Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

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Anchorman:
The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Movie poster Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam McKay
Produced byJudd Apatow
Written byWill Ferrell
Adam McKay
Narrated byBill Kurtis
Starring
Music byAlex Wurman
CinematographyThomas E. Ackerman
Editing byBrent White
StudioApatow Productions
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures
Release dates
  • July 9, 2004 (2004-07-09)
Running time95 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$26 million[2]
Box office$90,574,188[2]
 
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Anchorman:
The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Movie poster Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam McKay
Produced byJudd Apatow
Written byWill Ferrell
Adam McKay
Narrated byBill Kurtis
Starring
Music byAlex Wurman
CinematographyThomas E. Ackerman
Editing byBrent White
StudioApatow Productions
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures
Release dates
  • July 9, 2004 (2004-07-09)
Running time95 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$26 million[2]
Box office$90,574,188[2]

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, or simply Anchorman, is a 2004 comedy film directed by Adam McKay, produced by Judd Apatow, starring Will Ferrell, and written by McKay and Ferrell. The film is a tongue-in-cheek take on the culture of the 1970s, particularly the new Action News format.[3] It portrays a San Diego TV station where Ferrell's title character clashes with his new female counterpart. This film is number 100 on Bravo's 100 funniest movies, and 113 on Empire's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

The film made $28.4 million in its opening weekend, and $90.6 million worldwide in its total theatrical run. A companion film assembled from outtakes and abandoned subplots, titled Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, was released straight-to-DVD in late 2004.

A sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, was released on December 18, 2013.[4][5][6]

Plot[edit]

In the mid-1970s, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the famous anchorman for a local San Diego television station, fictional KVWN channel 4. He works alongside his friends on the news team: lead field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), and intellectually disabled chief meteorologist Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Station director Ed Harken (Fred Willard) notifies the team that they have maintained their long-held status as the highest-rated news program in San Diego, leading them to throw a wild party, where Ron unsuccessfully tries to pick up a beautiful, blonde woman (Christina Applegate). Ed later informs the team that they have been forced to hire Veronica Corningstone, the same woman whom Ron tried to pick up. After a series of inept attempts by the team to seduce her, she finally relents and consents to a "professional tour" of the city with Ron, culminating in a sexual relationship. Despite agreeing to keep the relationship discreet, Ron announces it on air.

After a dispute with a motorcyclist (Jack Black) involving Ron's dog, Baxter, being punted off the San Diego–Coronado Bridge, Ron is late to work. Veronica fills in for him on-air, and the couple break up. Veronica is made co-anchor, to the disgust of the team, and the two co-anchors become fierce rivals, both on and off the air. Depressed, the news team decides to buy new suits, but Brick, who was leading the way, gets them lost in a shady part of town. Confronted by competitor Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) and his news team, Ron challenges them to a fight. However, when several other news teams converge on the site, a full-on melee ensues, broken up only by police sirens. When they return to the studio, Ron gets in another heated argument with Veronica, and they get in a physical fight after she insults his hair, increasing tensions even more.

One of Veronica's co-workers tells her that Ron will read anything written on the teleprompter, so she sneaks into the station and changes the text. The next day, Ron—oblivious to what he is saying—concludes his broadcast with, "Go fuck yourself, San Diego!", instead of his usual closing line, "Stay classy, San Diego!" which subsequently provokes an angry mob outside the studio, and Ed has to fire Ron. Guilt-ridden, Veronica tries apologizing, but Ron angrily dismisses her. Ron becomes unemployed, friendless, and heavily antagonized by the public. Meanwhile, Veronica enjoys fame, although her male co-workers hate her. Ed tells Champ, Brick, and Brian that they are not allowed to talk to Ron or they will be fired. When a panda is about to give birth, all the news teams in San Diego head to the zoo to cover the story. In an attempt to sabotage her, a rival news anchor pushes Veronica into a Kodiak bear enclosure. When Ed cannot find Veronica, he recruits Ron. Once at the zoo, Ron jumps in the bear pen to save Veronica, as the public watches helplessly. The news team then jumps in to save Ron. Just as a bear is about to attack, Baxter, who miraculously survived, appears and convinces the bear to spare them. As the group climbs out of the pit, Wes Mantooth appears and holds the ladder over the bear pit, threatening to drop Ron in, and tells him that deep down, he has always hated him, but suddenly pulls Ron to safety as he also respects him.

After Ron and Veronica reconcile, it is shown that in years to come, Brian becomes the host of a Fox reality show named Intercourse Island, Brick is married with 11 children and is a top political adviser to George W. Bush, Champ is a commentator for the NFL before getting fired after being accused by Terry Bradshaw of sexual harassment, and Ron and Veronica are co-anchors for the CNN-esque World News Center.

Cast[edit]

Cameos

Production[edit]

Even though Anchorman is set in San Diego, the real San Diego is only seen in brief aerial shots—modern shots which include numerous buildings in downtown San Diego which have not yet been built or opened during the 1970s. According to the official production notes and "making of" documentary (both included on the DVD), Anchorman was actually filmed in Los Angeles, Glendale, and Long Beach on sets which were made to look like San Diego during the 1970s.

The film initially centered around the reporters tracking down a clumsy yet elusive group of hippie bank robbers known as "The Alarm Clock". This version of the film was met with poor test results, and a significant portion of the film was re-written and re-shot to replace the Alarm Clock with the current panda story. The original Alarm Clock version was re-edited, along with alternate takes of existing scenes, into a separate direct-to-video film entitled Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie.

Music[edit]

The film's musical score was composed by Alex Wurman. A soundtrack album compiling the songs used in the film was released on July 9, 2004. The "jazz flute" solo heard in the film is played by Katisse Buckingham, a Los Angeles based studio musician.[7][8][9]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Anchorman was released on July 9, 2004 in 3,091 theaters and grossed US$28.4 million in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $85,288,303 in North America and $5,285,885 in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $90,574,188, well above its $26 million budget.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 66% based on reviews from 196 critics.[10] At Metacritic it was given a weighted average score of 63% based on reviews from 38 critics.[11]

Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "Most of the time... Anchorman works, and a lot of the time it's very funny".[12] Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers also gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "If you sense the presence of recycled jokes from Animal House onward, you'd be right. But you'd be wrong to discount the comic rapport Ferrell has with his cohorts, notably the priceless Fred Willard as the harried station manager".[13] In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Owen Gleiberman gave the film a "C+" rating and wrote, "Yet for a comedy set during the formative era of happy-talk news, Anchorman doesn't do enough to tweak the on-camera phoniness of dum-dum local journalism".[14] USA Today gave the film three out of four stars and Claudia Puig wrote, "That he can make his anchorman chauvinistic, deluded and ridiculous but still manage to give him some humanity is testimony to Ferrell's comic talents".[15] In her review for the Los Angeles Times, Manohla Dargis wrote, "Tightly directed by newcomer Adam McKay, a former head writer on Saturday Night Live who cooked up the screenplay with Ferrell, Anchorman never reaches the sublime heights of that modern comedy classic There's Something About Mary. Big deal—it's a hoot nonetheless and the scaled-down aspirations seem smart".[16] Ben Stiller earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actor for his performance in the film.[citation needed]

Empire magazine ranked Ron Burgundy #26 in their "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters" poll.[17] Empire also ranked Anchorman at number 113 in their poll of the 500 Greatest Films Ever. Entertainment Weekly ranked Burgundy #40 in their "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years" poll and Ferrell said, "He is my favorite character I've played, if I have to choose one ... Looking back, that makes it the most satisfying thing I've ever done".[18] He also stated later on that he had no idea that the film would take off like it did, saying "We had no idea that certain lines would be quoted the way they are and that the film would just take on this life after it left theatres, but thank god it did."[19]

Additional material[edit]

Ron's SportsCenter audition.

In the unrated version of Anchorman, there are four minutes worth of additional scenes that were not shown in the theaters to secure the PG-13 rating instead of an R rating:

The film Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie consisted of cut subplots, alternate takes, and some material already appearing in the original version, to create an entirely new plot line. It was released straight to DVD in 2004.[20]

Ron Burgundy Character[edit]

The physical appearance of the Ron Burgundy character was modeled after real-life news anchorman Harold Greene who worked at KCST-TV and KGTV in San Diego, CA during the mid-1970's.[21]

Sequel[edit]

In May 2008, McKay said that he and Ferrell have talked about wanting to do an Anchorman sequel.[5] Steve Carell told MTV he would reprise his role as Brick Tamland if the opportunity arose.[22] In an interview with ITV1's London Tonight[citation needed] in August 2008, Ferrell confirmed plans for a sequel but indicated it could take some time to happen.

On 23 March 2010, Ferrell said it was unlikely that a sequel would be made, telling Zoo Magazine[citation needed] that getting the cast together would be too hard. The following month, McKay said the studio had turned down a proposal for a sequel, even after McKay had told them Ferrell, Carell and Rudd would take pay cuts.[23]

On 3 May 2011, Ferrell publicly stated that Paramount, which owns the rights to Anchorman, had decided against the idea of a sequel, stating "We've run the numbers and it's not a good fit."[24]

On 28 March 2012, Ferrell appeared on Conan as Burgundy to announce a deal had been reached with Paramount to film a sequel to be directed by Adam McKay and produced by Judd Apatow.[6][25] The first official teaser poster was later released, revealing a potential title of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.[26] On May 21, 2012, a teaser trailer for the film was posted on Ferrell's website FunnyOrDie.com and an alternative trailer was attached to The Dictator. The film was scheduled to be released on December 20, 2013, but was moved up to December 18, 2013 as announced when Ferrell appeared on Conan on November 21, 2013.

On 14 November 2013 the Newseum in Washington D.C., in collaboration with Paramount, opened an exhibition relating to the sequel, including props from the movies.[27]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  1. ^ "ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2004-07-30. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy". e.tv. March 8, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ "'Anchorman 2' Release Date: The Legend Continues On Dec. 20, 2013". 19 Dec 2012. Retrieved 20 Dec 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Is Anchorman 2 Coming?". Collider. May 4, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  6. ^ a b Luippold, Ross (March 28, 2012). "'Anchorman' Sequel Confirmed: Will Ferrell As Ron Burgundy Tells News To Conan O'Brien". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Bio". Katisse Buckingham. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Katisse Buckingham". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Anchorman (2004)". Cast, Credits and Awards. New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/anchorman/
  11. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/movie/anchorman-the-legend-of-ron-burgundy
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 9, 2004). "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  13. ^ Travers, Peter (July 14, 2004). "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  14. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (July 7, 2004). "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  15. ^ Puig, Claudia (July 8, 2004). "Tune in to Anchorman". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  16. ^ Dargis, Manohla (July 9, 2004). "Anchorman". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-04. [dead link]
  17. ^ "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  18. ^ Ferrell, Will (June 4/11, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years". Entertainment Weekly. p. 64. 
  19. ^ "Talking To The Cast And Director Of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues At The NYC Premiere". 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  20. ^ "Find The Film movie trivia". Retrieved June 21, 2009. 
  21. ^ http://www.10news.com/entertainment/former-10news-anchor-jack-white-talks-about-consulting-on-anchorman-movie-050313
  22. ^ Carroll, Larry (June 4, 2008). "Steve Carell Says He's "Absolutely" Down For Anchorman Sequel". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike. "No Go On Paramount's 'Anchorman 2'?", Deadline.com, April 29, 2010
  24. ^ huffingtonpost.com
  25. ^ Conan
  26. ^ Rich, Katey (May 16, 2012). "Anchorman 2 Teaser Poster: The Legend Continues". Cinemablend. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ Today

External links[edit]