7.4/10
3,316
53 user 69 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

On Disc

at Amazon

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

In the psychedelic nightclub sequence, the band seen performing on the stage is The Litter, a Minneapolis-based group. However, everything that is heard, starting when "America is Wonderful" is flashed on screen, is by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. Three tracks edited together are heard: excerpts of "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" and "Are You Hung Up?" followed by most of "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" 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: Jesus I love to shoot film.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Studs Terkel is credited as "Our Man in Chicago". 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

Referenced in Jackie Brown: How It Went Down (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Performed 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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