7.2/10
2,058
44 user 31 critic

The Phenix City Story (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 14 August 1955 (USA)
A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town.

Director:

Phil Karlson

Writers:

Crane Wilbur (screenplay by), Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay by) (as Dan Mainwaring)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John McIntire ... Albert L. Patterson
Richard Kiley ... John Patterson
Kathryn Grant ... Ellie Rhodes
Edward Andrews ... Rhett Tanner
Lenka Peterson ... Mary Jo Patterson
Biff McGuire ... Fred Gage
Truman Smith Truman Smith ... Ed Gage
Jean Carson ... Cassie
Kathy Marlowe Kathy Marlowe ... Mamie (as Katharine Marlowe)
John Larch ... Clem Wilson
Allen Nourse Allen Nourse ... Jeb Bassett
James Edwards ... Zeke Ward
Helen Martin ... Helen Ward
Otto Hulett ... 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 »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cidade do Vício See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbus, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (without prologue)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellie states she's making $200 per week dealing cards at the Poppy Club. That would equate to nearly $1,800 per week in 2016. See more »

Goofs

A moving shadow of the boom microphone can be seen on the wall above the "Promotion" poster after the fight in the alley scene. See more »

Quotes

Rhett Tanner: We've got a lot of people to take care of, you know.
Albert L. Patterson: Everybody has got his hand out?
Rhett Tanner: Yeah.
Albert L. Patterson: If you want to stay in business, you've got to keep those hands filled, huh?
Rhett Tanner: That's just about the size of it.
Albert L. Patterson: No, thanks.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Soundtracks

Phenix City Blues
Music and Lyrics by Harold Spina
Sung by Meg Myles
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Low budget, hard hitting.
21 May 2002 | by buxSee all my reviews

During the Clete Roberts preface, I was beginning to think this was an Ed Wood production, however, what rolls out here is some pretty hard hitting stuff. The story of crime and corruption in a Southern town is told using a cast culled from Hollywood's Poverty Row, and this makes the movie all the more realistic. There are no punches pulled here, and at times the film is reminiscent of "The Well"(1951). The Black and White texture gives a newsreel-like quality. For certain, younger viewers will be reminded of "The Blair Witch Project" but this one IS based on REAL events!


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