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 airplane John flies on into Columbus (GA) is a TWA Lockheed L-749A Constellation. Between 1947-51 119 were built. TWA retired its last L-749 in 1967. It was succeeded by the L-1049 Super Constellation. The particular plane shown in the film was named "Star of Zurich" with registration N-90830. It flew with TWA from 1949-61 when it was sold to the soon-to-be defunct Falcon Airways in the U.K. It was eventually scrapped in 1966 in Austria. See more »
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 »
[Looking at a bowl of turtles painted with numbers]
You know, there ought to be a way to make a lot of money with these little turtles.
Yeah, havin' them in a turtle race, you know. If I could just figure out a way to fix the winner.
See more »
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 »
In the 1940s and 1950s in Alabama, the notorious Phenix City is a town ruled by the organized crime and prostitution and gambling are the main economical activities. The police department is corrupt and the criminal Rhett Tanner (Edward Andrews) is the big boss. When the famous lawyer Albert "Pat" L. Patterson (John McIntire) welcomes his son John Patterson (Richard Kiley) that has just returned from Germany with his wife and children, he intends to keep his calm life in a neutral position and work with his son. However, there are serious and violent incidents and Albert Patterson accepts to run the elections to become the Attorney General of Alabama to clean Phenix City. He wins the election but is shot when he is leaving his office and dies. Now John seeks revenge but using the law instead of violence.
"The Phenix City Story" is a different and violent film-noir based on the true story of the assassination of Albert "Pat" L. Patterson. The film has great performances and the violence is impressive for a 1955 Hollywood film. The beginning with the documentary style is boring, but after the initial credits, the film becomes great. In the end, this story proves that one person can make the difference in a story of a country. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Cidade do Vício" ("City of the Vicious")
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