QU to sponsor free screening of ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ next week at Criterion Cinemas

Allison Corneau

QU’s School of Communications is set to host a screening of the new black-and-white feature “Good Night, and Good Luck,” next Wednesday, Oct. 26, at New Haven’s Criterion Cinemas.

SOC Dean David Donnelly organized the Quinnipiac-only screening of the film, which is set for a local release Oct. 21. As a special treat for the audience, the event will feature a question and answer session with Ruth Friendly, the widow of former CBS producer Fred Friendly, who is portrayed in the film by actor George Clooney.

Detailing the 1950’s struggle between famed broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy, in which McCarthy accused Murrow of being a Communist, the new film also stars Frank Langella, Robert Downey, Jr., and David Strathairn as Murrow.

Donnelly is excited to teach QU students about Friendly, whose family continues to maintain a relationship with the university. “He’s not the most recognizable person,” Donnelly says of Friendly, “but he was a behind the scenes producer, and president of CBS news for a while.

“A lot of our journalists-a lot of our communications students-are going to be behind the scenes (and will have) a huge influence over the news. What journalists do is really important (as is) the whole role of journalists’ in society. (This film) is a great example of what journalists are supposed to do.”

The screening event came together when Quinnipiac approached Friendly’s widow, who agreed to attend and answer questions at the event.

According to Donnelly, the relationship with Mrs. Friendly and her family has only been strengthened since the university introduced its Fred Friendly Award, handed out annually in the late broadcaster’s name to a national media personality. Past winners have included NBC’s Tim Russert, Friendly’s co-worker Don Hewitt, and the late Peter Jennings. QU Professor Lou Adler, who once worked with Friendly, is named as the university’s Fred Friendly Professor of Broadcast Journalism.

“My goal is to have every communications student know who Fred Friendly is, why he’s a good role model and why we give this award away.

“He’s not just a good role model for journalists, he’s a good role model for journalism educators,” Donnelly said, adding that he has high hopes for the screening. “Even though (Friendly is) a minor character in the film, it’s just a great way to get people involved.”

For more information or to obtain free tickets, while supplies last, contact Barbara Baker at ext. 3498. Bus transportation to the theater will be available to ticket holders at no charge.

To learn more about Fred Friendly’s career and the university’s Fred Friendly Award, log on to http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x16536.xml.