Release Year: 1999
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Larru Gross (screenplay) Paul Brickman (screenplay), Stephen Schiff (screenplay), Andrew Klavan (based his 1995 novel True Crime)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Isaiah Washington, LisaGay Hamilton, James Woods, Denis Leary, Bernard Hill, Diane Verona, Michael McKean, Michael Jeter, Mary McCormack, Hattie Winston, Penny Bae Bridges, Franceca Eastwood
After a colleague dies in an accident, over-the-hill journalist Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood) takes over a piece on the final hours of death row inmate Frank Beechum (Isaiah Washington) on the day on his execution. Everett begins to supect Beechum is innocent but can he prove it in the few hours that remain before the execution?
The plot of True Crime is not unfamiliar: a man is on death row, our protagonist becomes convinced the man is innocent, and tries to prove it before it is too late. Eastwood (White Hunter Black Heart, 1990) produces, directs. and stars as Steve Everett, a journalist whose characteristics are not unlike the usual Eastwood character: he is insolent, drunken, straight talking, and hard-nosed. The film builds slowly, focussing more on Everett than the crime side of the plot and culminates in a fast-paced climax. Eastwood is good, as usual, both as an actor and a director, and he is surrounded by a good supporting cast, including Washington (Ghost Ship, 2002) as the convicted Beechum and Hill (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002) as the professional warden, who may harbour suspicions of his own. The film has a subplot revolving around Everett’s troubled relationship with his wife and daughter, and colleagues, due to his promiscuous behaviour that feels somewhat redundant. A good crime drama that could have spent more time on the case and less time on Everett’s personal life. Recommended.
His daugther in the movie, Kate, was played by Eastwood’s real life daughter Francesca Eastwood.