IMDb > Medium Cool (1969)
Medium Cool
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Medium Cool (1969) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   2,135 votes »
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Down 38% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Haskell Wexler (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Medium Cool on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1970 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Beyond the age of innocence... into the age of awareness
Plot:
TV news reporter finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Something very special... See more (47 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Robert Forster ... John Cassellis

Verna Bloom ... Eileen

Peter Bonerz ... Gus

Marianna Hill ... 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

Peter Boyle ... Gun Clinic Manager
Georgia Todda ... Secretary
Sandra Ann Roberts ... Blonde in Car
Janet Langhart ... Maid
Jeff Donaldson ... Black Militant
Bill Sharp ... Black Militant
Robert Paige ... Black Militant
Richard Abrams ... Black Militant
Walter Bradford ... Black Militant
Russell Davis ... Black Militant
Felton Perry ... Black Militant
Val Grey ... Black Militant
Livingston Lewis ... Black Militant
Barbara Jones ... Black Militant
John Jackson ... Black Militant
Linda Handelman ... Gun Clinic Lady
Maria Friedman ... Gun Clinic Lady
Kathryn Schubert ... Gun Clinic Lady
Barbara Brydenthal ... Gun Clinic Lady
Elizabeth Moisant ... Gun Clinic Lady
Rose Bormacher ... Gun Clinic Lady

China Lee ... Roller Derby Patron
Roger Phillips
Robert Blankenship
Jim Jacobs ... Kennedy Student (as James Jacobs)
Spence Jackson ... Kennedy Student
Dorien Suhr ... Kennedy Student
Kenneth Whitener ... Kennedy Student
Connie Fleischauer ... Kennedy Student
Mary Smith ... Kennedy Student
Nancy Lee Noble ... Kennedy Student (as Nancy Noble)
Simone Zorn ... Media Person
Madeleine Marcou ... Media Person
Mickey Pallas ... Media Person
Morris Bleckman ... Media Person
Lester Brownlee ... Media Person (as Lestre Brownlee)
Linn Ehrlich ... Media Person
Wally Wright ... Media Person
Sam Ventura ... Media Person
George Bouillet ... Media Person
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard J. Daley ... Himself (uncredited)
Robert F. Kennedy ... Himself - Giving Final Speech (archive footage) (uncredited)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sirri Murad ... Himself (uncredited)

Haskell Wexler ... Cameraman on Scaffold (uncredited)

Directed by
Haskell Wexler 
 
Writing credits
Haskell Wexler (written by)

Produced by
Michael Philip Butler .... associate producer
Tully Friedman .... producer
Steven North .... associate producer
Haskell Wexler .... producer
Jerrold Wexler .... producer
Jonathan Haze .... line producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Mike Bloomfield 
 
Cinematography by
Haskell Wexler (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Verna Fields 
 
Art Direction by
Leon Ericksen  (as Leon Erickson)
 
Production Management
Jonathan Haze .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wendell Franklin .... assistant director
Erich von Stroheim Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Christopher Newman .... sound (as Chris Newman)
Kay Rose .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael D. Margulies .... camera operator (as Mike Margulies)
Tom Ryan .... gaffer
Ron Vargas .... camera assistant
Haskell Wexler .... camera operator
Andrew Davis .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ralph Gerling .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Paul Golding .... editorial consultant
Marsha F. Griffin .... assistant editor (as Marsha Griffin)
 
Music Department
Mike Bloomfield .... music performer (as Michael Bloomfield)
Paul Butterfield .... music performer
Marcus Doubleday .... music performer
Bob Jones .... music performer
Noel Jukes .... music performer
John Kahn .... music performer
Ira Kamin .... music performer
Fred Olson .... music performer
Jerry Oshita .... music performer
 
Other crew
Jonathan Haze .... assistant to producer
Meta Rebner .... script supervisor
William Schwartz .... production assistant
James Talbot .... title designer
Studs Terkel .... our man in Chicago
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Canada:R (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X | USA:R (re-rating) (1970) | USA:X (1969)
Filming Locations:
Company:

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:
John Cassellis:Jesus I love to shoot film.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Who Needs the Peace Corps?See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Something very special..., 22 July 2005
Author: nicjaytee from London

Absorbing, thought provoking and, above all, a unique record of an important "place & time", why "Medium Cool" still fails to gain the attention it deserves remains one of life's great mysteries.

First off, it's a pretty good if somewhat disjointed story… two "world-wise" middle class news reporters are sent to film the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and become unwittingly involved in its political demonstrations, the inner city problems that have precipitated them, and the lives of a single mother and her young son in this harsh, confusing and seriously under-privileged world. Its acting, in particular from Robert Forster as the lead reporter and the 13 year old Harold Blankenship as the son, is excellent and at times so effective that it's difficult to remember you're watching a rigidly sequenced film rather than a social documentary. And, it's overlaid with some quite stunning cinema-photography from director Haskell Wexler, one of America's very best exponents of the art, backed up by a perfectly pitched late 60's soundtrack.

Good enough so far, but that's just the start. Add-in its extensive live footage from the streets of Chicago as the riots develop, taken by the film's camera crew as they themselves are caught-up in a very "real" political drama, its ominous sequencing of the build up of events from a fun "day in the park" for the hippies/yippies to serious "police state" level violence, its equally chilling images of what was going on inside the Convention Hall while all of this was taking place, and the clever and disturbing scenes of the mother's desperate search for her lost son as Wexler films her within the increasingly anarchic crowds of demonstrators & troops actually on the streets at the time, and you've got… something very special.

Part film and part documentary, not all of what you think is "real" in "Medium Cool" is, and the lines between live and acted scenes are sometimes confusingly and frustratingly blurred, as in the famous call from one of the camera crew of "look out Haskell this is real" as a tear gas canister lands in front of them, which was in fact over-dubbed afterwards. But that's the whole point of the film as the final, almost startling scenes reveal. How far is the media in control? Is what you're seeing real, distorted or contrived? Wexler's brilliance is to take this underlying theme and to mould it into a fascinating exploration of inner city life, American society in a period of huge change, and the power/needs of the media in a TV dominated world, while, in parallel, producing a gripping record of what it's like to be in the centre of a demonstration that's spiralling out of control. Juxtaposing the impersonality of reporting with the very personal situations that are involved, it raises a whole series of questions on the way without falling into the trap of most films of the era in trying to ram home too many answers. And, as a result, it remains as relevant today as it did then.

Quite rightly regarded as one of the best "counter culture" films of the late 60's and much richer and more thought provoking than this classification usually implies, it remains one of the most under-rated films out there.

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