Whitney Danhauer

Spin Sucks Question: What’s Your Favorite Communications Movie?

By: Whitney Danhauer | August 9, 2019 | 
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spin sucksI can specifically remember when my love of movies was born.

I was five years old, laying on my stomach with my head propped up in my hands, while my entire family watched “Back to the Future”.

As a kid, I wanted to make people laugh like Marty McFly. I was obsessed with his ability to entertain my family.

As it turns out, I have a debilitating case of stage fright, so the dreams of me being an actress quickly faded into the sunset, but what sprouted in its place was a never-ending, near obsession, with movies.

For the last two weeks, the #SpinSucksQuestion has been all about books. So this time we’re turning our attention to the silver screen. We asked:

What’s your favorite communications movie? That is, a film that deals with the communications industry? 

This one was a little tricky because there aren’t many movies specifically about PR and communications.

So we made the net to qualify as a communications movie pretty big, and our Spin Sucks community had no problems coming up with their answers.

Spin Sucks Community Picks for Best Communications Movie—Outliers

Casie Yoder:

I think George Clooney’s movie “Up in the Air” should be on this list because he has the magic touch at delivering the WORST news—and when the hot young upstart tries to automate the process she quickly learns you can’t take the humanity out of tough situations and expect it to go well.

Kristy Cartier:

This is a (super-long) stretch, but I adore “The Last Samurai”. It’s a bit about miscommunication with the bad guy spinning tales. However, its two quotes at the end resonate with me—”I will miss our conversations” and “I will tell you how he lived.”

Katie Robbert:

It’s a stretch, but “The Commitments“—where the manager, Jimmy Rabbit, is forever trying to get the band gigs and PR.

We Think Journalists Count!

Nik Korba:

“Scoop” with Scarlett Johansson has got to make the top ten.  And “The Post”, in which Tom Hanks was amazing.

Shane Carpenter:

“Spotlight”. It’s about the Boston Globe investigation into child sex abuse by Catholic priests and its cover-up by the Church. It’s a classic drama starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams.

Dawn Buford:

“Network”….an oldie but a goodie (and sort of a precursor of what was to come in regards to network news).  Or even “All The President’s Men”, a great movie with Dustin Hoffman AND Robert Redford.

Lauren Anderson:

“13 Going On 30”, if only for the quote “30, Flirty, and Thriving.” I also really enjoyed her approach to giving the magazine a new life in a world where print magazines were dying.

Press Agents and Public Affairs

Martin Waxman:

My choice is an old, black and white movie: “Sweet Smell of Success” starring Tony Curtis as the press agent who would do anything to get a client in bold type, and Burt Lancaster, as a powerful columnist (his regular restaurant booth has a private rotary phone!), who manipulates a desperate-for-coverage Curtis. It’s bleak, dark, funny, and a good reminder of why we need to be ethical in our practice!

Roger Friedensen:

First one that came to mind was “Wag the Dog”, then “His Girl Friday”, but I guess if I had to pick just one movie that deals with the communication industry, I’d have to go with “A Hard Day’s Night”, because, you know, music that connects is the ultimate communication tool!

Ozan Toptas:

Oh, “Wag the Dog” and “Spotlight”. Both are awesome. I think “Wag the Dog’s” message on communications planning is amazing. Communications is rarely about advertisement—there is a huge other aspect, which is sometimes overlooked.

And Now It’s Time for Your Close-Up

Is there a movie you believe really embraces the communications industry?

While they’re not a super common theme, they do exist!

We want to know your answers.

We’re always looking to add more films to our list, so here’s your chance.

If you want to participate in upcoming Spin Sucks Questions, fill out this form here and join our community.

And now, over to you as we fade out from another post …

About Whitney Danhauer


Whitney is living in Central Kentucky with her husband, Michael and her daughter, Evie Rose. She's an avid reader, an even more avid movie watcher, and loves nothing more than a well-placed pop culture reference. By day she writes about all things communications for Spin Sucks, by night she writes about whatever she wants. Her first novel, Good Riddance, was released in October of 2015.