Kick-B(l)ack Friday: #144
Call Northside 777 (1948): Another hybrid of film noir and neorealism. With Jimmy Stewart as a cynical reporter (is there any other kind?) and Richard Conte (The Godfather) as a very sympathetic Polish immigrant who is convicted of murdering a Chicago cop during Prohibition. Based on the real-life conviction and exoneration of Joseph Majczek* and cleverly adapted in docudrama style for the screen, Northside 777 is a strong example of the cinematic transition toward verisimilitude—by featuring on-site filming, relatively understated acting, and (then) state-of-the-art technology.
* Read a synopsis of true events at Northwestern’s Center for Wrongful Convictions.