Indecisive heiress Dee Dee Dillwood is pushed into marrying her sixth fiancée, but unable to face the wedding night, she flees into the adjacent hotel room of commercial pilot Marvin Payne,... See full summary »
Oliver Pease gets a dose of courage from his wife Martha and tricks the editor of the paper (where he writes lost pet notices) into assigning him the day's roving question. Martha suggests,... See full summary »
Mary and Larry are are a modestly successful skating team. Shortly after their marriage, Mary gets a picture contract, while Larry is sitting at home, out of work. To prove that he can ... See full summary »
Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and ... See full summary »
W.S. Van Dyke
James Stewart joins the Naval Academy under a false name so that he could clear his father's name who was a career Naval officer. When one of his instructors starts telling his father's ... See full summary »
The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930's. When the Nazi's come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is... See full summary »
Jimmy, the owner of a failed music shop, goes to work with his uncle, the owner of a food factory. Before he gets there, he befriends an Irish family who happens to be his uncle's worst ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Approved, MPAA, certificate number 12397. See more »
During the administration of the lie detector test, the window behind the examiner and Frank has an obvious prison yard background. Then, the camera angle shifts to a close-up of Frank and a clock-face within the room. The camera then pans back to the examiner. The scene in the window has changed to an English cottage by the sea with someone working in the fields. See more »
Stewart is in top form, but the movie is all talk, no noir.
Call Northside 777 (1948)
Henry Hathaway has several noir and noirish films to his credit, and this one is smack in the key, classic post-War noir period. But don't expect a thriller, or any of those great Mitchum or Bogart deliveries, or lots of moody night scenes with hard shadows, or a femme fatale of any kind. In fact, don't expect a film noir. Call Northside 777 is in some ways a very interesting film, but it's crime drama, and a surprisingly slow one, filled with talk and persuasion and almost no action, almost no suspense.
It does have two first rate actors, the impeccable James Stewart who makes the most of this (and saves the film from mediocrity), and James Lee Cobb playing a news editor, a great secondary to Stewart's role as a determined reporter. The man in jail, Richard Conte, is also a sympathetic actor, better known for other crime dramas from the time, including Thieves' Highway, an underrated gem also starring Cobb).
There is also the often mentioned documentary feel to the film, which might translate to the steady and factual way the scenes try to be realistic, step by step. This isn't really the best way to make a movie hum, and the events are told to us, generally, and the characters rarely have a chance to flesh out. Even the two leads are richly painted caricatures, really--it's just lucky they are both compelling actors.
The photographic trump card played at the end is also a cheap stab. You can tell from the print they are working from that the date would never really become clear, not even a close call. But even more, they would have been able to tell what day the newspaper was published by the layout of the pictures, which are clearly visible in the newsboy's grip. A trip to the library would have solved that one.
No one minds a tale of justice triumphing, and here it is. It's not a bad film, but drink some coffee first.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?