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Confessions of a dangerous mind - Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, George Clooney

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Some things are better left top secret.

"My name is Charles Hirsch Barris. I have written pop songs, I have been a television producer. I am responsible for polluting the airwaves with mind-numbing puerile entertainment. In addition, I have murdered thirty-three human beings."

Young, energetic, and focused on a top career in the growing television industry, Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) finds himself being followed by a suspicious character who quickly lures him into a secretive and dangerous world: that of a CIA operative. While Barris gains notoriety as a dynamic television producer - creating such innovative and popular game shows as The newly-wed game and the self-hosted The gong show - he regularly performs assassinations for the USA government. As ratings rise, Barris incorporates his shows into his secret life: winning couples on The dating game find themselves shipped off to "fabulous Helsinki" and "romantic West Berlin" for their dream dates - it isn't Paris, but it provides chaperone Barris a cover for his covert missions.

As Barris basks in the glamour of his two worlds - entertainment and espionage - his life begins to spiral out of control. He is torn between the woman who loves him and the mysterious woman of his fantasies. He receives mass criticism from the public who accuses him of contaminating the airwaves. and he finds himself marked for death by a traitor operative.

Barris must regain control of his life. Both of them.

Persons of interest

  • Sam Rockwell .... Chuck Barris
  • George Clooney .... Agent Jim Byrd, Director
  • Drew Barrymore .... Penny
  • Julia Roberts .... Patricia Watson
  • Rutger Hauer .... Keeler
  • Michael Ensign .... Simon Oliver
  • Emilio Rivera .... Manny Benitez
  • Jerry Weintraub .... Larry Goldberg
  • Chuck Barris .... Author
  • Charlie Kaufman .... Screenwriter

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Like many films, Confessions of a dangerous mind is based on a book that was written by some criminal/hero who turns out to be not as much of a hero as he makes out. Like Chopper, they never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn. Charles Hirsch Barris is of this ilk.

Being a "biographical" movie, Confessions of a dangerous mind is trapped in the 1-2-3 mode of story-telling, giving you a glimpse of the most interesting years of Charles Hirsch's life. And what a camp old time he had. Television game shows, pop songs, international espionage. Sounds like a day in the life of a boy band.

Sam Rockwell continues his good work, being very characterful. I just made that word up. George Clooney is a bit bland as the international man of mystery: he should've stayed behind the camera (I'm not fond of directors who cast themselves). Julia Roberts starts out unidentifiable but devolves into just another Julia Roberts performance. None of this, however, undercuts the fact that Confessions of a dangerous mind is a fun romp through the mind of a creative un-genius. Perfect for the arty-alternative crowd.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
  • Disc: Single side, dual layer
  • Languages: English, German
  • Picture: Widescreen (2.35:1)
  • Special features:
    • Commentaries: Director George Clooney and Director of Photography Newton Thomas Sigal
    • Documentaries: Behind the scenes
    • Featurettes:
      • Gong show acts
      • The real Chuck Barris
    • Galleries: Stills
    • Screen test: Sam Rockwell
  • Subtitles: English, English captions, English closed captions, German

Security censorship classification

MA 15 + (Adult themes)

Surveillance time

113 minutes (1:53 minutes)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 24 July 2003
DVD retail: 21 April 2004

Cinema surveillance images

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