Bucking Time: “Call Northside 777”

Henry Hathaway‘s Call Northside 777 (1948) stars James Stewart as a newspaper reporter, P.J. McNeal, who does enough digging on an eleven-year-old case to find out that a convicted cop killer (Richard Conte) is innocent.  Many a person, especially a lying witness, bucks him.

Announcing itself to be a true story, the film has some smart dialogue and satisfactory plot details (usually).  I’m reluctant to call it a work of 1940s non-ideological liberalism, but I suppose that’s what it is—very different from the fanatical illiberalism of those who acted against Brett Kavanaugh by supporting the suspicious Christine Blasey Ford.  Who needs corroboration?

McNeal needs it in the movie, and gets it—corroboration for what he believes is the truth.  Ain’t no substitute for it.

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