Changeling Digs Up True LA Crime Tale

Case of a missing boy turns into a decade-long court fight
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2008 7:35 PM CDT
Director Clint Eastwood poses backstage at a press conference for his new movie "Changeling" during the New York Film Festival in New York on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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(Newser) Changeling is no remake of the 1980 horror flick, but it is about a child—a boy whose vanishing captivated Los Angeles in the Jazz Age, the Los Angeles Times reports. Angelina Jolie stars as Christine Collins, a mother whose lost son was replaced by police with the wrong boy. In a time when women were thought to suffer from vapors, Collins battled the LAPD, endured lockup in an asylum, and faced a serial killer in an attempt to reclaim her lost child.

Journalist and screenwriter J. Michael Straczyski pored over city and court archives to recreate Collins’ horrific story. When director Clint Eastwood heard Jolie wanted to play her, he told producers to stop looking. "She was very affected by it," said Eastwood, who sought to revive 1940s-style dramatic films about great women. "I always liked those kind of stories, and we got away from them over the years."