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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The initial release version ran 87 minutes, but soon after, a gratuitous 13-minute "newsreel" preface was added and an epilogue, read by Richard Kiley. The real John Patterson used this film as campaign too when he ran for Governor of Alabama (beating the young George Wallace). Patterson filmed the same epilogue as Kiley, and Patterson's version was used when the film played in Alabama. See more »
Whether your a fan of Noir or not, The Phenix City Story remains superior filmaking on all levels regardless of it's budget and lack of special effects. While some may laugh at substituting a doll briefly for a dead child; it's follow up scene continues to have as much shocking impact today as it did upon it's release. To say this is textbook noir filmaking is too small as by all standards The Phenix City Story is the barometer by which crime, realism, fistfights and expose cinema is measured up to.
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