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.