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Call Northside 777 (1948)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,172 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 35 critic

Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.

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(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Helen Walker ...
Betty Garde ...
Kasia Orzazewski ...
Joanne De Bergh ...
Helen Wiecek (as Joanne de Bergh)
Howard Smith ...
Moroni Olsen ...
...
Paul Harvey ...
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Storyline

In 1932, a cop is killed and Frank Wiecek sentenced to life. Eleven years later, a newspaper ad by Frank's mother leads Chicago reporter P.J. O'Neal to look into the case. For some time, O'Neal continues to believe Frank guilty. But when he starts to change his mind, he meets increased resistance from authorities unwilling to be proved wrong. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It couldn't happen . . . but it did! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 February 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Calling Northside 777  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Chicago Daily Times merged with the Chicago Sun in 1948, the year this movie was released, and became known as the Chicago Sun-Times which is still in business as of 2011. See more »

Goofs

The title is a misnomer. Telephone exchanges at the time of the story were always spelled with the first two letters in caps, i.e. NOrthside, followed by four, not three numerical digits. See more »

Quotes

[McNeal is trying to get Zaleska to name his real partner in the crime and get a chance at parole]
P.J. McNeal: What have you got to lose? You're in for life now. C'mon, tell us the truth.
Tomek Zaleska: Sure, I could say I did it. Then maybe have a chance of getting out, like you say. And if I confessed, who would I name as my partner, Joe Doaks? I couldn't make it stick for one minute. That's the trouble with being innocent - you don't know what really happened.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Capricorn One (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
Played during the Prohibition montage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nailing Down the Facts
11 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Call Northside 777 has James Stewart patiently trying to nail down enough facts to get Richard Conte a pardon from a murder for which he was falsely convicted. The tale is told in the documentary style that Henry Hathaway developed post World War II and that Darryl F. Zanuck used in several 20th Century Fox films.

On orders from editor Lee J. Cobb, Stewart checks out the source behind a small personal advertisement in the Chicago Sun-Times where he works. The ad is placed by Richard Conte's mother who works as a cleaning woman and saved enough money to offer a reward of $5000.00 for information clearing her son.

Back during the last days of Prohibition, Conte and another man were sent up for killing a Chicago policeman in a grocery store that fronted for a speakeasy. Conte was convicted mainly on the eyewitness testimony of the owner of the establishment Betty Garde.

Stewart gradually comes to believe in Conte's innocence and works tirelessly on his behalf. The best single performance in this film is by Betty Garde. A real portrait in evil that one is.

This has always been a film I've had an identity with. I had a similar situation in my former job with NYS Crime Victims Board. I had a case where a man sustained multiple injuries including the loss of a leg when a car drove up on a sidewalk and hit him. The report was never written up as any kind of crime, just an accident. The driver was given a summons and that was that.

I did a lot of work to prove the police were wrong in their action and it took two years, but I gathered enough evidence and my claimant was declared a crime victim and received the benefits from my former agency. The perpetrator was never charged with anything, but that was not in my mandate. Nevertheless I know exactly what Jimmy Stewart had to prove and how hard it is. The police even more than most of us do not like to admit they are wrong.

Call Northside 777 is a nicely done documentary style feature which is a great lesson in what a man with determination can accomplish.


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