6.6/10
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True Crime (1999)

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Can an over-the-hill journalist uncover the evidence that can prove a death row inmate's innocence just hours before his execution?

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Andrew Klavan (novel), Larry Gross (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Steve Everett
Isaiah Washington ... Frank Louis Beechum
LisaGay Hamilton ... Bonnie Beechum
James Woods ... Alan Mann
Denis Leary ... Bob Findley
Bernard Hill ... Warden Luther Plunkitt
Diane Venora ... Barbara Everett
Michael McKean ... Reverend Shillerman
Michael Jeter ... Dale Porterhouse
Mary McCormack ... Michelle Ziegler
Hattie Winston ... Angela Russel
Penny Bae Bridges ... Gail Beechum
Francesca Eastwood ... Kate Everett (as Francesca Fisher-Eastwood)
John Finn ... Reedy
Laila Robins ... Patricia Findley
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Storyline

Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood), Oakland Tribune journalist with a passion for women and alcohol, is given the coverage of the upcoming execution of murderer Frank Louis Beachum (Isaiah Washington). His attractive colleague Michelle Ziegler (Mary McCormack) died in a car accident the night before. Bob Findley (Denis Leary), Steve's boss and husband to Steve's current affair, wants him dead and gone as soon as possible. When Steve stumbles across the possibility of Frank Louis Beachum being innocently on death row, Bob feels his time to have come. Now Steve only has a few hours left to prove the innocence of Frank and to be right with this theory, as he definitely will be history if he's not. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

True Crimes See more »

Filming Locations:

Cotati, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,276,109, 21 March 1999

Gross USA:

$16,649,768

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,649,768
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The movie was a failure at the box-office, earning back less than half of its production cost, and making it Clint Eastwood's second worst performing picture of the 1990s after White Hunter Black Heart (1990). See more »

Goofs

Immediately after Michelle Ziegler's car hits the truck, its windshield is intact. Later in the movie when Steve Everett is looking at the car, there is a big hole in the windshield. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Roger Waters: [examining Beechum] Blood pressure: 120 over 70. Normal. All right, open wide. Looks fine. Healthy as a horse. Just one more thing, Luther.
Warden Luther Plunkitt: You got to whiz in the cup, Frank. Then we're done.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Andrew Klavan Show: Hurricane of Lies (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Should I Care
Written by Clint Eastwood, Carole Bayer Sager and Linda Thompson
Produced by David Foster and Tommy LiPuma
Performed by Diana Krall
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Clint soars again with a good cast, adding lustre to routine story.
19 March 1999 | by movieman9See all my reviews

I'll be perfectly frank; it's difficult for me not to have bias in my reviews of Clint Eastwood films because I admire his persona as a actor and director a great deal. However, saying that, I never shy away from giving credit when credit is due. I praised "Bridges of Madison County," raved "In the Line of Fire," okayed "Absolute Power," and failed to see the point of "Midnight in the Garden..." Clint's latest effort, entitled TRUE CRIME, is another good mystery that can be added to Clint's stellar works of the nineties. I will admit that it doesn't necessarily give us a story that we haven't seen before, or give us a Clint that we failed to notice previously, but the acting is so top-notch and the story is very well-paced, it's very hard to knock this film. Clint is a journalist for an Oakland paper who is famous for turning print media into crime-solving reports. He is also far from saintly, sleeping around with various women of assorted age groups (one of them happens to be his supervisor's wife), and of course, he drinks up a storm. Amidst all these turn-offs, he still has the guts to prove that a young black man (Isaiah Washington, in a fine performance) is not guilty of killing a convenience store clerk in cold blood. He has less than a day to prove it because, it so happens, Washington is to be executed by lethal injection at San Quentin by a minute after midnight, that very night! Sound familiar? What does work very well in TRUE CRIME is the way in which the film is paced. Clint cuts right to the chase, giving us just the facts, keeping the suspense taut throughout the whole film, and maintaining our interest. His cast is well chosen as always. Washington is a fine new talent, doing an effecting acting job here. James Woods appears in a few entertaining scenes as the head editor of the paper, humorous and stylish as usual. Denis Leary, very subdued this time, is Eastwood's protege. Frances Fisher even turns up briefly as the district attorney who handled Washington's case six years before. TRUE CRIME is a good thriller, told with quick pacing, effective acting, and good direction as always by Eastwood. The only major problem I have is that it doesn't provide us with any new plotlines or intricate complications. But then again, how often do we get something like this from Hollywood anymore? It is certainly not a lot. Rating: Three stars.


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