Call Northside 777 par Bosley Crowther

Call Northside 777 par Bosley Crowther

19 février 1948. Il fait toujours aussi froid sur New York. Patiemment, le Passant Cinéphile arpente les boulevards à la recherche d’une toile à se faire. Son choix s’arrête sur Call Northside 777 dont on dit le plus grand bien et qui passe au Roxy Theater.

Critique d’époque :

« In the same style and in much the same pattern of its previously successful Boomerang, which told how a daring stat’s attorney proved the innocence of a man he was supposed to convict, Twentieth Century-Fox has made a picture which, with equal fascination, describes how a Chicago newspaper reporter does the same thing for a man who has long been in jail. Call Northside 777 is its title and it came to the Roxy yesterday. If the points of similarity are too obvious, try not to reflect upon them.

For « Northside » or « 777 » (that title is much too long) is a slick piece of modern melodrama in anybody’s book. It combines a suspenseful mystery story with a vivid, realistic pictorial style, and it has some intriguing arcana in it on the gentlemen of the press. If some of its newspaper techniques are not entirely in line and if its climactic evidence is flimsy, blame that on the scriptwriters’ awe. The Hollywood people are usually overwhelmed by the mightiness of the press.

Not that the likelihood is farfetched that a practicing newspaper man should suddenly become extremely curious about an ancient and closed murder case. A thing such as that, here reported, is supposed to have occurred in Chicago, no less. And not that this newshound, once scenting a miscarriage of justice in the air, might not pursue such stale and cold clues as could lead him to a startling exposé. Such things have frequently happened in the experience of the American press.

And as the story is patiently unfolded in this remarkably photogenic film, with lie-detectors and miniature cameras and telephoto equipment to dress it up, it looks altogether plausible and highly exciting, to boot. Furthermore, it is winningly acted by James Stewart as the reporter-sleuth, Richard Conte as the victim of injustice and Lee J. Cobb as a quizzical editor. It is also impressively supported by the well-turned performances of Betty Garde, Kasia Orzazewski and Joanne De Bergh, among others, in lesser roles.

In short, there is nothing in this picture except a whopping shortcut towards the end – and a few false parochialisms – to keep it from banging the bell. That piece of eleven-year-old evidence which the newspaper man unfolds to prove the innocence of his convict is as gauzy as the background of the case and as much of an insult to the intelligence of a reporter as it is to the virtue of the state. But then, as we say, the scriptwriters were obviously in awe. And they had to end their picture. And this happened, in Chicago, anyhow« . Par Bosley Crowther pour le New York Times.

James Stewart se rend à la prison de Joliet

Bosley Crowther a été emballé par ce Call Northside 777. Sa photographie, la reconstitution quasi documentaire de l’affaire qui intéresse le journaliste et l’interprétation ont emporté le morceau. Bon, Bosley reste Bosley. Il trouve que le titre est trop long. Fallait bien râler pour quelque chose. Hein, Bosley !

Retrouvez mon avis sur ce Call Northside 777 (Appelez Nord 777) directement ici.

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