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CALL NORTHSIDE 777

DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 50.87
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CALL NORTHSIDE 777 + The Street with No Name (Fox Film Noir) + Road House (1948) (Fox Film Noir)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop the Presses April 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
For my money this is the best film ever made about American journalism. James Stewart is a staff writer made cycnical over the years by the grubby sensationalism and shallow hackwork that fills most American newspapers. When he actually latches onto a case of genuine injustice it's an episode that transforms his life almost as much as that of the convict he's trying to free. This is certainly director Henry Hathaway's masterpiece and he has never been given sufficient credit for it. The straight-on realism he achieved filming on location in Chicago has rarely if ever been equalled in the American movies in my view, and no effort was made to clean up the untidy skeins of the story either as Hollywood was wont to do. For instance, nothing was done to free the man unjustly convicted along with Richard Conte's character, around whom the story revolves. If you were to make a list of Stewart's 4 or 5 greatest performances this would have to be on it. He uses methods both praiseworthy and ugly to get what he's after and no American movie actor ever brought home that kind of mixed morality better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, True Crime Drama March 6 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Call Northside 777 takes us to Chicago during the early 1930's Prohibition era. The narration throughout the film, especially at the beginning, gives the viewer a vivid feel for the setting of the film.
The murder of a city police officer sends Frank Wiecek (Richard Conte) and an accomplice to a 99-year prison sentence. More than a decade later, Chicago Times editor Brian Kelly (Lee J. Cobb) notices a classified ad in his paper, offering a $5000 reward for information about the "real" killer(s) of the police officer. Assigned to investigate is reporter P.J. McNeal (James Stewart.)
As the film progresses, McNeal's initial sure feelings about Wiecek's guilt become blurred. The headstrong McNeal seemingly does more work on the case in a week than the corrupt police department, seeking a quick conviction and closure of the case, ever did in 1932.
McNeal responds to the ad, placed by Wiecek's mother, Tillie Wiecek, who works as a floor scrubber at Chicago's Wrigley Building. Ms. Wiecek emphatically pleads her son's innocence. A still unconvinced McNeal warns her about scam artists who may try to fraudulently obtain the reward money.
The film heats up as McNeal becomes engrossed in the case. A series of newspaper articles about Wiecek's proclaimed innocence lights up the switchboard at the paper, in support of McNeal's work. Given the positive response, Editor Kelly orders McNeal to stick with it.
A key point in the story is McNeal's legwork in locating witness and store owner Wanda Skutnik, whose testimony helped to send Wiecek up the river.
This film introduces a couple of new technologies of the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Search For Truth...and Justice Sept. 26 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Jimmy Stewart is a Chicago newspaper reporter who does a small human interest story about a woman who runs a newspaper ad offering reward money to anyone who will help clear her son of a murder charge. Stewart's editor thinks there is more to the story and Stewart begrudgingly starts prying it open. Through much of the film Stewart has to struggle with himself wondering if he is righting a wrong or helping to free a cop killer. In the second half of the film, now convinced of the man's innocence Stewart turns from reporter to crusader. We go along for the ride as Stewart meets dead ends, cautious politicians, and cynical prosecutors. There are good scenes between Stewart and Helen Walker as his spouse as well as with Kasia Orzazewski playing the mother of the convicted man. The real strength of the film however is its knowledge of Chicago, especially the Polish immigrant experience. Based on a true story, written with genuine feeling and suspense. Excellent viewing for an entire family.
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Format:VHS Tape
Director Henry Hathaway, a master at semi-documentary filming (The House On 92nd Street) leads Jimmy Stewart through a maze of dead end clues in the prison drama: Call Northside 777. Based on a true story, Hathaway's location shooting in Chicago provides a visual landscape etched with gritty realism. The opening sequences of Chicago's windblown streets are vividly captured. Although the film's running time of 111 minutes is a bit too long, Hathaway succeeds in creating a story based on one man's obsession in finding the truth. Richard Conte plays Frank Wiecek a man accused of murdering a police officer. With only the incrimminating testimony of one eyewitness, Wiecek is convicted and sentenced to a 99 year prison term. Eleven years after Wiecek's conviction, his mother Tillie ( Kasia Orzazewski) saves $5,000 and offers it to anyone that can prove her son's innocence. A reporter ( Stewart) meets Tillie, a floor washer and becomes skeptically involved in the case. Prodded by news cheif Lee J. Cobb, Stewart becomes determined to unravel the complexities surrounding the case. In typical Hathaway fashion, scenes involving a lie detector test, photographic lab work, and the Illinois State Prison grip the viewer. Stewart is excellent as reporter PJ McNeal. His lines, timing, and mannerisms flow genuinely. Stewart's performance in Call Northside 777 reaffirms his fine acting talents. Kasia Orzazewski's performance as Tillie is exceptional. I wonder how Hathaway was able to find this Polish actress whose character was "made" for her. Conte gives an even performance, while Helen Walker as McNeal's wife is a fresh face.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Stewart in Call Northside 777
Excellent movie - Jimmy Stewart at his best. The transition of Stewart as a reporter going from skeptical to a believer in the innocence of the convicted murderer and the resolve... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John D Little
5.0 out of 5 stars Call Northside 777
I am a big fan of film noir and own many dvds in the Fox series. This is a great addition to my collection. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jeff Amyotte
4.0 out of 5 stars ignore John Grave`s review
This is a good film for any jimmy stewart fan.His acting is top-notch as usual.
Published on March 27 2004 by Ben W.
2.0 out of 5 stars No passion, no surprises
Realistic, documentary-style recreations are one thing, but call Northside 777 falls off the mantle.
Sorry, guys, I give thumbs down on this one. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by By Definition
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but under-appreciated Jimmy Stewart movie.
Call Northside 777 is an under-appreciated Jimmy Stewart movie. It casts Stewart as an investigative reporter who tenaciously investigates an old murder for which an innocent man... Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2000 by D. R. Schryer
4.0 out of 5 stars Henry Hathaway Special!
A Classic of sorts in that Henry Hathaway was making films like these( Kiss of Death) , that were shot on location. Read more
Published on June 5 2000 by charles pope
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the movie very much.
When you see a movie as great as this, one forgets that it is in black and white. I would like to know the names of the real people that this was based on.Thank youJanice
Published on May 19 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, classic docu-noir. Campy by 1999 standards.
Good, early Jimmy Stewart work about a man wrongly convicted of a cop murder. Based on a true story, Stewart plays a Chicago reporter who is inspired by an offer of a reward to... Read more
Published on April 13 1999
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