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Sean August Cirrito,
Big-city newspaper Editor Haven D. Allridge starts a crusade to smash corrupt small-town sheriff Burke. After Allridge is suddenly intimidated into silence, state's attorney Chick Johnson continues the fight for right. He discovers that the sheriff is keeping Allridge quiet by threatening to reveal the criminal activities of Allridges son-in-law Randy Stanton. Written by
Dealing with police corruption in a small American city, The Sellout isn't all that far away from films like The Phenix City Story or Kansas City Confidential. Walter Pidgeon plays a crusading journalist trying to get the goods on bent sheriff Thomas Gomez before Gomez gets the goods on him. The MGM cast is solid throughout, including John Hodiak as the reluctant out of town prosecutor, Karl Malden as the policeman assisting him, and good ol' Whit Bissell as a whistleblower. There's a small role for Audrey Totter--whose place in the credits implies a more significant part--and oily Everett Sloane is excellent as the misguided local lawyer. There's not much original here, but the film takes itself seriously and reminds the viewer of a time when it was possible for independent journalism to hang the bad guys out to dry.
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