7.4/10
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52 user 68 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

Taglines:

Beyond the age of innocence... into the age of awareness

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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character was originally called "John Cassavetes" and was in fact going to be played by actor-director John Cassavetes. When he withdrew from the film due to a scheduling conflict, the character's name was changed to "John Cassellis" and Robert Forster was cast in the role. See more »

Quotes

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

Studs Terkel is credited as "Our Man in Chicago". See more »


Soundtracks

The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Excerpt played at beginning of nightclub scene
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User Reviews

 
A groundbreaker
20 January 1999 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

Haskell Wexler, a cinematographer by trade, practically invented the technique invented we know today as "cinema verite" with this striking drama that plays so much like a documentary, you'd never guess it was fiction without being told. It's less a story and more a voyeuristic look into the lives of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, in this case reporters who are covering a political convention and other Chicago locals who are just minding their own business when the legendary riots break out at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Even more groundbreaking is the approach Wexler takes in framing the film's final scenes. He had ample warning that there would potentially be some unrest at the convention, so he decided to thrust his cast right into the thick of it, sending them to the foyer and front entrance of the Chicago Convention Center and the crew right along to film the events. No one knew exactly what would happen, making this perhaps the most creative and timely piece of "improvised" drama in the history of filmmaking up to this point.

Every documentary filmmaker who chooses to make his/her film about actions and events rather than simply a bunch of talking heads owes a debt to Wexler and his creative team on "Medium Cool".


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