Shattered Glass (film)

2003 film by Billy Ray

Shattered Glass is a 2003 American film about disgraced journalist Stephen Glass, who in 1998 was caught fabricating many of the stories he wrote for The New Republic.

Directed and written by Billy Ray, based on a 1998 Vanity Fair article of the same name by H. G. Bissinger.
Read between the lies.taglines

Andy Fox edit

  • The New Republic, snobbiest rag in the business, the in-flight magazine of Air Force One... and their star goes out and gets completely snowed by a bunch of hackers. I mean, God couldn't have written this any better.

Stephen Glass edit

  • It's true, journalism is hard work. Everyone is under pressure, everyone's grinding to get the issue out. No one is getting enough sleep. But you are allowed to smile. Even Woodward and Bernstein went out for a burger every once in a while. And they won a Pulitzer. Some reporters think that it's political content that makes a story. I think it's the people — their quirks, their flaws, what makes them funny, what makes them human. Journalism is just the art of capturing behavior. You have to know who you're writing for, you have to know what you're good at. I record what people do. I find out what moves them, what scares them, and I write that down. That way, they're the ones who are telling the story. And, you know what? Those kinds of pieces can win Pulitzers too.
  • There's so many show-offs in journalism, so many braggarts and jerks. They're always selling, always working the room, always trying to make themselves look hotter than they actually are. The good news is, reporters like that make it easy to distinguish yourself. If you're even a little humble and a little self-effacing, you stand out.
  • There are 16,800 magazines in this country, but only one calls itself the inflight magazine for Air Force One. That's the thrill of working at The New Republic. You're underpaid, the hours are brutal, but what you write gets read by people who matter: Presidents, lawmakers. Your work can actually influence public policy. That's an amazing privilege and a huge responsibility.

Dialogue edit

Stephen Glass: If I were to throw a party where all we did was play "Monopoly," would you guys come?
Caitlin Avey: Could I be the little shoe?
Stephen Glass: Of course.

Stephen Glass: I messed up, I made a huge error. I don't know what to say. If you want me to resign, I will.
Michael Kelly: I want you to tell me what happened.
Stephen Glass: They don't have mini bars at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. I guess I just saw all those little bottles and made an assumption, which I know we're never supposed to do. Those guys were drinking out of a rented refrigerator.
Michael Kelly: That's it?
Stephen Glass: Yeah.
Michael Kelly: The rest of piece is solid?
Stephen Glass: Yeah, of course.
Michael Kelly: [chuckling] Go home Stephen. Your resignation will not be required.
Stephen Glass: Really? You're not mad?
Michael Kelly: Of course not.
Stephen Glass: Thanks for backing me.
Michael Kelly: It's what editors do.

Adam Penenberg: But there is one thing in this story that checks out.
Kambiz Foroohar: What's that?
Adam Penenberg: There does appear to be a state in the union named Nevada.

Amy Brand: Have you noticed the way Steve's phone has been ringing lately? Did you see all those editors at the correspondence dinner? The way they were circling him?
Caitlin Avey: Is that what you want, Amy? To get a bunch of smoke blown up your ass by a pack of editors?
Amy Brand: Yes. Yes it is.

Stephen Glass: I didn't do anything wrong, Chuck.
Chuck Lane: I really wish you'd stop saying that!

Chuck Lane: You're fired, Steve.
Stephen Glass: [stunned] What?
Chuck Lane: You're fired, Steve. You've lost your job.
Stephen Glass: But you can't. [long, pained pauses] Chuck, will you please take me to the airport?
Chuck Lane: [disgusted] Jesus...
Stephen Glass: Please, okay? You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to. It's fine. [choking up] But I can't be by myself right now. Okay? I'm, I'm afraid of what I'm gonna do, you know? I can't get there by myself.
Chuck Lane: I'm not going anywhere with you. Now, if you feel like you're a danger to yourself, you can sit down for a few minutes until you feel calm enough to go. But I'm not going anywhere with you.
Stephen Glass: But... but I'm afraid I'm going to do something! [pause, Lane says nothing] Did you hear what I said?
Chuck Lane: [unmoved] Yeah. It's a hell of a story.
Stephen Glass: Chuck, please?
Chuck Lane: Stop pitching, Steve. It's over.

Caitlin Avey: What the hell did you do to Steve? He called me from his car, hysterical. I asked him what was wrong, he said, "ask Chuck".
Chuck Lane: I fired him, okay? Not suspended, fired. Because this wasn't an isolated incident, Caitlin. He cooked a dozen of them, maybe more. And we're going to have to go through them, you and I. We're going to have to go through all of them, now.
Caitlin Avey: No, the only one was "Hack Heaven". He told me that himself.
Chuck Lane: If he were a stranger to you, if he was a guy you were doing a piece about, pretend that guy told you he'd only did it once. Would you take his word for it? Of course not! You'd dig and you'd bury him! And you'd feel offended if anyone told you not to.
Caitlin Avey: Every one of those pieces was fact-checked, they were all...
Chuck Lane: So was "Hack Heaven"! You're a good reporter. You've always been such a smart and thorough reporter, why can't you be one now?
Caitlin Avey: 'Cause what you're telling me just is impossible, Chuck.
Chuck Lane: Go upstairs. Read 'em again.
Caitlin Avey: This is bullshit!
Chuck Lane: And make sure you go all the way back, because half of them ran when Mike was still here.
Caitlin Avey: That's what this is. Of course. I mean, what are you going to do, Chuck, pick us off, one by one? Everybody that was loyal to Mike, till you have a staff that belongs to you? Is that the kind of magazine you want to run?
Chuck Lane: Caitlin, when this thing blows, there isn't going to be a magazine anymore. If you want to make this about Mike, make it about Mike. I don't give a shit. You can resent me, you can hate me, but come Monday morning, we're all going to have to answer for what we let happen here. We're all going to have an apology to make! Jesus Christ! Don't you have any idea how much shit we're about to eat? Every competitor we ever took a shot at, they're going to pounce. And they should. Because we blew it, Caitlin. He handed us fiction after fiction and we printed them all as fact. Just because... we found him "entertaining." It's indefensible. Don't you know that?

Gloria: You know what could've prevented all this, don't you?
Chuck Lane: No, what?
Gloria: Pictures. How could you make up characters if everyone you wrote about had to be photographed?

Taglines edit

  • Read between the lies.
  • The story that shocked a nation.
  • He'd do anything to get a great story.

Cast edit

External links edit

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