7.3/10
3,610
55 user 73 critic

Medium Cool (1969)

A TV news reporter finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Director:

Haskell Wexler

Writer:

Haskell Wexler
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Forster ... John Cassellis
Verna Bloom ... Eileen
Peter Bonerz ... Gus
Marianna Hill ... Ruth
Harold Blankenship Harold Blankenship ... Harold
Charles Geary Charles Geary ... Harold's Father
Sid McCoy Sid McCoy ... Frank Baker
Christine Bergstrom Christine Bergstrom ... Dede
William Sickingen William Sickingen ... News Director
Robert McAndrew ... Pennybaker
Marrian Walters ... Social Worker
Beverly Younger Beverly Younger ... Rich Lady
Edward Croke Edward Croke ... Plain-clothesman
Doug Kimball Doug Kimball ... Newscaster
Peter Boyle ... 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:

Dateline: Chicago August '68 See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1970 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Concrete Wilderness See more »

Filming Locations:

Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

H & J See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As noted elsewhere on this page and on the soundtracks page, the music of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention was used in the nightclub scene and in the score for a couple other scenes. The individual songs were not credited. However, the band's name does appear in the end credits as "Incidental music by Mothers Of Invention." See more »

Goofs

When Eileen enters the L looks for Harold, she is wearing a white hair band, but when they show her sitting on the L, the hair band is missing. See more »

Quotes

John Cassellis: If I gotta be afraid in order for your argument to work, then you got no argument.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In keeping with the film's documentary style, the cast is not listed during the opening credits, only in the ending credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Due to copyright disputes, all video releases feature some different songs on the soundtrack from the theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Written by Julia Ward Howe
See more »

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User Reviews

Hardly perfect, but a must-see
17 November 2000 | by Catch-52See all my reviews

This is not a film for those who like comfortable Hollywood polish, production values, and formulas. It was shot in a documentary-style, and thus has an immediacy and intensity at a level that can only be found in a handful. It is completely unique in its blending of fact and fiction. The kitchen scene is brilliantly staged and carried off, and the ending is definitely chilling, although more than a little abrupt. (Did they run out of film?) But the truly exciting moment in this film comes when you are watching the demonstrations outside the Chicago convention, and it suddenly sinks in: This is real. It isn't staged for your benefit. The city really was an armed camp, and the police did beat up civilians. The film has a lot of pointless scenes, and the outer story is rather mundane, but the scenes at the convention are an unprecedented achievement - simply brilliant. This film is a must-see for any student of film or history.


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