Mike Wallace Is Here

The Plot:

Fearsome newsman Mike Wallace went head-to-head with the 20th century’s most influential figures for over 50 years. This documentary relies exclusively on archival footage, and “Mike Wallace Is Here” interrogates the interrogator through his career, touching on a troubled personal life and his bouts with depression.

Lynn's Take:

Broadcasting legend Myron Leon “Mike” Wallace carved his niche by asking tough questions. He never lobbed softballs and that’s why the phrase “Mike Wallace Is Here” struck fear in many people.

This meticulously researched film includes a cavalcade of who’s who in the 20th century – from Nixon to Putin, Bette Davis to Barbra Streisand, Malcolm X to Louis Farrakhan. It makes for a remarkable contrast in broadcast journalism then and now.

After dabbling in advertising, radio, acting, hosting game shows, he hosted his own show in New York City, “Night-Beat,” which became “The Mike Wallace Interview,” which ran nationally from 1957 to 1960. Then in 1968, he joined a new news magazine show on CBS called “60 Minutes,” where he remained for 37 years, until his retirement in 2006.

His relentless hard-hitting style earned praise and infuriated people preferring easy questions.

Above all, he was a truth seeker. His healthy skepticism and abrasive personality made him a household name, but this movie also speaks to the soul of journalism.

Wallace died at age 93 in 2012. His work ethic and his personal beliefs set him apart too. As this movie clearly shows, we sure could use him as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.

The movie reflects on both what was but what should be.