True Crime (1999 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Clint Eastwood|
|Produced by||Clint Eastwood
Richard D. Zanuck
Lili Fini Zanuck
|Screenplay by||Larry Gross
|Based on||True Crime
by Andrew Klavan
Lisa Gay Hamilton
|Music by||Lennie Niehaus|
|Cinematography||Jack N. Green|
|Editing by||Joel Cox|
The Zanuck Company
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||127 minutes|
True Crime is a 1999 American mystery drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, and based on Andrew Klavan's 1997 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.
Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood), an Oakland journalist recovering from alcoholism, is assigned to cover the execution of convicted murderer Frank Beechum (Isaiah Washington) following the death in a car wreck of Everett's colleague, Michelle Ziegler, who had originally been assigned to the story.
Everett, despite instructions to the contrary from his editor, investigates the background to the case and comes to suspect that Beechum has been wrongly convicted; he has only a few hours to prove his theory and save Beechum's life.
Everett interviews a prosecution witness, Dale Porterhouse, who saw Beechum at the store where the shooting took place and said in his statement to the police that he saw him carrying 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 and that he maybe said what he did in order to impress his co-workers.
Everett confronts D.A. Cecelia Nussbaum for putting an innocent man on death row. She reveals that a third person was interviewed after the crime, a young man who claimed he had only stopped at the store to buy a soda from a machine outside and saw nothing. Everett decides that this man, never called as a witness, is probably the real killer. Meanwhile, Warden Luther Plunkett also starts have qualms about the safety of Beechum's conviction.
Everett falls out with his bosses and loses his job. While working his notice he tracks down Angela Russel, the grandmother of his suspect. She tells him that her grandson Warren 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 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 realises he has seen before, being worn by Angela Russel.
Everett drives to Angela's house. When he tells her about the locket she realises the truth: her grandson was the guilty man. Everett now has to get Angela to the Governor's house in order to persuade him to order a stay of execution, but it seems to be too late. The thiopental, the first drug used in the execution, has already been injected into Frank's bloodstream and he has lost consciousness. Doctors try to revive him, while Bonnie begs for her husband to wake up.
Six months later, a week before Christmas, Everett is out shopping for his daughter. He catches sight of Frank and his family doing their Christmas shopping; until now we had been left to believe that Frank had died. Steve and Frank acknowledge each other, and the film ends.
- Clint Eastwood as Steve Everett
- Isaiah Washington as Frank Louis Beechum
- Denis Leary as Bob Findley
- Lisa Gay Hamilton as Bonnie Beechum
- James Woods as Alan Mann
- Bernard Hill as Warden Luther Plunkitt
- Diane Venora as Barbara Everett
- Michael McKean as Reverend Shillerman
- Mary McCormack as Michelle Ziegler
- Michael Jeter as Dale Porterhouse
- Hattie Winston as Angela Russel
- Penny Bae Bridges as Gail Beechum
- Frances Fisher as D.A. Cecilia Nussbaum
- Christine Ebersole as Bridget Rossiter
- Tom McGowan as Tom Donaldson
- Lucy Liu as Toy Shop Girl
True Crime was a large box-office bomb domestically; with an opening weekend gross of $5,276,109 and a total domestic gross of $16,649,768, out of a $55 million budget. It received mixed reactions from critics, with a score of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- True Crime at the Internet Movie Database
- True Crime at allmovie
- True Crime at Box Office Mojo
- True Crime at Rotten Tomatoes
- True Crime at Metacritic