Not just anybody can become a journalist. It takes moxie-also guts, balls, nerve, and intestinal fortitude. Especially in the movies, where as often as not journalism entails more dangerous adventure than sitting at a typewriter. For proof, just check out these seven movie journalists who are unafraid to put themselves in extreme peril to get their story.
Philip Schuyler Green, "Gentleman's Agreement". Gregory Peck plays this courageous journalist with the expected amount of steely resolve. His assignment: masquerade as a Jewish man in order to expose anti-Semitism in America. He might not have to deal with any guns or volcanoes over the course of researching this story, but as anyone knows, bigotry can be just as dangerous.
Grace Collier, "Sisters". Jennifer Salt's character in Brian De Palma's early psychological thriller "Sisters" is the kind of journalist that politicians and police officers often hate; she does her job. So when she tries to investigate a murder that happened across the street from her apartment, it's without the enthusiastic help of New York's Finest. She could use the help, too, since she's dealing with a knife-wielding psychopath (this is a De Palma movie, remember).
Peter Miller, "The Odessa File". Jon Voight is a freelance journalist who inadvertently stumbles on ODESSA, a secret organization made up of former Nazi SS officers. Not only does he investigate the organization, he actually infiltrates it, creating an elaborate false identity as a former Nazi in order to reach the highest levels of their ranks. If he's discovered at any point, he'll be killed. Hope he gets a good article out of this.
Woodward and Bernstein, "All The President's Men". In both the movie and real life, Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein put pretty much everything on the line in their quest for the truth about the Watergate break-in during the Nixon administration. The details are obviously too complicated to get into thoroughly here, so suffice it to say that their story eventually led to Nixon's resignation. And you better believe they were in danger while the story was hot.
Graysmith, "Zodiac". It's easy to risk life and limb for your story if you're so obsessed with it: you don't have any choice. Well, "easy" might not be the right word, but "obsessed" definitely is in the case of Graysmith, another real-life figure whose story was eventually turned into a masterful thriller. His quest to discover the true identity of the Zodiac killer lasted long after most other people lost interest. The killer was never found, although Graysmith certainly thought he found his man.
Tintin". Here's a journalist who almost never seems to do any writing. Instead, both in the original French comics and the recent Spielberg blockbuster, he spends his time on amazing globetrotting adventures, searching for secret treasures and getting into all kinds of fights and scrapes. He undoubtedly risks his life, though, and presumably he bangs out a couple articles on the subject after he gets through. Although one would think that wouldn't be necessary, since he has all that treasure…
Mikael Blomkvist, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". He lost his job and all of his money, so why not risk his life to investigate a missing person from 40 years ago? That's the situation Mikael Blomkvist finds himself in in the various versions of the popular Swedish thriller "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". His investigation of a family of horrible racist Nazis leads him to get on at least one of their bad sides, and he ends up swinging from the ceiling of a death dungeon for his troubles. Luckily, the "Girl" of the title is there to bail him out of trouble.