True Crime (1999 film)

Last updated

True Crime
Truecrime.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Screenplay by Larry Gross
Paul Brickman
Stephen Schiff
Based onTrue Crime
by Andrew Klavan
Produced byClint Eastwood
Richard D. Zanuck
Lili Fini Zanuck
Starring
Cinematography Jack N. Green
Edited by Joel Cox
Music by Lennie Niehaus
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 19, 1999 (1999-03-19)
Running time
127 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$55 million [1]
Box office$16.6 million [1]

True Crime is a 1999 American mystery thriller film directed by Clint Eastwood, and based on Andrew Klavan's 1995 novel of the same name. Eastwood also stars in the film as a journalist covering the execution of a death row inmate, only to discover that the convict may actually be innocent.

Contents

The film was released on March 19, 1999 and became a box-office bomb, grossing just $16 million against its $55 million production budget.

Plot

Steve Everett, an Oakland journalist recovering from alcoholism, is assigned to cover the execution of convicted murderer Frank Beechum following the death of Everett's colleague, Michelle Ziegler, who had originally been assigned to the story.

Everett investigates the background to the case and comes to suspect that Beechum has been wrongly convicted of murdering Amy Wilson. He gets permission from his editor's boss to investigate, and is told that the top editor would call the Governor, and that would do the job, if Everett gets hard proof. He thus has a little over 12 hours to confirm his hunch and save Beechum.

Everett interviews a prosecution witness, Dale Porterhouse, who saw Beechum at the store with a gun. Everett questions Porterhouse's account, saying that, because of the layout of the store, he could not have seen a gun in Beechum's hand.

Everett confronts D.A. Cecelia Nussbaum, who reveals that, a young man, Warren, was interviewed and claimed he had stopped at the store to buy a soda and saw nothing. Everett suspects that Warren, never called as a witness, is probably the real killer. He breaks into the deceased reporter's house, suspecting that she had been onto something and finds her file on Warren. Meanwhile, Warden Luther Plunkett also starts to have doubts about Beechum's guilt.

Everett falls out with his bosses and is fired on the spot, but he points out that his contract entitles him to adequate notice. They ask him how much notice he requires, and, looking at his watch, he says 6 hours and 7 minutes. He tracks down Angela Russel, Warren's grandmother. She tells him that her grandson could not have been the murderer, and berates him for the lack of interest from the press when Warren himself was killed in a mugging two years after Amy's murder.

The prison chaplain misrepresents an exchange with Beechum as a confession to the crime. Everett hears about this on the radio and loses heart; on top of this, his wife Barbara has found out about his affair with his editor's wife and has turned him out of the house. He is about to start drinking again when he sees a piece on TV that shows a photograph of Amy wearing a locket, a locket he realizes he has seen before, being worn by Angela Russel.

Everett drives back to Angela's house. When he tells her about the locket, she realizes the truth: her grandson was the killer. Everett now has to get Angela to the Governor's house in order to persuade him to order a stay of execution. As they approach the Governor's mansion, the first of three drugs used in the execution has already been injected into Frank's bloodstream and he has lost consciousness. The Governor calls, and the doctors try to revive him, while his wife Bonnie bangs on the window calling out for him to wake up.

Six months later, a week before Christmas, Everett is out buying a stuffed hippo for his daughter, and the store's proprietor mentions that he is famous and may even win a Pulitzer. He catches sight of Frank and his family doing their Christmas shopping. Steve and Frank acknowledge each other, but Frank's daughter shouts for him to "come on," which Frank does.

Cast

Reception

True Crime was a large box-office bomb domestically; with an opening weekend gross of $5.3 million and a total domestic gross of $16.6 million, against a $55 million budget. [1]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 54% based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "True Crime has the potential for a gripping character-driven mystery, but a pedestrian story and a miscast Clint Eastwood undermine its effectiveness." [2] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [3] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale. [4]

Related Research Articles

Clint Eastwood American actor and filmmaker

Clinton Eastwood Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, and composer. After achieving success in the Western TV series Rawhide, he rose to international fame with his role as the "Man with No Name" in Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy" of Spaghetti Westerns during the mid-1960s and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made Eastwood an enduring cultural icon of masculinity. Elected in 1986, Eastwood served for two years as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

<i>Unforgiven</i> 1992 film

Unforgiven is a 1992 American Revisionist Western film directed, produced by, and starring Clint Eastwood in the lead role and written by David Webb Peoples. The film tells the story of William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job, years after he had turned to farming. The film co-stars Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris.

<i>Mystic River</i> (film) 2003 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood

Mystic River is a 2003 American neo-noir psychological mystery crime drama film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, and Emmy Rossum. The screenplay, written by Brian Helgeland, was based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. It is the first film in which Eastwood was credited as composer of the score.

<i>Magnum Force</i> 1973 film

Magnum Force is a 1973 American action thriller film and the second to feature Clint Eastwood as maverick cop Harry Callahan after the 1971 film Dirty Harry. Ted Post, who had previously worked with Eastwood on Rawhide and Hang 'Em High, directed the film. The screenplay was written by John Milius and Michael Cimino. The film score was composed by Lalo Schifrin. This film features early appearances by David Soul, Tim Matheson and Robert Urich. At 122 minutes, it is the longest of the five Dirty Harry films.

<i>Blood Work</i> (film) 2002 American film

Blood Work is a 2002 American mystery thriller film produced, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood. The film co-stars Jeff Daniels, Wanda De Jesús, and Anjelica Huston. It is based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Michael Connelly.

<i>The Enforcer</i> (1976 film) 1976 film by James Fargo

The Enforcer is a 1976 American action thriller film and the third in the Dirty Harry film series. Directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Tyne Daly as Inspector Kate Moore, and DeVeren Bookwalter as criminal mastermind Bobby Maxwell. It was also the last film in the series to feature John Mitchum as Inspector Frank DiGiorgio.

<i>Sudden Impact</i> 1983 film by Clint Eastwood

Sudden Impact is a 1983 American action thriller film and the fourth in the Dirty Harry series, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film tells the story of a gang rape victim (Locke) who decides to seek revenge on the rapists ten years after the attack by killing them one by one. Inspector Callahan (Eastwood), famous for his unconventional and often brutal crime-fighting tactics, is tasked with tracking down the serial killer.

<i>High Plains Drifter</i> 1973 American Western film by Clint Eastwood

High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American Western film directed by Clint Eastwood, written by Ernest Tidyman, and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. The film stars Eastwood as a mysterious stranger who metes out justice in a corrupt frontier mining town. The film was influenced by the work of Eastwood's two major collaborators, film directors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel. In addition to Eastwood, the film also co-stars Verna Bloom, Mariana Hill, Mitchell Ryan, Jack Ging, and Stefan Gierasch.

<i>Escape from Alcatraz</i> (film) 1979 film by Don Siegel

Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison thriller film directed by Don Siegel. It is an adaptation of the 1963 non-fiction book of the same name by J. Campbell Bruce and dramatizes the 1962 prisoner escape from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island. The film stars Clint Eastwood, and features Patrick McGoohan, Fred Ward, Jack Thibeau, and Larry Hankin. Danny Glover appears in his film debut. Escape from Alcatraz marks the fifth and final collaboration between Siegel and Eastwood, following Coogan's Bluff (1968), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), The Beguiled (1971), and Dirty Harry (1971).

<i>Space Cowboys</i> 2000 American adventure drama film

Space Cowboys is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. It stars Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner as four older "ex-test pilots" who are sent into space to repair an old Soviet satellite.

<i>Absolute Power</i> (film) 1997 American political thriller film directed by Clint Eastwood

Absolute Power is a 1997 American political action thriller film produced by, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood as a master jewel thief who witnesses the killing of a woman by Secret Service agents. The screenplay by William Goldman is based on the 1996 novel Absolute Power by David Baldacci. Screened at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, the film also stars Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Judy Davis, Scott Glenn and Dennis Haysbert. It was also the last screen appearance of E. G. Marshall. The scenes in the museum were filmed in the Walters Art Museum.

<i>Rawhide</i> (TV series) American Western television series

Rawhide is an American Western TV series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood. The show aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959, to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965, until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. The series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke. The show is fondly remembered by many for its theme, "Rawhide".

<i>A Perfect World</i> 1993 film by Clint Eastwood

A Perfect World is a 1993 American crime drama film directed by Clint Eastwood. It stars Kevin Costner as an escaped convict who takes a young boy hostage and attempts to escape on the road with the child. Eastwood co-stars as a Texas Ranger in pursuit of the convict.

<i>Dirty Harry</i> (film series) American action film series

Dirty Harry is an American action film series featuring San Francisco Police Department Homicide Division Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. There are five films: Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983) and The Dead Pool (1988). Clint Eastwood portrayed Callahan in all five films and directed Sudden Impact.

<i>Changeling</i> (film) 2008 film by Clint Eastwood

Changeling is a 2008 American mystery crime drama film directed, produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood and written by J. Michael Straczynski. The story was based on real-life events, specifically the 1928 Wineville Chicken Coop murders in Mira Loma, California. It stars Angelina Jolie as a woman united with a boy who she realizes is not her missing son. When she tries to demonstrate this to the police and city authorities, she is vilified as delusional, labeled as an unfit mother, and confined to a psychiatric ward. The film explores themes of child endangerment, female disempowerment, political corruption, mistreatment of mental health patients, and the repercussions of violence.

<i>J. Edgar</i> 2011 film by Clint Eastwood

J. Edgar is a 2011 American biographical drama film based on the career of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, directed, produced and scored by Clint Eastwood. Written by Dustin Lance Black, the film focuses on Hoover's life from the 1919 Palmer Raids onward. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Lucas, and Judi Dench. It marked Adam Driver's film debut.

<i>American Sniper</i> 2014 film by Clint Eastwood

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is loosely based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The film follows the life of Kyle, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills from four tours in the Iraq War, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. While Kyle was celebrated for his military successes, his tours of duty took a heavy toll on his personal and family life. The film was produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, and Peter Morgan. It stars Cooper as Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife Taya, with Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban, and Keir O'Donnell in supporting roles.

<i>The 15:17 to Paris</i> 2018 American biographical drama film

The 15:17 to Paris is a 2018 American biographical drama film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Dorothy Blyskal, based on the 2016 autobiography The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Jeffrey E. Stern, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos. The film stars Stone, Sadler, and Skarlatos as themselves and follows the trio through life leading up to and including their stopping of the 2015 Thalys train attack. Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer also star.

<i>The Mule</i> (2018 film) 2018 film directed by Clint Eastwood

The Mule is a 2018 American crime drama film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the lead role. The screenplay, by Nick Schenk, is based on the 2014 The New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule" by Sam Dolnick, which recounts the story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran who became a drug courier for the Sinaloa Cartel in his 80s.

<i>Richard Jewell</i> (film) 2019 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood

Richard Jewell is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood and written by Billy Ray. It is based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article "American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell" by Marie Brenner and the 2019 book The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen. The film depicts the July 27 Centennial Olympic Park bombing and its aftermath, as security guard Richard Jewell finds a bomb during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and alerts authorities to evacuate, only to later be wrongly accused of having placed the device himself. The film stars Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell, alongside Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, and Olivia Wilde.

References

  1. 1 2 3 True Crime at Box Office Mojo
  2. "True Crime". Rotten Tomatoes .
  3. "True Crime". Metacritic .
  4. "Find CinemaScore" (Type "True Crime" in the search box). CinemaScore . Retrieved February 19, 2020.