IMDb > Medium Cool (1969)
Medium Cool
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Medium Cool (1969) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   2,787 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 15% 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:
Dateline: Chicago August '68 See more »
Plot:
A 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:
Narrative is weak and improvised but it is interesting, informative and still relevant today See more (52 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)

Jesse Jackson ... 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
Ronald M. Vargas Sr. .... camera assistant (as Ron Vargas)
Haskell Wexler .... camera operator
Andrew Davis .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ralph Gerling .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ronald Vidor .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Paul Golding .... editorial consultant
Marcia Lucas .... 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
The Mothers of Invention .... incidental music (as Mothers Of Invention)
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 verified as 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:
Australia:A | Canada:R (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X | UK:15 (DVD) | USA:R (certificate #22150) (re-rating on appeal) | USA:X (1969)
Filming Locations:
Company:

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:Better call an ambulance.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Sweet Georgia BrownSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Narrative is weak and improvised but it is interesting, informative and still relevant today, 6 June 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

John Cassellis is an investigative journalist for a TV news station, unafraid to go into the areas that others avoid. In the course of his work he gets involved in the black ghettos of Chicago and the racial tensions they hold. As he interviews his subjects, John is challenged by them as well – forced to see what he is doing and why he is greeted with such hostility at times. When he finds that the station have been giving his tapes to the FBI to help them track down suspects he quits his job and tries to go alone, leading to his involvement in the Chicago riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

I only knew a little of this film when I came to watch it – so little in fact that I didn't know if it was a docu-drama or a documentary. After a few minutes I realized that this was a docu-drama and by the end of the film I was left impressed by what the film had done, even if I wasn't totally impressed by the film as a whole. The plot, for what it's worth, follows Cassellis as he reports on tensions in Chicago and then gets personally involved as he gets to see more than just subjects and is forced to take a stand as his tapes are not used for impartial purposes. In terms of narrative the film is pretty messy – the main characters aren't interesting and scenes where we are supposed to get to know them don't really work. At more than one point it seems to totally forget that it has characters and just wanders with the most basic of framework - and the ending is poor in terms of this story. However this film is not about John Cassellis as a character in a story it is about a cameraman's conscience, it is about comment and as such it is very interesting and really captures the period while making some very good points in a very even handed manner.

The film opens really well with a group of journalists discussing their role and in a way this is what the film is about. It is actually moments like the opening that are the best – for me the standout scene was where Cassellis is not allowed to leave a flat full of black people and is forced to not only listen to them but hear them as well. In these moments the film is great – totally of it's time and with a lot to say that is still relevant today. However at times this isn't as good as much as it is interesting and the ending is far, far too obvious and lazy and does an injustice to the intelligence of what has gone before.

Because the narrative is pretty weak the cast have very little to really work with and are caught up in the film (much as Wexler was caught up in real events). Having said that Forster gives a very good performance and it's not his fault that the film's aspirations leave him behind. The rest of the cast are OK and throw up a few faces including Boyle and Wexler himself but generally the focus is Forster at first and then later the setting of the period.

Overall this is a good film and one that is worth seeing, however if you expect it to be a traditional narrative then you will be disappointed. Instead watch it with an understanding of the period and the tensions/fears in America at the time as well as plenty of interesting points and ideas. On top of this film I heartedly recommend that you find and watch the 'making of' documentary called 'Watch Out Haskell it's Real!' as it really does a great job of fleshing out not only the period but also the characters and their story lines.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (52 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Medium Cool (1969)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Connection to 'Blow Up'? ghtx
Medium Cool-Underrated? csu16387
Soundtrack ctzalman
Looking For Similar Movie ulTRAX
Not on Netflix? fletch37
Coming to Criterion in 2013! eskenazi
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Steal This Movie Across the Universe This Revolution Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Calendar Girl
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.