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The Sellout (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 6 June 1952 (Australia)
Haven D. Allridge is the editor-in-chief of the News-Intelligencer newspaper in St. Howard, a town where he and his family have lived all their lives. Peggy, Randy and Marcia Staunton - ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Haven D. Allridge
...
Chick Johnson
Audrey Totter ...
Cleo Bethel
Paula Raymond ...
Peggy Stauton
...
Kellwin C. Burke
...
Randy Stauton
...
Capt. Buck Maxwell
...
Nelson S. Tarsson
Jonathan Cott ...
Ned Grayton
...
Bennie Amboy
Hugh Sanders ...
Judge Neeler
Griff Barnett ...
J.R. Morrison
...
Elk M. Ludens
...
Wilfred Jackson
Roy Engel ...
Sam F. Slaper
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Storyline

Haven D. Allridge is the editor-in-chief of the News-Intelligencer newspaper in St. Howard, a town where he and his family have lived all their lives. Peggy, Randy and Marcia Staunton - Haven's married daughter, her husband, and their child - now live about thirty miles away in Bridgewood County, which is adjacent to the St. Howard town limits. Randy is the county prosecutor. Haven learns first hand the corruption of the county sheriff, K.C. Burke, and his associates when, in an innocent enough move in picking up an acquaintance, Wilfred Jackson, at a bus stop located within the county and lightly bumping but not damaging a county sign with his car in the process, Haven and Wilfred are hauled into jail, where they spend the night before appearing before the county judge the next morning. Beaten up by prisoners with who they shared the cell, Wilfred, who has no money and pleads not guilty to the charge of soliciting rides on the highway, is held at a labor camp for trial in thirty days... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How much does it take for a Woman to Sellout her Man?

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1952 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Difendete la città  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Richard Cramer, whose career started back in the days of silent films. See more »

Quotes

Chick Johnson: In the Mute Parade of these frightened citizens. Weak men and Strong men who have become weak and Big Men who have become Little. All frightened. Their very silence testifies to that more strongly than shouted words... Their first protection was the law. Out of the domination of brutal and ruthless men, the law was turned against them. There is another protection: Public Opinion. Public Opinion finds its voice in the Press. The Free Press. Here, a courageous editor brought his newspaper to the ...
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits all appear on newspapers which have just been dumped from a truck and are ready for delivery. The title appears as if it were a newspaper headline. See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Do Wrong Doing Right
(uncredited)
Written by Al Rinker and Floyd Huddleston
Performed by Ruth Martin
[Sung by the character Cleo Bethel portrayed by Audrey Totter]
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User Reviews

 
Enviable cast doesn't ignite four-square crusade against corruption
18 January 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

An enviable cast of noir veterans (John Hodiak, Audrey Totter, Walter Pidgeon, Thomas Gomez, Everett Sloane, and Karl Malden) tackling an all-American storyline - a newspaper crusades against municipal corruption - promises something above the ordinary. But The Sellout's promise, like cold fusion's, proves an inflated one; the movie never quite ignites.

An editor from a mid-sized city (Pidgeon), visiting his daughter's family in a neighboring county, drives into a speed trap. He's thrown into jail, subjected to a prisoners' kangaroo court, and fined the entire contents of his wallet. Once back, he launches a crusade against this hijacking of the law, lining up witnesses and publishing blistering editorials against Gomez, the sheriff, and county boss Sloane. Then, abruptly, he leaves town and the campaign ceases.

A prosecutor from the state capital (Hodiak) is sent to investigate; upon arrival, he's ambushed by a B-girl and shantoozie (Totter) who works at the machine's headquarters, a road house called Amboy's. Her philosophy of life is eloquent: (`Who makes plans? You do the best you can - Sometimes you wish things turned out differently.') But she grows sweet on him and warns him off. With the help of honest cop Malden, Hodiak tries to get to the bottom of the editor's silence, but everywhere encounters a stone wall. It turns out that the corruption runs very close to home....

Probably the biggest shortcoming of The Sellout is relegating Totter to a sub-plot that fizzles out too early; she lends the movie whatever quirky subversiveness it shows. For the most part, however, it's four-square - there's little visual excitement - and a little too self-important. Though crowded with incident, it ends up just plodding along. It's also rooted in a now (one hopes) vanished America where out in the boondocks, away from the bright lights of civilization, lurked pockets of unexpected peril. The billboards marking the city limits might have well warned: Beyond here lie monsters.


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