Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Medium Cool (1969)

Medium Cool (1969)

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.

John Cassellis
Robert Forster
Eileen Horton
Verna Bloom
Peter Bonerz
Marianna Hill
Harold Horton
Harold Blankenship
Frank Baker
Sid McCoy
Christine Bergstrom
Charles Geary
Karlin, news director
William Sickinger

Haskell Wexler