Town Without Pity

1961

Town Without Pity

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 5

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 270
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Movie Info

Filmed on location in Germany, this socially conscious courtroom drama chronicles the trial of four American soldiers accused of gang-raping a local teen-age girl. The girl's father and the burgermeister demand that the guilty four receive the death penalty, but for that to happen, the traumatized and socially outcast girl (because before the rape she was a bit promiscuous) will have to face her assailants and identify them. The trial creates quite a brouhaha in town as the self-righteous residents begin discussing the town. Meanwhile an American defense attorney prepares a ruthless line of courtroom questioning for the girl. She cannot handle his cruelty and crumbles on the stand. The trial ends; the soldiers are convicted but escape the death penalty and are sentenced to jail terms. Afterward the despondent girl takes her life, and the prosecuting attorney suddenly finds himself a pariah for being so mean on the stand.

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Critic Reviews for Town Without Pity

All Critics (5) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Town Without Pity

  • Sep 02, 2019
    Under-appreciated drama of a military defense attorney (Kirk Douglas) trying to save four men from the death penalty for a rape they committed. He faces a moral and ethical dilemma when he learns of her prior promiscuous behavior. Knowing that the town will turn against her if he reveals she's perjured herself he tries to convince the victim's obstinate father from having her return to the stand, which would save the rapists from the death sentence. Douglas and Christine Kaufmann (the victim) are super as are direction & cinematography (although, the print aired on TCM is substandard). The score by Dimitri Tiomkin has excellent moments, but at times feels too ostentatious. Script was mostly adapted from a book by an un-credited Dalton Trumbo. Highly recommended.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 17, 2013
    A bit numb courtroom drama. It wasn't tense, emotional, thrilling or gripping enough. It rather seemed to focus more on the state of the town's mindset. And it wasn't an appealing approach. Strong dialogues and aggressive performances might have helped. Otherwise, except for the Berta Kulig's testimony sequence, there isn't much in terms of entertainment. On the whole, numb as it is, it's still a watchable piece. More or less.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Aug 30, 2013
    Very well acted but an ugly look at the viciousness of the human race.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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