It was a phrase that struck terror in the hearts of shady businessmen and corrupt politicians, what was referred to as the four most-feared words in the English language: "Mike Wallace is here."
For a half-century the veteran journalist brought his no-holds-barred interview style to radio and television, most notably to CBS News where, as part of the team of "60 Minutes," Wallace helped define the hard-hitting journalistic coups that became the award-winning program's stock-in-trade.
Wallace's career, his showmanship, and his role in helping shape broadcast journalism today are now the subject of a new documentary, "Mike Wallace Is Here." With access to never-before-seen materials from the vaults of CBS News, filmmaker Avi Belkin uses all-archival footage to create a portrait of Wallace that details the development of his reporting style, and how he used it to interview some of the most famous and infamous figures of the 20th century.
"Mike Wallace Is Here" marks the first time CBS News and "60 Minutes" have ever opened their archives completely to an outside filmmaker, allowing access to outtakes and raw footage from Wallace's most notable interviews. "I had my pick of over 50 years of unparalleled archival footage," said Belkin. "It was a dream."
The film also examines Wallace's role in two stories that became seminal clashes between journalists and the powerful forces they confront: The 1982 libel suit brought against Wallace and CBS by retired U.S. Army General. William Westmoreland; and the pushback from cigarette manufacturer Brown & Williamson over Wallace's 1996 "60 Minutes" report about tobacco industry whistleblower Dr. Jeffrey Wigand.
Following its premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, "Mike Wallace Is Here" will be released in theatres by Magnolia Pictures on July 26.
To watch the trailer, click on the video player below.
For more info:
- "Mike Wallace Is Here" (Official site)