7.4/10
6,059
84 user 38 critic

Call Northside 777 (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 1 February 1948 (USA)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A career-oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Concentration camp survivor Victoria Kowelska finds herself involved in mystery, greed, and murder when she assumes the identity of a dead friend in order to gain passage to America.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An aeronautical engineer predicts that a new model of plane will fail catastrophically and in a novel manner after a specific number flying hours.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Cagney, Annabella, Richard Conte
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Brute Force (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Detective Michael Shayne and his girlfriend Joanne are on their way to be married when a scream from a nearby hotel room draws his attention to a pair of theatrical murders.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Lloyd Nolan, Mary Beth Hughes, Sheila Ryan
Broken Arrow (1950)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget
D.O.A. (1950)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Kasia Orzazewski ...
Joanne De Bergh ...
Helen Wiecek (as Joanne de Bergh)
...
...
...
Paul Harvey ...
Edit

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. McNeal to look into the case. For some time, McNeal 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 »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 February 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Calling Northside 777  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

ON SCREEN: "This film was photographed in the State of Illinois using wherever possible, the actual locales associated with the story." Call Northside 777 (1948) was actually the very first Hollywood produced feature film to be shot entirely on location in Chicago. Many famous landmarks, such as the Chicago Merchandise Mart, Holy Trinity Polish Mission, and the Wrigley Building (of chewing gum fame) on North Michigan Avenue, can be seen throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Jim wakes up after a rough night and goes to the living room and sits at the puzzle, he lights a cigarette with his right hand. When the camera changes and shots from the left from his wife's perspective, the cigarette is in his left hand. As the camera changes back and forth, the cigarette changes from his right to his left hand. 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 Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) 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

 
Powerful and Absorbing; 1930s True Story Makes a Good Reporter Yarn
26 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a movie whose type later became familiar as "realistic crime-investigation narrative" primarily on the strength of a handful of films such as "the Lineup", "Kid Glove Killer" and this effort. It was in fact based on an actual 1932 case, we are told by historians, mostly on articles written by reporter James P. Mcguire. The one true thing said about the film by some of its recent reviewers is that the film benefits greatly--even looks modern to the 21st century eye--because it was filmed in the great city of Chicago and not on a Hollywood back lot. Solid director Henry Hathawy made use of unusual on-site lighting, locations and buildings to establish the milieu of the story-line in time and place. The plot line has one flaw, I suggest; I have seen it done as a TV one-hour drama and as this 111 minute feature, and it worked both ways for me because it features a straightforward "investigation" motif--a reporter trying to find out if a sentenced cop-killer is guilty or actually innocent. The flaw for me is the incredulity of the reporter before, during and long into his diligent and professional search for the facts in the case; anyone who knew anything about the police of the United States, Chicago especially, as they operated in 1932 and still operate today, would know two facts--that eyewitness identifications can, notoriously, be erroneously made; and that the justice system in the United States was then lacking in forensic sciences, politically corrupted and often set against minority-group defendants and suspects--conditions which have worsened in some respects since that time. Having said this, I add that the rest of the film is well-photographed, a good black-and-white, adventure, painstakingly presented. The script was adapted from the original articles as fictionalized biography by Leonard Hoffman and Quentin Reynolds, with screenplay by Jerome Cady and Jay Dratler. Cinematography by Joe Macdonald, music by Alfred Newman and consistent art direction by Lyle Wheeler and Mark-Lee Kirk, costumes by Kay Nelson and period set decorations by Walter M. Scott and Thomas Little all aid the realistic feel of this film very professionally. The body of the work comprises reports and arguments between a reporter, played ably by Jimmy Stewart, his editor --the powerful Lee. J. Cobb, and his wife, the attractive and capable Helen Walker, relative to his assignment-- finding out of Frank Wiecek was guilty of the crime for which he has served years in prison already. The case becomes an assignment for the ace reporter when he is assigned to investigate an offer of a reward for information leading to the man's exoneration; he finds out the offer of payment came from the man's aged mother who is scrubbing floors to feed herself and get money for this purpose. The case then turns on Stewart's ability to locate a missing witness, his growing belief in Wiecek's innocence and the use of a wire-photo, then a new and unusual technology, to prove that this star witness for the prosecution had been shown the accused--standard illegal police procedure--before she had made her original identification. In the cast besides Stewart who is charismatic, and very good though not ideal in the role, and Cobb and Walker, are many good actors. Kasia Orzazewski plays the mother, Richard Conte is good as Wiecek, Betty Garde is the elusive witness and Joanne de Bergh the wife who divorced the imprisoned Wiecek at his insistence. Among others in the cast are Moroni Olsen, George Tyne, Thelma Ritter, E.G. Marshall, Walter Greaza, Howard K. Smith, Samuel S. Hinds and Percy Helton. This is a deliberately paced and very realistic movie; it could have been done differently, but as noted above, my only reservation about its merits lies in the attempt to make the central character perhaps too annoyed at his assignment to be believable as a hard-boiled 1930s reporter a corrupt nation, city and legal environment. This is still a powerful and personal account of an injustice and how difficult it is in a bureaucratic country to right even the most obvious wrong. The film is memorable and often engrossing by my standards even today.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Date on the newspaper lisabrown212
Chicagoan's please answer kmck2002
so, to what does the title refer, anyway? marble_sf
Lingering questions khaiacles
This great country like ours Noir-It-All
Help me. Who knows something what happened with Majiczek and his family? arysto
Discuss Call Northside 777 (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page