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 <email@example.com>
The "roundhouse" where Frank Wiecek (Richard Conte) is kept at the Stateville prison, was the only remaining panopticon still in use in the United States in the 1990s. It was closed in 2016, but the structure remains, due to its historical significance. See more »
The title is a misnomer. Telephone exchanges at the time of the story were always spelled with the first two letters in caps, i.e. NOrthside, followed by four, not three numerical digits. See more »
Aw, look, Frank, it's a big thing when a sovereign state admits an error. But remember this: there aren't many governments in the world that would do it.
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Opening credits are printed on the pages of a book; it is also stated that this is a true story. See more »
Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)
Music by Fred Fisher
Played during the Prohibition montage See more »
Engrossing Crime Drama
"Call Northside 777" is a well made crime drama shot in semi-documentary style. It benefits from a solid script, and tight direction (by Henry Hathaway). It also features a naturalistic James Stewart as a sharp investigative reporter; much of the success of the film is due to his thoroughly convincing performance. A fine support cast includes Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb and Helen Walker. What ages the film a bit is the now somewhat dated technology featured (a lengthy episode in which the lie detector is treated in detail, along with certain photographic reproduction and transference techniques). Yet, one can view these aspects as historically accurate representations, and enjoy the total production, which is on a commendably high level.
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