Nick Bianco is caught during a botched jewellery heist. The prosecution offer him a more lenient sentence if he squeals on his accomplices but he doesn't roll over on them. Three years into the sentence an event changes his mind.
In 1932, a cop is killed and Frank Wiecek sentenced to life. Eleven years later, a newspaper ad by Frank's mother leads Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal to look into the case. For some time, McNeal continues to believe Frank guilty. But when he starts to change his mind, he meets increased resistance from authorities unwilling to be proved wrong.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The man administering the polygraph test to convict Richard Conte was the inventor of the polygraph or lie detector machine, Leonarde Keeler. He played himself in the movie. See more »
During the administration of the lie detector test, the window behind the examiner and Frank has an obvious prison yard background. Then, the camera angle shifts to a close-up of Frank and a clock-face within the room. The camera then pans back to the examiner. The scene in the window has changed to an English cottage by the sea with someone working in the fields. See more »
[to warden, after trying to talk Tomek into confessing to get parole]
You must run a nice jail; this guy doesn't want to get out either.
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Call Northside 777 is a genuinely engaging film. It has reliable James Stewart as an investigative reporter on a story about an alleged cop killer in prison. At first he believes that the prisoner is guilty but then becomes convinced otherwise and is willing to risk his professional reputation on clearing him. The pace of the film is told like a gritty docudrama with no dramatic musical underscore for effect. But more importantly, this film is interesting to watch for a time capsule of post WWII Chicago. The Chicago Times, the police precincts, the ethnic neighborhoods that existed then and a whole sequence of a wireless photo copier. This is generations before the fax machine was ever conceived. This film is important as Stewart was beginning his maturing film roles in the postwar period and taking on good narrative stories and less goodguy next door roles which were going out of fashion.
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