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The Sellout (1952)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 216 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 5 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

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

Storyline

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 Christof Roscher

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:

18 February 1953 (France)  »

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
See  »
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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 »

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
Written by Al Rinker and Floyd Huddleston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Losing Momentum
27 July 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

1951, the Kefauver congressional committee on organized crime and corruption is making headlines, and MGM under new head Dore Schary is trying to make that famously big-budget studio relevant to news of the day. The trouble is that the so-called Tiffany of studios just doesn't have the same feel for gritty material as a Warner Bros. or an RKO. Too bad this film doesn't sustain the harrowing feel of the first 15 minutes, when prominent editor Allridge (Pidgeon) is brutalized after a minor traffic infraction by corrupt Sheriff Burke (Gomez). Allridge's ordeal has the feel of a "sudden nightmare" to it, as if he's been abruptly forced into a savage new world where the old civilized rules no longer apply. It's a backwater county run by the sheriff like a private fiefdom and a jailhouse where inmates rule once the cell door slams shut. I like the way we're shown the difficulties state prosecutor Johnson (Hodiak) encounters in trying to rid the county of Burke and his outlaw regime.

Still and all, the longer the movie lasts, the more momentum it loses, ending with a final 20 minutes of plodding courtroom procedure. There's still some suspense in the air (why did Allridge skip town), but the initial energy has long since dissipated. At least part of the problem lies with uninspired direction that can't sustain the early sense of tension and evil. Too bad noir maestros like Phil Karlson or Anthony Mann weren't running the show. Those reviewers contrasting this film with Karlson's similar Phenix City Story are right on target. Nonetheless, the movie does have its moments, along with a vibrant turn from the under- rated Audrey Totter who never seemed to get the recognition her talent deserved.


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