBS' then-owner, Laurence Tisch, objected. The story was later aired on February 4, 1996.

The film stars Al Pacino (Lowell Bergman), Russell Crowe (Jeffrey Wigand), Christopher Plummer (Mike Wallace), Bruce McGill (attorney Ron Motley), Diane Venora, Michael Gambon, Philip Baker Hall (Don Hewitt), Lindsay Crouse, Gina Gershon, Debi Mazar, Rip Torn and Colm Feore.

The movie was adapted by Eric Roth and Michael Mann from the Vanity Fair magazine article "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by Marie Brenner. It was directed by Mann.

It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Russell Crowe), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

Michael Mann directs this taut thriller about the tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand with pulse-quickening panache. And he illustrates why, in the corporate climate of the 90's, truth-telling is a riskier business than it was circa "All the President's Men." While Al Pacino delivers galvanizing moral outrage as a producer for "60 Minutes," and Christopher Plummer wickedly mimics Mike Wallace, Russell Crowe movingly captures the complexity of Mr. Wigand's situation. Shaky docudrama ethics cloud the film's take on "60 Minutes." But this is an inordinately well-played thriller, with Mr. Mann's stylistic brio at its best. — Janet Maslin, The New York Times