The Phenix City Story (1955)
as John Patterson
as Ellie Rhodes
as Fred Gage
as Albert Patterson
as Rhett Tanner
as Hugh Britton
as Clem Wilson
as Hugh Bentley
as Zeke Ward
as Mary Jo Patterson
as Helen Ward
as Interviewer in Prolog
as Jeb Bassett
as Ed Gage
Critic Reviews for The Phenix City Story
... one of the most hard-hitting crime films of its era... inspired by real-life events and directed in a semi-documentary style with a tabloid punch.
Brilliant social commentary film - an extraordinary view of society in 1955.
Audience Reviews for The Phenix City Story
Boy, I've got to give this movie credit for sheer balls. This movie might beat out Night of the Hunter for most shocking depiction of violence in 1955 films- and I don't say that lightly! While its acting and storytelling are dated, it kicks into high gear with it's first genuinely (!) shocking murder depiction, and only seems to keep going from there. I was worried this was going to be one of those films that indulges in its depiction of thugs, or worse, preaches at your for two hours. But it managed to walk that fine moral line, most likely because it was based on true events. The most interesting takeaway of this movie to me was the question of what does it take? When the murder of a child isn't enough to get the town up in arms, where do you go from there? A fascinating if not oddly relevant film to watch in 2016.
The Phenix City Story is a powerful look into the social climate of the American south in the 1950's. The film starts off in a documentary style and then transitions into a traditional narrative, all the while feeling honest in it's telling of a small town taken over by crime. The Phenix City Story was controversial upon initial release and is just as gritty and effective 55 years later.
Hmmm. I don't know about this one. The Phenix City Story in itself was pretty decent. Said to have been based on a true story of citizens fighting against a tradition of vice and corruption, The Phenix City Story tells its story effectively and at some points gruesomely (you see kids getting killed in this movie--almost comically but still.) More of a crime documentary than the obscure film noir classic its made out to be, this isn't a bad movie. Some scenes are very well done even if elements of the story aren't fleshed out so well. The biggest problem I had with The Phenix City story was the opening 15 minutes of man-on-the-street interview footage with the actual people who lived through the story. I understand the desire to make the movie more authentic or real, but the hokey and heavy-handed interviews were a bit much. Overall, not bad...
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