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Medium Cool (1969)

R  |   |  Drama  |  1970 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,368 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 59 critic

A TV news reporter finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention.



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


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


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




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Concrete Wilderness  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Available on dvd and blu ray from the Criterion Collection. See more »


John Cassellis: Jesus I love to shoot film.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in Jackie Brown: How It Went Down (2002) See more »


Oh No
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Published by Warner Bizarre/Reprise
See more »

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User Reviews

A time capsule
25 June 2008 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

This film is better upon the second viewing, the first time I saw this I thought it was somewhat dated or boring, I couldn't have been more wrong. Initially I watched this film because it was directed by Haskell Wexler whose work I admire, and I'm from Chicago and had heard it shows much of the city and the riots of 68. I enjoyed seeing the city forty years ago to see what was the same and what had changed, much has changed yet much remains the same from what I have seen of the people, places, buildings etc. It was great to see the Kinetic Playground on there, Chicago's electric ballroom, and other area's such as Lincoln Park. On the second viewing, I realized that this is a very important film in that it adroitly captures a moment in time, a moment we can never have again that is lost forever, that one second in our history that pivoted us as a nation between innocence and awareness and possibly that crucial moment which has brought us to the point we are at today. This movie is very important as a document of history, not to mention how well it's shot. The angles, the color, the way he goes in and out of focus make this a true gem that gets better the more you see it. Great soundtrack as well, Zappa, Mike Bloomfield and others.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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