Truth is a 2015 American political docudrama film directed by James Vanderbilt, his directorial debut.
It is based on American journalist and television news producer Mary Mapes' memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. The film focuses on the Killian documents controversy and the last days of news anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes at CBS News. It stars Cate Blanchett as Mapes and Robert Redford as Rather.
Truth had its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It is released in the United States by Sony Pictures Classics, beginning in limited release on October 16, 2015.
- Directed by: James Vanderbilt
- Produced by: Brad Fischer, William Sherak, James Vanderbilt, Mikkel Bondesen, Doug Mankoff, Andy Spaulding, Brett Ratner
- Written by: James Vanderbilt
- Based on: Truth and Duty by Mary Mapes
- Starring: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Elizabeth Moss, David Lyons, Dennis Quaid
- Music by: Brian Tyler
- Cinematography: Mandy Walker
- Edited by: Richard Francis-Bruce
- Country: United States
- Language: English
- Running time: 121 minutes
- Budget: N/A
- Box Office: $1 million
- Release date: October 16, 2015
- Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics
Mary Mapes, producer of the primetime news program 60 Minutes Wednesday, her crew, and eminent CBS national news anchorDan Rather face accuracy questions following the airing, in the months before the US 2004 presidential election, of a report that President George W. Bush, then seeking re-election, had in the early 1970s received preferential treatment from officials of theTexas Air National Guard. The allegation included concealing Bush's failure to meet even minimal training and performance requirements, and his absence from the Air Guard for most of 1972 following a transfer to the Alabama Air National Guard.
The core documents on which these allegations were based were immediately called into question by a variety of sources. The controversy about the documents being forgeries first appeared on a blog, which was then investigated and amplified by various talk radio hosts, bloggers and numerous mainstream media sources, including The Washington Post and CBS itself. They found that certain characteristics of the memos, such as its font and letter spacing, indicated the memos were created on a computer using Microsoft Word, and therefore could not have been typed on a typewriter in the early 1970s. Subsequently, the person who produced the documents admitted that he'd lied about their provenance
- Cate Blanchett - Mary Mapes
- Robert Redford - Dan Rather
- Topher Grace - Mike Smith
- Elizabeth Moss - Lucy Scott
- David Lyons - Josh Howard
- Dennis Quaid - Colonel Roger Charles
- John Benjamin Hickey - Mark Wrolstad - Stacy Keach - Bill Burkett
- Rachel Blake - Betsy West
The score to Truth was written by Brian Tyler.
|2. Mr. Gateau|
|3. Meeting Daisy|
|4. A New Life|
|5. Love in Murmansk|
|6. Meeting Again|
|7. Mr. Button|
|8. "Little Man" Oti|
|9. Alone at Night|
|10. It Was Nice to Have Met You|
|11. Children's Games|
|12. Submarine Attack|
|13. The Hummingbird|
|14. Sunrise on Lake Pontchartrain|
|15. Daisy's Ballet Career|
|16. The Accident|
|17. Stay Out of My Life|
|18. Nothing Lasts|
|19. Some Things You Never Forget|
|20. Growing Younger|
|21. Dying Away|
|22. Love Returns|
|23. Benjamin and Daisy|
The film is based on Mary Mapes' 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power. It is produced by Mythology Entertainment. The film had been in development since 2007. In July 2014, it was announced that Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett would portray veteran CBS News anchor Dan Rather and 60 Minutes Wednesday producer Mary Mapes, respectively. In September 2014, Elisabeth Moss joined the cast as CBS associate producer Lucy Scott, and Dennis Quaid was cast as Colonel Roger Charles. Topher Grace and John Benjamin Hickey joined the film in October, as researcher Mike Smith, and Mark Wrolstad, Mapes' husband, respectively. Bruce Greenwood was cast as Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News. In November, David Lyons was added to the cast as Josh Howard, 60 Minutesexecutive producer and Mapes' supervisor. Mandy Walker is the cinematographer, and Fiona Crombie is production designer.
The film's production budget is under $15 million.
On May 18, 2015, it was announced that Sony Pictures Classics had acquired United States distribution rights. The film was selected to be screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015, and was selected as the Opening Night film of the 23rd Hamptons International Film Festival. It premiered in the UK at the BFI London Film Festival. The film was released in the United States on October 16, 2015
Critical response Edit
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Truth has a 58% approval rating based on reviews from 95 critics, with an average rating of 6.2 out of 10. The site's critical consensus states: "Truth 's terrific cast and compelling message are often enough to overcome its occasionally didactic and facile dramatization of a nuanced real-life tale." OnMetacritic, the film has received a weighted average score of 66 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Response from CBS Edit
In September, a source close to the film said CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves did not approve of the film, but did not ask producers for major changes. A source at CBS said it was not planning on publicly condemning the film. In October, Gil Schwartz, the chief spokesman for CBS who is depicted in the film, said "It's astounding how little truth there is in Truth. There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all. The film tries to turn gross errors of journalism and judgment into acts of heroism and martyrdom." Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News at the time of the incidents and depicted in the film, said he had not seen the film, but knew its story and was outraged at its portrayals, adding that "only Hollywood could come up with that." CBS refused to advertise the film because of the movie's "inaccuracies and distortions" which would offend CBS News employees. Some at CBS News are "angered" with the film's implication that news executives were pressured to revoke the story by corporate owner Viacom, which "had business reasons to maintain friendly relations with the Bush administration."
Response from film's producer Edit
In a statement, the film's producers stated, "Although we understand CBS wants to put this episode behind them, it’s disappointing that they seem to be so concerned about our film...The events depicted in Truth are still vigorously debated, and that’s a good thing". Brad Fischer, one of the producers, said that a negative response from CBS was not unexpected, but what was surprising is the "tone and the emotional nature" of the response. He said that the filmmakers were "attracted by the intersection of news, politics and business and the story's status as one of the first to be undone by an Internet outcry" and that he hopes people "talk about the issues and ask the questions themselves...I don't think it's our job as filmmakers to draw a conclusion, but rather to pose the questions.