Home Box Office FAQ: Is Changeling a true story?

FAQ: Is Changeling a true story?


The real story this film is based on will leave you shocked.
In the 1920s, telephone operator Christine Collins lived in Los Angeles. Her husband, a tram driver, left her and their nine-year-old son Walter. In March 1928, Walter disappeared.

Premiere year: 2008
Director: Clint Eastwood
Budget: US$55,000,000
Box office in the USA: US$35,739,802
Total box office: US$113,020,256
IMDB: 7.80/10 (219,214)

Five months later, the police found a child in Illinois who identified himself as Walter Collins. Collins goes the police station to be reunited with her child, but she is crushed when she realizes that the boy is not her son. However, she allowed the newspapers to take their photo, and she brought the child home with her. Soon after, Collins started insisting that the boy is a stranger to her, but the police didn’t believe her. They claimed that she was mentally unstable and sent her to a psychiatric hospital.

Ten days later, Collins was released when the boy admitted that his real name was Arthur Hutchins. He had run away from home to go to Hollywood because he wanted to meet the star of “the cowboy movies,” Tom Mix.

Since 1926, the Los Angeles Police had been run by Chief James E. Davis. In those days, the criminals were rarely prosecuted through the correct legal channels. City authorities were corrupt, which trickled down into law enforcement. To combat this, Chief Davis ousted 240 of his subordinates from service. He also created a “special forces” team consisting of 50 people to deal with criminals on the streets.

“I want them brought in dead, not alive and will reprimand any officer who shows the least mercy to a criminal,” said Chief Davis. In the 1930s, he created a select group to fight the “red” radicals and rioters. “Communists have no constitutional rights, and I won’t listen to anyone who protects them,” he declared.

The events of the Collins’ story took place during the service of Chief Davis. Collins continued to wait for a long time, hoping that her son would one day return to her. Walter’s body was never found. Collins sued Police Captain Jones, who led the search for Walter. He was punished, temporarily dismissed from service, then restored. Collins was last heard from in 1941 when she tried to sue now-retired Captain Jones for $15,000. After 1954, there is no further information on Collins, although some sources claim that she allegedly died in 1985.

What was the movie “Changeling” about?

During the Collins investigation, there were many ambiguities, lies, and contradictions. They are not dissipated by the script of Michael Straczynski, which is the script that Eastwood’s film was based on. The story is divided into two parts. The first half focuses on denouncing the police and authorities. In the film, Christine Collins is presented as the victim of Captain Jones and the sadistic psychiatrist. However, it is unknown if these individuals were actually the monsters that they were portrayed to be, as Hollywood is known to take liberties to bolster a film’s plot. Personally, I am inclined to think that is the case. For example, it is not by chance that the priest of the Presbyterian church, Rev. Gustav Arminius Briegleb (played by John Malkovich), who hates the police comes to Collins’ aid, which forces a pro-religion narrative.

Box office

The film’s budget was $55 million. During the rental period, it collected $113,020,256 worldwide, placing 53rd in earnings for the year. In the US, $35,739,802 was earned (placing 80th in yearly earnings), and $77,280,454 was made throughout the rest of the world.

What really happened to Walter Collins?

On March 10, 1928, nine-year-old Walter Collins disappeared on the way to his local theater, where he went alone. His abductor was named Gordon Northcott.

Who killed Walter Collins?

Three individuals played a role in Walter Collins’ disappearance and murder: The man who kidnapped Collins was named Gordon Northcott. He had two accomplishes, his nephew, Sanford Clark, and his mother, Sara Northcott.

Sanford Clark later testified that Sara Northcott decided that all three of them should be involved in the Collins’ murder to prevent anyone from going to the police. Gordon Northcott suggested using a gun, but Sarah Northcott cautioned that the noise would attract the neighbors’ attention. The chosen murder weapon was the blunt end of the ax handle.

How did Walter Collins die?

The ax handle was used to strike Walter Collins when he was sleeping in his bunk in the hen house. Gordon Northcott, Sarah Northcott, and Sanford Clark took turns striking Collins.

Judicial hearings

Sarah Northcott took the blame for the murder of Walter Collins. On December 31, 1928, she was sentenced to life in prison. She served time in the California state prison, Tehachapi, where she was conditionally released less than 12 years later.

Another court session, ruled by Judge George R. Freeman, lasted 27 days and ended on February 8, 1929. Gordon Northcott was convicted for the murder of an unidentified Mexican boy and the Winslow brothers. On February 13, 1929, Gordon Northcott received the death penalty by hanging. The execution took place on October 2, 1930, in the San Quentin prison.



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