Jay Dratler

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Laura Review


Very Good
Gene Tierney stars as the woman whose murder everyone wants solved, while question after question keeps popping up (in 85 spare minutes). With a stellar cast and a laser-guided plot, Laura stands as a classic thriller/whodunit of the 1940s. Unfortunately, it remains solidly in the past, as implausible and as dated as any WWII propaganda reel. When was the last time a detective let a writer tag along on his murder investigation interviews? I'd guess it was probably right about the time of Laura.

Call Northside 777 Review


Good
Not a movie about an air crisis, a police station, or a military action (as the title would seem to indicate), Call Northside 777 is actually one of the most mundane legal thriller/newspaperman activist stories the world has ever seen. The title, as is fitting, refers to a phone number in the movie.

James Stewart seriously runs away with this movie. As skeptical reporter P.J. McNeal, he's tasked with writing a story about a convicted cop killer, 11 years after he's been put away for life. As he investigates, he slowly encounters piece after piece of evidence which exonerates the man -- yet the corrupt Chicago legal and police system won't hear any of it. Based on a true case in 1932, Call Northside 777 was also the first film shot on location in Chi-town.

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