Haskell Wexler

Medium Cool

Medium Cool

It’s 1968, and the whole world is watching. With the U.S. in social upheaval, famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler decided to make a film about what the hell was going on. Medium Cool, his debut feature, plunges us into the moment. With its mix of fictional storytelling and documentary technique, this depiction of the working world and romantic life of a television cameraman (Robert Forster) is a visceral cinematic snapshot of the era, climaxing with an extended sequence shot right in the middle of the riots surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. An inventive commentary on the pleasures and dangers of wielding a camera, Medium Cool is as prescient a political film as Hollywood has ever produced.

Film Info

  • Haskell Wexler
  • United States
  • 1969
  • 110 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #658

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION

  • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, approved by director Haskell Wexler, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two audio commentaries, one featuring Wexler, editorial consultant Paul Golding, and actor Marianna Hill, and the other featuring historian Paul Cronin
  • New interview with Wexler
  • Extended excerpts from “Look Out Haskell, It’s Real!,” a documentary by Cronin about the making of Medium Cool, featuring interviews with Wexler; Golding; actors Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, and Robert Forster; Chicago historian Studs Terkel; and others
  • Excerpts from Sooner or Later, Cronin’s documentary about Harold Blankenship, who plays Harold in the film
  • “Medium Cool” Revisited, a new half-hour video by Wexler about the Occupy movement’s protests against the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic and programmer Thomas Beard

New cover by Fred Davis

Purchase Options

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION

  • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, approved by director Haskell Wexler, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two audio commentaries, one featuring Wexler, editorial consultant Paul Golding, and actor Marianna Hill, and the other featuring historian Paul Cronin
  • New interview with Wexler
  • Extended excerpts from “Look Out Haskell, It’s Real!,” a documentary by Cronin about the making of Medium Cool, featuring interviews with Wexler; Golding; actors Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, and Robert Forster; Chicago historian Studs Terkel; and others
  • Excerpts from Sooner or Later, Cronin’s documentary about Harold Blankenship, who plays Harold in the film
  • “Medium Cool” Revisited, a new half-hour video by Wexler about the Occupy movement’s protests against the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic and programmer Thomas Beard

New cover by Fred Davis

Medium Cool
Cast
Robert Forster
John
Verna Bloom
Eileen
Peter Bonerz
Gus
Marianna Hill
Ruth
Harold Blankenship
Harold
Charles Geary
Harold’s father
Robert Blankenship
Harold’s friend
Sid McCoy
Frank Baker
Christine Bergstrom
Dede
William Sickinger
News director
Robert McAndrew
Pennybaker
Marrian Walters
Social worker
Beverly Younger
Rich lady
Edward Croke
Plainclothesman
Doug Kimball
Newscaster
Peter Boyle
Gun clinic manager
Georgia Todda
Secretary
Janet Langhart
Maid
Jeff Donaldson
Black militants
Bill Sharp
Robert Paige
Richard Abrams
Walter Bradford
Russell Davis
Felton Perry
Val Grey
Livingston Lewis
Barbara Jones
John Jackson
James Jacobs
Kennedy students
Spence Jackson
Dorien Suhr
Kenneth Whitener
Connie Fleischauer
Mary Smith
Nancy Noble
Simone Zorn
Media people
Madeleine Marcou
Mickey Pallas
Morris Bleckman
Lestre Brownlee
Linn Ehrlich
Wally Wright
Sam Ventura
George Bouillet
Credits
Director
Haskell Wexler
Written by
Haskell Wexler
Produced by
Tully Friedman
Produced by
Haskell Wexler
Editorial consultant
Paul Golding
Assistant to the producer
Jonathan Haze
Director of photography
Haskell Wexler
Music scored by
Mike Bloomfield
Assistant editor
Marsha Griffin
Production assistant
William Schwartz
Camera operators
Haskell Wexler
Camera operators
Mike Margulies
Camera assistant
Ron Vargas
Our man in Chicago
Studs Terkel
Associate producers
Michael Philip Butler
Associate producers
Steven North
Art director
Leon Erickson
Editor
Verna Fields
Sound
Chris Newman
Sound editor
Kay Rose
Music performed by
Mike Bloomfield
Music performed by
Paul Butterfield
Music performed by
Marcus Doubleday
Music performed by
Bob Jones
Music performed by
Noel Jukes
Music performed by
John Kahn
Music performed by
Ira Kamin
Music performed by
Fred Olson
Music performed by
Jerry Oshita
Incidental music by
The Mothers of Invention

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