Cinema verité documentary about the violent events surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago mixed with a fictional story about hard-bitten television news cameraman John Cassellis (Robert Forster).
Oscar-winning cameraman Haskell Wexler (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) turned director with this study of America’s political temperature in the turbulent late-1960s.
Much of the movie’s thrust derives from media pundit Marshall McLuhan’s dictum that “the medium is the message” – in other words, that TV itself is more important than anything shown on it.
This is a provocative and hugely influential movie that ends on a note of deep pessimism with the famous chant, “The whole world is watching”.
The almost documentary-like feel of a naked-as-jaybirds romp between Forster and Marianna Hill, with the two of them ending up literally between the sheets, earned the movie an X classification on release.
Karlin, news director