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Call Northside 777 (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | March 1948 (USA)
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Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... P.J. McNeal
... Frank Wiecek
... Brian Kelly
... Laura McNeal
... Wanda Skutnik
Kasia Orzazewski ... Tillie Wiecek
Joanne De Bergh ... Helen Wiecek (as Joanne de Bergh)
... K.L. Palmer
... Parole Board Chairman
... Sam Faxon
... Martin Burns
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Storyline

In 1932, a cop is killed and Frank Wiecek sentenced to life. Eleven years later, a newspaper ad by Frank's mother leads Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal to look into the case. For some time, McNeal continues to believe Frank guilty. But when he starts to change his mind, he meets increased resistance from authorities unwilling to be proved wrong. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The events in this picture are not fictional and any similarity to actual persons living or dead is _intentional_! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Calling Northside 777  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moroni Olson and Paul Harvey appeared in Father of the Bride (1950) and Father's Little Dividend (1951). See more »

Goofs

When Frank takes the lie detector test he tells the operative he is 5 ft 9 inches tall. Later when McNeal finds the arrest card, it describes Frank as 5 ft 8 inches tall. See more »

Quotes

P.J. McNeal: [to warden, after trying to talk Tomek into confessing to get parole] You must run a nice jail; this guy doesn't want to get out either.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forensic Files: Paintball (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
Played during the Prohibition montage
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This is a true story......
18 May 2008 | by See all my reviews

When a patrol cop is shot and killed, small time crook Frank Wiecek is tried for the crime and promptly sentenced to life imprisonment. Some 11 years on, tough cookie reporter P.J. McNeal gets involved with the case, the further he delves, the more he believes that Wiecek is innocent, but can he find evidence to back up his belief?

Filmed in semi-documentary style by director Henry Hathaway, this James Stewart led noir thriller oozes realism from start to finish. It's actually the lack of gloss and glamour that is the film's trump card. Based on the real story of the Joe Majczek case in 1933, it's filmed perfectly on location in Chicago {where the actual events happened}, gloriously mood emphasised by Joe MacDonald's superb black & white cinematography, and scored with tonal adroitness by Alfred Newman. As intrepid Chicago Times reporter McNeal {based on real reporter Jim McGuire who was a Pulitzer Prize winner for his investigative efforts on this case}, James Stewart lays down a marker for the more edgier character roles that would follow for him in the 50s. Here he plays it perfect as McNeal shifts from mere cynical newsman to an outright crusader of justice; and it's riding along with McNeal that this human interest piece lifts itself to great crime thriller heights. Along the way we find problems are encountered and police procedural techniques are scrutinised. All may not be as it first seemed, and this mysterious element ices what was already a delightful docu-drama based cake.

There is not much else to say, it's a film I personally highly recommend, a fascinating story that is given top care and attention from all involved, mean, moody and yes, magnificent. 8/10


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