Directed by Henry Hathaway • 1948 • United States
Starring James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb
Lent a gritty authenticity through striking Chicago location shooting and quasi-procedural attention to detail, CALL NORTHSIDE 777 is a prime example of the docudrama-stye noirs that proliferated in the 1940s. In 1932, a cop is killed and Frank Wiecek (Richard Conte) is sentenced to life for the crime. Eleven years later, a newspaper ad by Frank’s mother leads Chicago reporter P. J. Mc’Neal (James Stewart) to look into the case. As O’Neal begins to investigate, he meets increased resistance from authorities unwilling to be proved wrong.