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

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

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Concrete Wilderness  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the background intercom chatter playing during the first scenes shown of the television station that John Cassellis works at is the same intercom chatter used in George Lucas' student film Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967). Paul Golding, who served as an editorial consultant for this film, had also been a collaborator on some of Lucas' other student films. 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 »


Soundtracks

Oh No
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Published by Warner Bizarre/Reprise
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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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