Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is a 2004 American comedy film directed by Adam McKay and produced by Judd Apatow starring Will Ferrel, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Fred Willard, David Koechner, and Vince Vaughn.

The film is a tongue-in-cheek take on the culture of the 1970s. It portrays a San Diego TV station where Ferrell's title character clashes with his new female counterpart.

It would receive a sequel in 2013 entitled Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Plot

In 1974, Ron Burgundy is the famous anchorman for a local San Diego television station, fictional KVWN channel 4. He works alongside his friends, whom he had known since childhood, on the news team: lead field reporter Brian Fantana, sportscaster Champ Kind, and intellectually-disabled, but loyal and good-hearted weatherman Brick Tamland. Station director Ed Harken informs the team that they have retained their long-held status as the highest-rated news program in San Diego, leading them to throw a wild party, where Ron unsuccessfully attempts to pick up a beautiful blonde woman, Veronica Corningstone. Ed later informs the team that they have been forced to hire Veronica Corningstone, the same woman Ron attempted to pick up. After a series of unsuccessful attempts by the team to seduce her, she finally relents and agrees to a "professional tour" of the city with Ron, culminating in a sexual relationship. Despite agreeing to keep the relationship discreet, Ron announces it on air as well as shouting about it in the office.

After a dispute with a motorcyclist ends in Ron's dog Baxter being punted off the San Diego–Coronado Bridge, Ron is late to work. Veronica fills in for him on-air, gets higher ratings than Burgundy normally gets, and the couple breaks up. Veronica is promoted co-anchor, to the disgust of the team, and both co-anchors become fierce rivals on and off the air. Depressed, the news team decides to buy new suits, but Brick, who was leading the way, gets them lost in a shady part of town. Confronted by main competitor Wes Mantooth and his news team, Ron challenges them to a fight. However, when several other news teams converge onsite, a full-on melee ensues, only to be broken up by police sirens that cause them to flee. Realizing that having a female co-anchor is straining their reputation, Ron gets in another heated argument with Veronica, and they get in a physical fight after she offends him about his hair, further increasing tensions.

One of Veronica's co-workers informs her that Ron will read anything written on the teleprompter, so she sneaks into the station and changes the text in revenge. The next day, Ron (unaware of what he is saying) concludes the broadcast with "Go f*** yourself, San Diego!", instead of his signature closing line, "You stay classy, San Diego!", subsequently triggering an angry mob outside the studio and prompting Ed to fire Ron. Realizing she went too far, Veronica attempts to apologize, but Burgundy angrily dismisses her. Burgundy becomes unemployed, friendless, and heavily antagonized by the public while Veronica enjoys fame, although her male co-workers hate her. Ed also informs Champ, Brick, and Brian that if they see Ron they may not speak with him or they will be fired.

Three months later, when a panda is about to give birth, every news team in San Diego rushes to the zoo to cover the story. In an attempt to sabotage her, a rival news anchor pushes Veronica into a Kodiak bear enclosure. When Ed could not locate Veronica, he recruits Ron. Once at the zoo, Ron jumps in the bear pen to save Veronica, as the public watches helplessly. The news team then jumps in to save Ron and Veronica. Just as a bear is about to attack, Baxter, who miraculously survived, intervenes and encourages the bear to spare them. As the group climbs out of the pit, Wes appears and holds the ladder over the bear pit, threatening to drop Ron back in, and says that deep down he has always hated him, but then admits to Ron that he also respects him and pulls Ron out to safety.

After Ron and Veronica reconcile, it is shown that in years to come, Brian becomes the host of a Fox reality show named Intercourse Island, Brick is married with 11 children and is a top political adviser to George W. Bush, Champ is a commentator for the NFL before getting fired after being accused by Terry Bradshaw of sexual harassment, and Ron and Veronica are co-anchors for the CNN-esque World News Center.

Why It Rocks

Bad Qualities

  • The sequel, while still a worthy follow-up, is a bit lacking.