Show error Call Northside 777 | Best Movies by Farr
Best Movies by Farr

Call Northside 777

Call Northside 777 Poster
Call Northside 777 Poster

Released

1948

Runtime

111

Call Northside 777

Watch it On

Show error

What's it About

Assigned to interview a Polish washerwoman whose son Frank Wiecek (Conte) was imprisoned for killing a police officer over a decade earlier, skeptical Chicago Times newspaperman P.J. McNeal (Stewart) finds himself troubled by the facts in the case. Impressed when Wiecek passes a lie-detector test — and then stonewalled by the cops for seeking public records that could help free the inmate — McNeal is drawn ever deeper into a search for admissible evidence.

Why we love it

Based on a true story, "Northside" is a triumph of documentary realism and noir storytelling for director Hathaway and leading man Jimmy Stewart. Filmed on location and narrated in Movietone-newsreel style, this legal thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat with its detailed attention to such elements as the mechanics of a lie detector. (Even a prototypical fax machine plays an important role.) Stewart is absolutely first-rate as McNeal, and the tremendous supporting cast — especially Conte, Lee J. Cobb (as a cigar-chewing editor), and Betty Garde (as a harridan speakeasy owner) — lend "Northside" further grit and emotional weight. An engrossing urban fable, this is one "Call" worth making.

Up Next

Calle 54