7.2/10
2,135
45 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 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

I Am Somebody (1970)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1969, 400 poorly paid Black women - hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina - went on strike to demand union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in ... See full summary »

Director: Madeline Anderson
Stars: Ralph Abernathy, Leon Davis, Coretta Scott King
Dial 1119 (1950)
Certificate: Passed Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An escaped mental patient causes havoc.

Director: Gerald Mayer
Stars: Marshall Thompson, Virginia Field, Andrea King
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Captures in haunting, intensely lyrical images fragments of the coming to consciousness of a child girl. A series of extremely brief flashes of her moving through night-lit space or woods ... See full summary »

Director: Gunvor Nelson
Stars: Oona Nelson
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg
Stars: Rita Mae Brown, Maua Adele Ajanaku, Red Jordan Arobateau
Body and Soul (1925)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from, the owner of a gambling house, and betrays an honest girl, eventually driving ... See full summary »

Director: Oscar Micheaux
Stars: Paul Robeson, Marshall Rogers, Lawrence Chenault
Backfire (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

While recuperating from wartime back injuries at a hospital, veteran Bob Corey is visited on Christmas Eve by a beautiful stranger with an even stranger message.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Viveca Lindfors, Dane Clark, Virginia Mayo
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A working girl is menaced by her tyrannical employer.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Warren William, Loretta Young, Wallace Ford
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Shows a large open barge loaded with people of every nationality, disembarking at Ellis Island, N. Y. A most interesting and typical scene.

Crime Wave (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon-to-ship-out sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Directors: Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Susan Hayward, Paul Lukas, Bill Williams
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A well-planned robbery goes awry, with tough cop Cordell in pursuit.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, William Talman
Becky Sharp (1935)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »

Directors: Rouben Mamoulian, Lowell Sherman
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Filmed on the spot in the sin town IT TOOK THE MILITARY TO SUBDUE! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Phenix City Story 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film went into production so quickly that some of the criminals it was portraying were standing trial while filming was taking place. 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: [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.
Cassie: Hunh?
Rhett Tanner: Yeah, havin' them in a turtle race, you know. If I could just figure out a way to fix the winner.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Different and Violent Film-Noir
10 June 2016 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

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")


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed