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 - ...
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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
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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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 »
A reporter (Walter Pidgeon) happens to go through a county in the countryside. He is pulled over by the cops and arrested--though he'd done nothing. Then, in court, he sees that one by one, innocent folks are being shaken down by a corrupt sheriff and a corrupt judge. So, he makes it his crusade to bring down these crooks. As he digs, Pidgeon sees that this organized crime runs deeper--these 'cops' help run illegal gambling and various vice operations! When he appeals to people higher up in the state government, people are reticent to do anything--after all, that county brings votes to the state party machine. What can be done? Eventually, Pidgeon's articles have an effect and John Hodiak is sent from the state prosecutor's office to investigate. But his case isn't easy--as the reporter has just disappeared and so has his file on the corrupt county.
Some time later, Pidgeon returns home--briefly. There's not much of an explanation where he was, he's ready to move to Detroit and he has no interest in following up on his articles on corruption. It's obvious he's scared and has no intention of continuing. Can Hodiak change his mind? He sure needs Pidgeon's help with the investigation.
All in all, an exceptional film--tough, exciting and well-acted. My only quibble, and it's a little one, is that the film is a tad preachy at the end. Still, it's a nice film--well worth seeing--especially since the cast was so capable. In addition to Hodiak and Pidgeon, the film has support from Audrey Totter (who plays a great dame), Thomas Gomez (who's almost always the heavy), Everett Sloan, Cameron Mitchell, Whit Bissell, Karl Malden and Frank Cady (Sam Drucker from "Green Acres")--a very impressive list. It was also cool seeing Burt Mustin playing the corrupt judge--the sort of role you wouldn't expect from this fun character actor.
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