7.4/10
3,183
52 user 68 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
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On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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 »
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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

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 »

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: Better call an ambulance.
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Crazy Credits

Studs Terkel is credited as "Our Man in Chicago". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nothing So Strange (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Needs the Peace Corps?
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Played in nightclub scene while the band The Litter is on screen
See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating Sixties Document
5 June 2004 | by RobertF87See all my reviews

This film is a mixture of documentary footage and conventional narrative.

It tells the story of a tough news camera-man (Robert Forster) who falls for a young widow (Verna Bloom) and befriends her thirteen-year-old son, against the back-drop of the riots in Chicago in 1968.

The film utilises both professional actors and non-professionals, to very good effect. In fact there are scenes, such as the riot sequences, where there is a genuine sense of danger.

The main flaw in the film is that the love story is not well-handled and often quite dull, the far more interesting events are happening elsewhere.

This is a deeply political work and is savagely critical of the callous and cynical media, which distorts people's perceptions of the world.

Worth watching for anyone interested in the sixties, political cinema or American independent film.

Great soundtrack too.


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