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Filmography and book list from LFB festive quiz

BELOW, IN no particular order, are the films, TV series, books and one comic referenced in LFB's 2021 seasonal quiz. The films and TV show all feature either fictional journalists or are based on true stories of journalistic endeavour. The books are either works of fiction written by journalists, or non-fiction works by journalists.

Recruitment poster featuring a journalist alone in an office

What newspaper's office features in The Day the Earth Caught Fire?

Several participants in the quiz requested this list. One commented in the chat text: "I clearly don't go to the pictures enough." The entries link either to the Internet Movie Database or to GoodReads, to allow you to find copies to view or read via various online retailers (others are available!) or in some cases via libraries.

Films featuring fictional journalists

The Day The Earth Caught Fire (1961, UK) - directed by Val Guest, written by Wolf Mankowitz and Val Guest, starring Edward Judd, Janet Munro and Leo McKern.

The Front Page (US, 1931) - directed by Lewis Milestone, adapted by Bartlett McCormack from a stage play by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur.

His Girl Friday (US, 1940) - directed by Howard Hawks, written by Charles Lederer - from the stage play by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur, starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell. His Girl Friday is a remake of The Front Page (1931) - which was made yet again in 1974 with Jack Lemmon.

Deadline (US, 1952) - written and directed by Richard Brooks, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter.

All the King's Men (US, 1949) - directed and adapted by Robert Rosen from the novel by Robert Penn Wright, starring Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru.

All the King's Men (US, 2006 remake) - directed and adapted by Steven Zaillian from the novel by Robert Penn Wright, starring Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslett.

The China Syndrome (US, 1979) - directed by James Bridges, written by James Bridges, Mike Grey, TS Cook, starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemon, Michael Douglas.

Ace in the Hole (US, 1951) - directed by Billy Wilder, written by Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman, starring Michael Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur.

Dear White People (US, 2014, feature film) - written and directed by Justin Simien, starring Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner.

Citizen Kane (US, 1941) - directed by Orsen Wells, written by Orson Wells, Herman J Mankiewicz, John Houseman, starring Orson Wells, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore.

La Dolce Vita (Italy, 1960) - directed by Federico Fellini, written by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tulio Pirelli, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimee.

Books: fiction by journalists

The Burning Land, George Aligiah, 2019.

Union Jack, Val McDermid, 1993

Novels by Jilly Cooper, who under her birth name Jill Sallitt was a reporter on the The Middlesex Independent and then under her married name had a column in the Sunday Times magazine.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, 2005.

Towards the End of the Morning, Michael Frayn, 1967.

Scoop, Evelyn Waugh, 1938.

The Devil That Danced On The Water, Aminatta Forna, 2002.

New Grub Street, George Gissing, 1891.

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, 2017.

The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead, 2020.

The Harlem Shuffle Colson Whitehead, 2021.

Books: non-fiction by journalists

Flat Earth News, Nick Davies, 2008. For a report on a special LFB meeting featuring Nick Davies talking about Flat Earth News in 2009, see here.

Ten Days That Shook the World, John Reed, 1919.

All the President's Men, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, 1974.

Films: based on a true story

Veronica Guerin (UK, Ireland, US, 2003) directed by Joel Schumacher, written by Carol Doyle, Mary Agnes Donoghue, starring Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell.

All the President's Men (US, 1976) – directed by Alan J Pakula, adapted by William Goldman from the book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

The Killing Fields (US, 1984) directed by Ronald Joffé, written by Bruce Robinson, starring Sam Waterson, Haing S Ngor, John Malkovich.

Spotlight (US, 2015) - directed by Tom McCarthy, written by Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams. The investigation in the film is "Church allowed abuse by priests for years", Boston Globe, 6 January 2002, by the Globe Spotlight team.

The Post (US, 2017) – directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson.

Official Secrets (UK, 2019) - directed by Gavin Hood, written by Gavin Hood, Sara Bernstein, Gregory Bernstein, starring Keira Knightley, Matt Smith.

Good Night, And Good Luck (US, 2005) - directed by George Clooney, written by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, starring David Strathrain, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson.

Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) - directed by Art Linton, written by John Kaye loosely based on books and articles by Hunter S. Thompson, starring Bill Murray, Peter Boyle.

Reds (US, 1989) - directed by Warren Beatty, based on the book Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed, starring Warren Beatty.


Small Axe (UK, 2020, TV docudrama series ) - directed by Steve McQueen. Episode 1, "Mangrove" features the story of journalist Darcus Howe.

Dear White People (US, 2017-2021, TV series) - "creator" Justin Simien, starring Logan Browning, Brandon P Bell.

Lou Grant (US, TV series, 1977-1982), created by James L. Brooks, Allan Burns, Gene Reynolds, starring Ed Asner.

Drop The Dead Donkey (UK, 1991-1998, TV series) - created by Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin, starring Neil Pearson, Jeff Rawle, David Swift.

Roger Mellie – The Man on the Telly (UK, 1991, animated TV series) with the voices of Roger Cook, Harry Enfield.


Roger Mellie – The Man on the Telly (strip in Viz comic since 1981).

...and a newspaper

There was a question in the quiz on Pippa Crerar and her exposés for the Daily Mirror. These include:

See also: