Live from Baghdad

Live from Baghdad is a 2002 American made-for-TV movie about a CNN television crew deployed to Iraq during Operation Desert Shield and suddenly makes history with the only live broadcast of Operation Desert Storm's opening attacks in Baghdad, Iraq.

Directed by Mick Jackson. Written by Robert Wiener, Richard Chapman, John Patrick Shanley, and Timothy J. Sexton, based on Wiener's book of the same name. Starring Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter.
Breaking News - Making History. (taglines)


[Iraqi Information Minister Naji al-Hadithi meets Robert Wiener the day after the CNN team activates its four-wire link]
Iraqi Information Minister Naji al-Hadithi: You deceived us.
Robert Wiener: What do you mean?
Al-Hadithi: The four-wire. It allows you to speak directly to Atlanta.
Wiener: How did you find out?
Al-Hadithi: We are the Ministry of Information.
Wiener: You're here to take it back?
Al-Hadithi: No. We trust you... to use it responsibly. [sees him smoke] Does that make you uneasy?

[Robert Weiner talks to the CNN executives in Atlanta on whether to pull his entire team out of Baghdad, with the UN's January 15 deadline for withdrawing from Kuwait already passed]
Tom Johnson: Look, it's a terrific opportunity, Robert. But no story is worth risking your life.
Ed Turner: No story is worth risking your life. but this is a story of a lifetime. I'm not telling you what to do. I don't know what you should do.
Weiner: What would you do, Ed?
Turner: Shit, Robert. Robert, what do you want me to say?
Johnson: I just spoke with President Bush. He's talking to me about taking you out of there.
Weiner: What about Ted Turner?
Johnson: He's said "we're an international news service and we'll continue to broadcast."
Weiner: Ed, can you pick up the phone?
Turner: [no longer on speakerphone] What do you think?
Weiner: I'm gonna stay. I'm gonna ride it out. Hey, it's my walk on the moon.

[The al-Rashid Hotel's guests have been ushered into the bomb shelter and Robert Weiner is restless knowing Bernard Shaw and the others are still up on their room covering the antiaircraft fire]
John Holliman: [on audio] The last explosion was in the western part of the city near the Defense Ministry. Bernie?
Bernard Shaw: If this is surgical bombing... I don't like being this close to the operating table.
Ingrid Formanek: [reacting] Good one, Bernie!
Inky: [as Peter Arnett speaks] You killed us, Wiener. You own this war... bet you wish you were up there?
Robert Wiener: No. This is not about me.

[After the all-clear siren is announced at 5AM on January 17, the CNN rejoice at the successful broadcast but a team of Iraqi soldiers led by al-Hadithi enter their room]
Iraqi Information Minister Naji al-Hadithi: I'm sorry, but I have orders. Stop your reporting immediately. You can record your stories but we must review them.
Robert Wiener: Naji, that's not going to work. We're into it now, man. You don't understand -
Al-Hadithi: Robert, these are my orders.
Four-wire: Baghdad, this is Atlanta.
Iraqi soldier: Hands up!
al-Hadithi: Get back!
John Holliman: Can I just... [long pause; al-Hadithi nods at him]
Four-wire: Baghdad, this is Atlanta. Come in.
Holliman: This is John Holliman reporting from Baghdad. Our executive producer, Robert Wiener, has an Iraqi official here. Robert, [al-Hadithi seems poised to receive the transmitter but Holliman gives it to Wiener instead] can you tell us what's happening here?
Wiener: Yeah, unfortunately we've been ordered by the Iraqi government to cease transmitting. We've been informed that any future reports are subject to-
Iraqi soldier: Stop that!
Wiener: [startled by new explosions in the distance] Under these new regulations, we cannot report that the latest attack is continuing... and that black clouds of smoke can be seen in the direction of Saddam International Airport. [rapid delivery as the Iraqis loudly ask him to stop and al-Hadithi moves past Peter Arnett] The Ministry of Information has informed us that we can't report any of this without their approval. This is Robert Wiener, CNN, reporting live from Baghdad.
Soldier: That is enough!
Wiener: Okay, it's off. [shuts down four-wire transmitter] See? It's off.


  • Breaking News - Making History.
  • The Gulf War, 1991. No story is worth dying for - but this was the story of a lifetime.


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