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The Phenix City Story (1955)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,153 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 26 critic

A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town.

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Title: The Phenix City Story (1955)

The Phenix City Story (1955) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Albert L. Patterson
...
John Patterson
...
Ellie Rhodes
...
Rhett Tanner
Lenka Peterson ...
Mary Jo Patterson
Biff McGuire ...
Fred Gage
Truman Smith ...
Ed Gage
Jean Carson ...
Cassie
Kathy Marlowe ...
Mamie (as Katharine Marlowe)
John Larch ...
Clem Wilson
Allen Nourse ...
Jeb Bassett
James Edwards ...
Zeke Ward
...
Helen Ward
...
Hugh Bentley
George Mitchell ...
Hugh Britton
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Storyline

In this semidocumentary, an Alabama town is run by a crime syndicate that's grown fat on prostitution and crooked gambling, directed at soldiers from Fort Benning across the river. Lawyer John Patterson, back from the army, is triggered by what he sees to join the reformers with a plan: to run his father Albert for state attorney general. The syndicate responds with escalating violence: is no one safe? Credits preceded by a "newscast" containing spoilers. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ALABAMA'S CITY OF SIN AND SHAME! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Phenix City Story  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (without prologue)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, John Patterson (Richard Kiley) is depicted as supportive of African-American Zeke Ward (James Edwards) and his family. In real life, following his term as Alabama attorney general (1954-1958), he ran for governor in 1958, ran an openly racist campaign and won. One of his opponents, George Wallace, had run as a racial moderate and told his friends after the election, "John Patterson out-niggered me, and I'm never gonna be out-niggered again." Four years later, in 1962, Wallace won the governorship of Alabama as an avowed segregationist. See more »

Goofs

When the body of Zeke Ward's little girl is thrown onto the Pattersons' lawn from the passing car, it is obviously a doll. See more »

Quotes

Albert L. Patterson: Rhett, I'm not stickin' my neck out. Why should I? Phoenix City has been what it is for 80, 90 years. Who am I to try to reform it?
See more »


Soundtracks

Phenix City Blues
Music and Lyrics by Harold Spina
Sung by Meg Myles
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User Reviews

 
A Rough, Tough Crime Movie
22 August 1999 | by (Brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

After World War II the ungoing crime in Phenix City, Alabama, encouraged by the money from an Army base just across the river in Georgia, got even worse. Gambling, prostitution, loan sharking, and the like helped an organized crime apparatus in the city. Soon it was too bad and violent to even tolerate anymore. This movie is based on the real story of that fight.

By the standards of the 1950's it was shockingly explicit. Although low-budget, that same small budget helped with the realism requiring location shooting. A very gritty film. Richard Kiley was marvelous as always, and John McIntire stolid.

Why this good movie isn't on video is a real puzzle!


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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You think that was the end of corruption is Phenix city? laranadtony
anybody know a VHS or DVD source for this film? majortom-4
TV showing in July reporterdan66
Cut Before Release? urish
Version with John Patterson ending? quixotism-9
How? MrsFeasterBunny
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