THE EXCHANGE FILM – Directed by Clint Eastwood, The Exchange adapts Christine Collins’ true story to the cinema.
[Mis à jour le 22 novembre 2020 à 20h50] It is a tragic true story that inspired L’Echange in 2008. The film directed by Clint Eastwood with Angelina Jolie in the role of the protagonist returned to the Christine Collins affair. A sordid case of disappearance of children which has brought to light the dysfunctions of the police and their corruption. In March 1928, the latter reported the disappearance of her son, Walter Collins, aged 9. Five months later, the Los Angeles police announced that the little boy had been found: however, at the time of the reunion, Christine Collins absolutely did not recognize her child.
While Christine Collins warns the authorities that it is definitely not her son, the police force refuses to believe her and interns her for several days in a mental hospital. It was Captain JJ Jones, in charge of the investigation, who specifically made this request. In parallel, JJ Jones questions the boy, who admits not to be Walter Collins: it is about a twelve-year-old child who ran away from his home. The latter decided to pass himself off as little Walter in order to get closer to Hollywood and to meet his favorite actor. After filing a complaint against the Los Angeles police, Christine Collins wins her case. But the sum owed to him by the captain was never paid to him.
But what happened to young Walter Collins? In 1929, a pedophile killer Gordon Northcott, was found guilty of kidnapping, assaulting and killing three young boys. His mother had confessed that among her victims was young Walter Collins. however, Gordon Northcott has always denied killing Christine Collins’ son, and his mother ultimately retracted her testimony. Christine Collins died in 1964, never knowing what had happened to her child. But according to journalist J. Michael Straczynski, who wrote the script for the film, “his fight impacted the state’s legal system, it caused the collapse of the LA municipality. I just wanted to pay tribute to this woman. “
This Clint Eastwood film is inspired by real events that happened in 1928 in Los Angeles. Christine Collins, by reporting the disappearance of her young son, had then discovered and made known the more than doubtful ways of acting of a corrupt police force. The Exchange has received numerous nominations, notably at the Cannes Film Festival and for the Oscars, but no awards. It was a modest success, more substantial abroad than in the United States with for example in France a little less than 1.4 million admissions.
Synopsis – Los Angeles, 1928, one year before the stock market crash. A young woman, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), a single telephone operator, says goodbye to her nine-year-old son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) as she has to go to work. On his return, he disappeared. Five months without news … Then, she learns that her son has been found, and that he will be returned to him. Mad with joy, she goes to meet him, but the shock is severe. On the station platform, she does not recognize the child (Devon Conti) that is presented to her. She is convinced that this is not her little boy. However, he has the same name and knows everything about his supposed mother … While the authorities refuse to question the results of their investigation, Christine notably finds help from Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), a very influential host of a Protestant radio station who advises him to testify against the police on his antenna … For his part, Detective Ybarra (Michael Kelly) will discover in Riverside County elements likely to significantly advance investigation…