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Call Northside 777 (1948)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,889 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 33 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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Title: Call Northside 777 (1948)

Call Northside 777 (1948) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
P.J. McNeal
...
...
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

Approved, MPAA, certificate number 12397. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

P.J. McNeal: You look nice. Will you marry me?
Laura McNeal: I did.
P.J. McNeal: Oh yeah, yeah, that's right... Thanks.
Laura McNeal: You're welcome.
See more »

Connections

Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: False Witness (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fence Me In
(1944) (uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played at the bar where McNeal orders a bourbon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stewart is in top form, but the movie is all talk, no noir.
3 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.


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