Movies That Everyone Should See: “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”

There was a time, a time before cable. When the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news. And in San Diego, one anchorman was more man then the rest.

His name was Ron Burgundy.

He was like a god walking amongst mere mortals. He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo.

In other words, Ron Burgundy was the balls.

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In 2004, the most important movie in the history of cinema was released into theatres. It was a movie based on actual events. Only the names, events and locations were changed. I’m referring, of course, to “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”.

It’s a film of such monumental impact that I’m at a loss for words to describe it fully. Not that that’s going to slow me down any, you watch.

“Anchorman” is the tale of a pivotal chapter in the battle of the sexes, a shining moment in broadcast journalism, and a brief glimpse into the majestic life of one of the most renown news legends in the history of television.

Ron Burgundy.

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Ron Burgundy: Jazz Flutist Extraordinaire

Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) was a News Anchor for KVWN TV in San Diego from 1964 to 1977. He was the recipient of five – FIVE – (local) Emmys. The nightly news was his domain… and he prowled that territory like a lion. Fierce, and proud. Roaring his dominance, stalking his prey, and with hair just as strong and bold. But he was also as smooth as the scotch he loved… The very embodiment of his famous sign off line…

“You stay classy, San Diego”.

The_Channel_4_News_Team_Anchorman

He was the leader of the Channel 4 News Team. Along with field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) at the sports desk, Channel 4 ruled the airwaves. They were number one in every key demographic. And it was no wonder. Their team chemistry was unmatched… unparalleled.

Don’t believe me? Have a look at this…

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Anchorman__Sex_Panther_Cologne_by_JasonOrtizThat’s not the type of chemistry that comes together overnight. This was a tight-knit group, each bringing a different skill set to the table. No wonder they were the best. Their camaraderie was infectious. They even managed to make product placement look good!

And if you think they were afraid to throw down when it was called for… well, think again.


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But there was a challenge on the horizon for this band of brothers. A challenge that would test the group’s mettle… and change the state of broadcast news forever.

Christina_Applegate_Veronica_CorningstoneA challenge in the form of woman. An astonishing, gorgeous, capable woman.

Veronica Corningstone was a news reporter with a dream of becoming the first ever network news Anchorwoman. A lofty aspiration, especially seeing as at the time… there had never BEEN a female anchor. But she was ambitious, intelligent, and attractive. When she showed up at KVWN, she caused quite a stir.

Will_Ferrell_Christina_Applegate_Anchorman_Ron_Burgundy_Veronica_Corningstone_Erection

Anchorman_Pleasure_Town_UnicornsCorningstone and Burgundy, of course, fell in love. When two talented, irresistable human beings are forced to work in such close proximity… it’s practically inevitable.

Their love was a passionate one, and Ron proudly proclaimed it.

And yet, a simple act of fate… a casually discarded burrito… would change everything.

When Ron was involved in a vehicular incident and unable to arrive in time to deliver the news, Veronica stepped in. She took a major step to fulfilling her dream… she had become the first female anchor, albeit on local news. Ron was shocked to learn of this upon his arrival at the station, however. He was a bastion of the old guard, the old ways. Broadcasting the news was a man’s domain. Atop of which, when Veronica’s appearance resulted in a ratings bump, she was promoted to co-anchor status. Ron now had to share his nightly news desk.

It was too much for their relationship to bear.

Ron_Burgundy_Fiery_EyesThings not only fell apart… they turned ugly. A war of words ensued, the likes of which had never been heard before. It culminated in an unspeakable act of betrayal that would rip the Channel 4 News team asunder.

Ron_Burgundy_Milk_Was_a_Bad_Idea

What follows is a harrowing tale of loss, grief, and ultimately… redemption. The film is a testament to the power of perseverance in the face of unspeakable loss. It’s an incredibly rich character study, yet it has unforgettable action sequences, a touching romance, and of course, gut bursting comedy. All while illustrating a triumph over sexism, the power of believing in yourself, and the dangers of the teleprompter.

The cast of the film – an extraordinary lineup of comedy heavyweights – cite this film as the most challenging, yet rewarding, experience of their lives. While they wished to adhere to the core of the story, they realized that without spontaneity and quick wit, the characters just wouldn’t come alive believably. So, much of the dialogue was improvised… sometimes up to 20 takes a scene. In fact, they had such a wellspring of excellent unused material that an entirely different second film was cut: “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie”.

When the Academy Awards for 2004 were announced, producer Judd Apatow called the Academy and removed the film from consideration. His “It’s not fair to the other films” philosophy was understood – and appreciated – by everyone involved. Director Adam McKay is famously quoted as saying “This is why they have age brackets in Little League Baseball”.

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That didn’t stop the American Film Institute, however. As illustrated by the clip above, when they released their “100 Years… 100 Movies Tenth Anniversary” listing in 2008, Anchorman was proclaimed the greatest American film of all time, handily unseating the previous champion, “Citizen Kane”. It was the only logical choice… in fact, some people openly questioned why a special, interim list wasn’t released in 2004.

Film historians doubt it will ever be dethroned.

The movie has gone on to be quoted like scripture around the world. In fact, a 2010 study revealed that “Anchorman” was, in fact, the most quoted movie of all time. That’s science, right there people. But even if it wasn’t, the film’s powerful testimony to the human spirit, and outrageous comedic sensibilities would easily make it… simply? The most recommendable film in the history of movies.

It’s definitely a “Movie That Everyone Should See“.

Ron_Burgundy_Tickets_to_the_Gunshow

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81 thoughts on “Movies That Everyone Should See: “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”

  1. Agree 100% with this choice, Dan. Anyone who hasn’t seen Ron Burgundy’s “lost” ESPN audition — do yourself a favor and find it (although somebody may embed it — who knows).

  2. I’m not sure what’s funnier..The film, your post, or the use of pictures in your comments! I’ll never forget the first time I watched Anchorman, or the second time when I was playing a drinking game to it! Funniest film since Monty Python.

  3. Will Ferrell is the only good thing to come out of Irvine California ever…. “Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.”

    • Yeah… I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you’re probably wanted for murder.
      :D

      Brik kiled a guy! LOL

  4. April already? :D

    Nah. I get that a lot of people really like this film. And your post was amusing enough. Though I will say that as someone who isn’t a Ferrell fan, and hasn’t seen this… you haven’t convinced me that I should. Sorry. :P

  5. MTESS? OK. If you’re going to watch one Will Farrell movie, it would definitely be this one. The TV newsteam rumble is worth it by itself.

    Heck, I’d probably say if you’re going to watch one Steve Carrell movie, it should be this, and he only has a supporting roll.

    • Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. Get outta here this time with your weekly “MTESS?” I stand unmoved in my opinion. I don’t care how many blasphemous heathens have showed up at the gate on this one. All it’s done is give me a bunch of people I feel a touch of sadness for.

      This is one of the greatest comedies ever. End of story. As such, it should be seen by any self respecting movie fan.

  6. They could have made a great part serious, part comedic movie without turning the entire thing into a huge joke. Will Farrel, and some of the directorial choices (that were shown in trailers and commercials), are the reason I skipped this movie.

  7. Pingback: Blogger Interview: Fogs’ Movie Reviews | Rorschach Reviews

  8. I agree wholeheartedly with you Fogs, and I am surprised to see so many haters! For shame, haters.

    In my humble opinion this is one of the funniest movies of all time. I don’t like movies that try to have “stupid” humour myself. But this I do not find to be “stupid”. “Stupid” humour are the Scary Movies, etc. which are approximately 1000 levels below Anchorman in the comedy hierarchy.

    To me, this movie is the harbinger of The Random Age of Comedy. Back in the early 2000’s all the cool kids would say “that’s so random” or even just “random” and laugh at each other’s zaniness. We loved anything that appeared to be random. Off-kilter statements and bizarre getups. T-shirts with nonsensical graphics. And we liked our humour the same way. Zany and improvised. Characters unabashedly giving us TMI about themselves. Social awkwardness and weirdoes. The way Ron isn’t ashamed of walking off a boner in the middle of the office, or making up fake definitions for well-known terms like “diversity”. That’s so random! Brick Tamland is the very personification of Random Humour, e.g. “I love lamp”.

    I realize I’m ranting, and I apologize. When people write this movie off as “Stupid” humour without ever having seen it or trying to understand where it’s coming from really does make me feel sorry for them. Maybe they’re just to near-sighted or prejudiced to give something and honest chance, I don’t know. Taste is taste, we all like the things we like for our own reasons. But to me, you don’t really have the right to dismiss something entirely when you haven’t even given it a fair shake.

    This movie is more than meets the eye. It’s a revelation in the field of comedy, ushering in a new era of laughter. I applaud you Fogs, for including it in the MTESS category. I’ll stand by you and fight with you against the haters of this one until the bitter end.

    • Thanks, Smasher ;) . I have to say, I was shocked myself by all the backlash on this one. I realize not every one of these selections will be received equally, but I had actually thought that this one would be a huge hit! Instead, it was kind of a brawl for a couple of days when it first posted! 8O

      “Anchorman” is absolutely a new comedy classic though, all the haters did here was betray their own lack of taste :( This movie was zany and absurd and “random” as you say, but so well done that it became a classic. No doubt about it, it’s going to be atop its class when the great comedies of its era are discussed.

      Now, if only they can make a worthy sequel. PLEASE!! God, I so hope they don’t screw the second one up!! 8O

      • Me too dude, I’m really hoping the sequel is beyond incredible. Especially since I just heard that Warner Bros officially dropped the Dumb & Dumber 2 sequel. The world needs an excellent Anchorman sequel now more than ever!

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