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Although not yet posted on the website of the Political Film Society
(http://PFS.cjb.net), here is the review:
Clint Eastwood has not given up acting as an eccentric do-gooder who gets the
job done even if nobody respects him. In True Crime, in the role of aging
Oakland newspaper reporter Steve Everett, he saves Frank Beachum, a black man
(played by Isaiah Washington) from the gas chamber by discovering clues
ignored by the police and following them to find the truth. Rather than a
film to preach against the death penalty, similar to several recent films
(such as Dead Man Walking), Eastwood prefers to have Everett finds redemption
in his act of conscience from his many past compulsions—alcoholism,
womanizing, neglecting his son, smoking in a smoke-free work environment, and
even getting facts wrong in a previous news story to save someone from
injustice. His wife divorces him, he loses his job, but an innocent man goes
free. However, the film footage of San Quentin and how the death penalty is
executed, along with the film’s website links to anti-death penalty sites,
make clear Eastwood’s intentions. Instead of Dirty Harry, he has become Sad
Harry, certainly not Saint Harry, but the political is unfortunately lost in
the personal.
Michael Haas

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