Call Northside 777

1948

Drama / Film-Noir

167
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 76%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 73%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 7,953

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 12, 2021

Director

Cast

E.G. Marshall as Rayska
James Stewart as Alfred Kralik
Richard Conte as Frank Wiecek
Samuel S. Hinds as Judge Thatcher
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1019.51 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.85 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 7 / 10 / 10

Wonderful Timeless Classic

From the vaults of 20th Century Fox comes another fine Noir - CALL NORTHSIDE 777. Produced for the studio by Otto Lang in 1948 it continued Fox's splendid policy of producing realistic semi-documentary style thrillers in the great tradition of their earlier and memorable successes "The House On 92nd Street" (1945), "Boomerang" (1947) and "Kiss Of Death" (1947). Although CALL NORTHSIDE 777 lacked the sharpness and depth of these three classics it nevertheless still managed to be an engaging, sublime and well defined thriller thanks in no small measure to the excellent cast (particularly those in supporting roles), the brilliant stark monochrome cinematography by genius Joe McDonald and the tight and taut direction by the faultless Henry Hathaway who had the year before gained universal acclaim for his work on "Kiss Of Death". Based on writings by newspaper man Charles Clarke CALL NORTHSIDE 777 had a beautiful screenplay by Jarome Cady and Jay Dratler. Based on a true story the picture relates how the killing of a policeman in Chicago in 1932 led to the wrongful arrest and conviction of Polish immigrant Frank Wiecek (Richard Conte) on foot of a dubious alibi and a dishonest identification. James Stewart is the reporter P.J. McNeal of the Chicago Times who is asked to investigate a newspaper advertisement placed by a Polish Charwoman offering $5000 for evidence that will get her son out of prison after 10 years of incarceration. McNeal at first thinks nothing of the assignment but when he meets the mother Tillie Wiecek (Kasia Orzazewski) and begins to delve into the case he finds little discrepancies and things that simply don't add up. With further exhaustive investigation - and against the steel will of the city authorities - he is able to prove by the obscure date on a newspaper in a photograph (blown up 140 times) that at the time of the killing Wiecek could not have committed the crime. The acting is superb from all concerned! Jimmy Stewart is terrific as the crusading reporter. Fresh from his tremendous success in the brilliant "It's A Wonderful Life" the year before this was a new departure for the actor to appear in more serious roles. And with "Winchester 73" just around the corner he would soon embark on his greatest and most accessible characterization - the western hero. Richard Conte too is good as the wrongly accused Wiecek but quite fascinating are two women in supporting roles. Firstly Kasia Orzazewski is outstanding as the the anguished, pitiful and distressed mother. Her portrayal is sincere and heartfelt. Also excellent is Bette Garde as the lying and dishonest witness Wanda Skutnik. But missing is a scene that would show her being discredited. Pity they never thought of doing one! It would have been very satisfying! Another fault with the movie is the absence of a music score. Alfred Newman wrote a sturdy and dramatic Main Title and a soaring end title to close the picture but there is no music throughout the film and there are a couple of scenes crying out for some encouragement that only music can provide. It seemed a daft policy of Zanuck in the forties to restrict the use of music in Fox's pictures (the most blatant instance being "The Gunfighter" in 1950). Was he trying to save money? Who knows? However, music not withstanding CALL NORTHSIDE 777 is still a marvellous and engrossing motion picture and remains a timeless classic.

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 7 / 10 / 10

It's a Good World Outside

In 1932 December, in Chicago, the Polish Wanda Skutnik (Betty Garde) runs a speakeasy during the Prohibition. When the policeman Bundy is murdered inside the illegal bar, Frank W. Wiecek (Richard Conte) and his friend Tomek Zaleska are arrested and sentenced to serve 99 years each in the Illinois State Penitentiary. Eleven years later, the Chicago Times' editor Brian Kelly (Lee J. Cobb) is curious with an advertisement offering a US$ 5,000.00 reward for information about the identity of the killers of the policeman eleven years ago. He assigns the efficient reporter P.J. McNeal (James Stewart) to interview the person responsible for the ad. McNeal discovers that Frank's mother Tillie Wiecek (Kasia Orzazewski), who is a janitor, has saved her salary for eleven years to prove the innocence of her beloved son and now is offering the reward for additional information. McNeal is skeptical and believes that Frank is a cop killer, but his matter is successful and Kelly asks him to investigate further. Soon he changes his mind and realizes that Frank is a victim of the corrupt system. "Call Northside 777" is an engaging movie about injustice and redemption based on a true story. The names were changed but most of the location is real. Movies of trial are usually attractive and James Stewart is one of the best actors of the cinema history. The result is a great movie directed by the also excellent Henry Hathaway. The only remark is the awful line of McNeal in the end of the movie: "Aw, look, Frank, it's a big thing when a sovereign state admits an error. But remember this: there aren't many governments in the world that would do it." Terrible way to admit an error that has cost eleven years of a man's life and made him lose his beloved wife and son. My vote is eight. Title (Brazil): "Sublime Devoção" ("Sublime Devotion")

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10 / 10

Wonderful movie about the power of one

James Stewart is a reporter who becomes involved in an old murder case in "Call Northside 777," directed by Henry Hathaway and costarring Lee J. Cobb and Richard Conte. The film is done semidocumentary style, in black and white, and is based on a true story. Much of the movie is done in a low-key, realistic way, with most of the energy coming from Stewart. It takes us through, at some length, certain procedures, such as the administration of a lie detector test. But the movie isn't about that. It's about a reporter's passion for the unjust imprisonment of a young man, who at the time he takes up the cause, has been in prison for 11 years. His wife divorced him at his own request, and his mother has been scrubbing floors to make money to offer a reward. The viewer becomes very engrossed in the story along with Stewart. Stewart gives an excellent performance which hearkens back to "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in a sense - the second half of the film calls for Mr. Smith's commitment, passion, and anger, and Stewart delivers. In the beginning, he's a cynical reporter who doesn't even want to do the story, and then as the facts emerge, he realizes there has been a gross injustice. What an actor. He's surrounded by strong performances from Helen Garde, Kazia Orzazewski, Cobb and Conte, who is very convincing as an innocent man. The most exciting part of the film is at the end, and here's where the spoiler comes in. To prove Conte's innocence, a very early version of a fax machine is used in the form of the AP wire, and it is suspenseful and fascinating to watch the increasingly enlarged photos come off the roll. The final moment, of course, as the last picture is developed, is thrilling. I had just one problem with the scene. The Stewart character is determined to enlarge the photo enough to see the date on a newspaper - when in fact, the headline would have been enough, as one could have gotten the date by researching the headline. It's a minor point. It's a great story and a wonderfully atmospheric movie, taking us into the seedy side of Chicago. Unfortunately, not has much has changed today in the justice system. If you have no money and no advocates, all too often what happened to Frank Wiecek is repeated over and over. But as Stewart tells Conte - I'm paraphrasing - "A state has admitted it made a mistake. That's no small thing. And it wouldn't happen anywhere else in the world." True enough.

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