The Captive City (1952)



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Movie Info

One of several early-1950s films to capitalize on the Kefauver Committee's investigation of organized crime, The Captive City stars John Forsythe as crusading editor Jim Austin. While Austin prepares his testimony before the Committee, the film flashes back to the events which led to this courageous act. Victor Sutherland plays mob boss Murray Sirak, who has the entire police force of Austin's hometown under his thumb. Sirak in turns takes his orders from an unseen Mister Big, who of course is "above the law"--or so it seems. Based on the experiences of Time magazine reporter Alvin Josephy Jr. (who co-authored the script), Captive City contains the added fillip of a guest appearance by Senator Estes Kefauver himself.

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John Forsythe
as Jim Austin
Martin Milner
as Phil Harding
Joan Camden
as Marge Austin
Ray Teal
as Chief Gillette
Victor Sutherland
as Murray Sirak
Hal K. Dawson
as Clyde Nelson
Geraldine Hall
as Mrs. Nelson
Gladys Hurlbut
as Linda Percy
Ian Wolfe
as Rev. Nash
Frances Morris
as Mrs. Harding
Paul Brinegar
as Police Sergeant
Victor Romito
as Fabretti
Estes Kefauver
as Himself (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Captive City

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

A tense, absorbing drama.

Mar 4, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Somewhere along about the middle of all these goings-on, an alert and knowing observer may spot some provoking holes.

Mar 25, 2006 | Full Review…

The earnest plot is nothing to write home about, but the effective use of documentary-style location shooting and deep-focus photography was innovatory for its day.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Teal is frighteningly realistic as the corrupt police chief, and Sutherland is even more terrifying as the crime boss. Dawson is perfect as the gumshoe whose honesty exceeds his greed.

Oct 30, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

An exposé of organised crime, as seen through the eyes of a small-town newspaper editor, played by John Forsyth.

Oct 30, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

... a tough yet austere little crime story carved out of a small budget.

Oct 22, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Captive City


John Forsythe is an honest, small town newspaper editor who tugs at a tiny thread and unravels an entire crime syndicate. An obscure but worthy little film noir bolstered by the the talented (and somewhat masculine) Miss Joan Camden.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

The Captive City Quotes

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