With the decline of newspapers and magazines in the age of the internet there are probably many who aren't aware of the name Hearst when it comes to journalistic empires. This movie should correct that quite a bit. At least it starts out that way.
William Randolph Hearst created a publishing empire in the early portion of the last century that he used to create politician, celebrities and people of interest. He abused his power often but no one could put an end to his reign. That would happen after he was gone and all because no one left was quite like him. Most people today get their glimpse of what he was like via Orson Welles' classic CITIZEN KANE, based largely on Hearst and his life. But he was more than that.
The beginning of this film is wonderful in recreating the story of Hearst from childhood through the days of his run as the top newspaper owner in the world. You hear the stories of what he was like behind the scenes, the way he used his newspapers and the way he abused them as well. For young people who don't know the power of the press you get to understand just a little bit better what the world was like when it came to shaping society by the way of the printed word. It is this portion of the film that entertains and informs the best.
But the latter part of the film feels more like a promotional piece for the waning days of the once behemoth that it was. The newspapers are falling to the wayside due to people getting their information more quickly off the internet. They still have a steady income from the magazines that were at one time the way people learned how to act and what was "in". Magazines like Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Town and Country were magazines most people read but these days just don't draw the readership they once did.