A compelling though often heavy-handed drama, THE GREAT MAN is told in interviews conducted by investigative reporter Ferrer. He has been assigned by his network to work up an in-depth profile of a prominent radio personality who has recently died in a car accident--a tribute to the
departed "great man." Accompanied by pretty assistant Gilbert, Ferrer interviews Ed Wynn, a pious New England station owner who gave the "great man" his first break; the great man's mistress, London; his one-time manager, Keenan Wynn; and network president Jagger. What emerges is the portrait of a
callous, manipulative, and thoroughly rotten apple. When Ferrer confronts Jagger with the truth about his subject, he is told that the tribute will still take place and that no critical remarks about the deceased will be tolerated. Ferrer himself goes on the air, but throws away the lying script
and reveals the truth about the dead man, knowing it will mean the end of his career. This was the first indictment of network manipulation of public opinion, and it was almost as revealing and shocking as A FACE IN THE CROWD which followed the next year. Ferrer, who also directed and wrote the
script, does a stunning job, ably supported by London as the sultry and discarded mistress. Ed Wynn and son Keenan are also impressive in the roles as background characters.
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