Changeling is a American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by J. Michael Straczynski. Based on real life events in 1928 Los Angeles, the film stars Angelina Jolie. Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search.
Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical.
When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power?
Single parent Christine Collins is a supervisor at the local telephone exchange who, having returned home late from having to work overtime on a Saturday, finds her 9 year old son Walter is missing from their home. As the days and weeks go by, the Collins case becomes the object of a campaign by Pastor Gustav Briegleb who rails against the incompetence and corruption of the Los Angeles police Department.
Soon, the police arrive with the news that they have found her boy but when the lad is turned over to her, she realizes that the police have returned a stranger to her in an attempt to bring an end to the public complaints about their handling of her case. Her attempts to get justice bring her into conflict with the LAPD who will go to any length to protect their reputation. When she continues to complain she finds herself arrested and confined to the mental ward.
On 09 March 1928 in Los Angeles, Christine Collins lives with her beloved son Walter in Lincoln Heights. When she is assigned to work in overtime on Saturday in The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph as supervisor, she promises Walter to return at 4:00 PM to watch the latest movie of Charles Chaplin on the movie theater with him. However, she arrives home late and does not find her son; after seeking the boy out in the neighborhood, she reports the missing child to the police, but the police officer tells that she should wait twenty-four hours to register the complain.
Five months later, Captain J.J. Jones communicates Mrs. Collins that her son had been found in DeKalb, Illinois, and is heading back home by train to reunite with her. In the train station, Christine does not recognize the boy as being Walter, but Captain advises her that his appearance has changed in five months.
Sooner she confirms that the boy is not her son, but the corrupt LAPD does not accept her arguments. When Mrs. Collins is approached by the St. Paul Presbyterian Church Pastor Gustav Briegleb, who daily broadcasts protests exposing the corruption of the police force, she decides to disclose the evidence she has about the changeling to the press. However, the abusive Captain Jones sends Christine to an asylum to intimidate her.
Meanwhile the efficient Detective Lester Ybarra is assigned to arrest and deport an illegal Canadian boy that is hidden in a ranch in Wineville. He captures the boy, who discloses hideous crimes committed by his compatriot Gordon Northcott.