7.4/10
2,988
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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Writer:

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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
...
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 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

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was released on video, Paramount was sued by the copyright holders of the song "Merry-Go-Round" by Wild Man Fischer. Under their 1969 agreement, Paramount had rights to the song for showing the film in theaters and on television. Paramount argued that video release was the same as television broadcast. The courts ruled that the copyright holder in 1969 could not have considered videocassettes to be like television broadcast, as home videocassettes were not invented. See more »

Quotes

John Cassellis: Jesus I love to shoot film.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in L'Amour au temps de la guerre civile (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh No
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Played when John and Gus ride in car past Lincoln Memorial
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User Reviews

 
a totally original pastiche
18 March 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

A rare directorial outing by all-time great cinematographer Wexler, this is generally acknowledged as the most politically radical film ever produced by a major studio. In freewheeling, semi-improvised, ideologically calculated scene after scene, it depicts an apolitical television cameraman's awakening of consciousness and abandonment of the role of passive observer. The class and race politics are four notches up on any comparable contemporary studio feature, that's for sure - with the surprisingly patient explanation of how 6-o-clock-news ideology oppresses minority communities, leading in to a love affair with a working-class single mother instead of some vanguard hippie, you could even argue that this Americanization of Godard has better ideological legs than the master himself. Sure it meanders a tad, and the stylistics can date, but there's nothing else in any movie ever that compares with the climax, as the actors make their way through actual documentary footage of the 1968 Democratic convention and attendant street battles. I mean, how did such a finely balanced mix of integrated narrative, Euro-tics, American underground film and straight-up documentary even occur to them? And how did they then manage to actually pull it off with honors? Pretty damned impressive.


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