7.4/10
2,791
52 user 65 critic

Medium Cool (1969)

R | | Drama | 1970 (Japan)
A TV news reporter finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Eileen
...
Gus
...
Ruth
Harold Blankenship ...
Harold
Charles Geary ...
Harold's Father
Sid McCoy ...
Frank Baker
Christine Bergstrom ...
Dede
William Sickingen ...
News Director
Robert McAndrew ...
Pennybaker
Marrian Walters ...
Social Worker
Beverly Younger ...
Rich Lady
Edward Croke ...
Plain-clothesman
Doug Kimball ...
Newscaster
...
Gun Clinic Manager
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Storyline

John Cassellis is the toughest TV-news reporter around. His area of interest is reporting about violence in the ghetto and racial tensions. But he discovers that his network helps the FBI by letting it look at his tapes to find suspects. When he protests, he is fired and goes to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Dateline: Chicago August '68 See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Concrete Wilderness  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Verna Bloom literally stands out in the film because of her yellow outfit. Bloom said she picked the outfit because she thought her character, a woman of modest means, would wear something like that. It just happened to contrast with what everyone else was wearing, so you notice her. See more »

Quotes

Protesters: [chanting] The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!
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Crazy Credits

In keeping with the film's documentary style, the cast is not listed during the opening credits, only in the ending credits. See more »

Connections

References Contempt (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You Hung Up?
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Excerpt played at beginning of nightclub scene
See more »

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User Reviews

An Indie if there ever was one.
15 April 1999 | by (Lucas Buck, NC) – See all my reviews

Interesting approach to revealing the world of photo-journalism, news journalism, and political activism, conceived and directed by award–winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Fictional narrative features a Chicago TV news crew intertwined with actual news footage in and around the Democratic Convention of 1968.

There is a good balance between the fiction and non-fiction elements in as much as Wexler attempts to make his point. The fictional story line (a love story) is real enough to keep us watching and deflective enough to make the harsh realities of the non-fiction elements palatable.

Attention to detail defines Medium Cool as a very personal film for Wexler. There definitely is a political perspective. Second and third viewings will call attention to painstaking perfectionism in construction of shots, timing, and pace--the subject matter and cinematic approach (low budget, hand-held, docu-style) may suggest a `student film' so don't be confused. This is an extremely well-crafted highly professional product. Nice interjects of great era-defining music compliment the visuals.

Inventive, some say ground-breaking, certainly well worth watching.


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