NO PUNCHES PULLED...NO TRUTHS UNTOLD!
A small-town newspaper editor defies threats to expose the mob.
A small-town newspaper editor defies threats to expose the mob.
Stadt im Würgegriff, La ciudad cautiva, La ville captive, La città prigioniera, Cidade Cativa, 死里逃生
Começa a mil, torna-se habilmente atmosférico até o final decepcionante (não por ser razoavelmente aberto, mas por ser pouco imaginativo). O subestimado Wise já tinha feito (e fará ainda) filmes muito melhores. Mas há um inegável charme nesse Humphrey Bogart lado B que há em John Forsythe (Bogart, aliás, é explicitamente citado numa marquise de cinema em cena de rua).
‘Nice place to live, know what I mean?’
I had no idea what to expect from ‘The Captive City’. It’s a message film about doing your civic duty, not allowing under the table gambling in your community, and it shows the cost of that decision. Released a year before the more well known ‘The Big Heat’, ‘The Captive City’ stars John Forsythe as a Henry Fonda type who dresses like Bogart. Forsythe works for a small town newspaper and is chummy with nearly everyone in his community. Then he finds out that his town runs on illegal gambling run by mobsters operating under aliases. His work to expose this, in print, brings on friendly threats from nearly all the people…
As with a lot of stories mostly told in flashback, this one starts off with a bang. I loved being thrust into the world of a reporter who is so confident he will be killed before testifying that he has to record his version of the story in desperation at a police station. Unfortunately, the story is a bit snoozy. It's not all bad, it could just use a tighter cut. There are too many scenes of him explaining things we either just say or are about to see. It gets super preachy at the end too with a 5-minute message tacked onto the end about the dangers of gambling. I think it still has some good stuff in it, and one of the favorite movie posters for sure, but not as good as the beginning would have led me to believe.
Vestida como una película de cine negro La Ciudad Cautiva es interesante, pero poco más que eso. Una película que se me ha vuelto algo tediosa y sin mucha garra, narra cómo la corrupción maneja un pequeño pueblo de USA, pero no consigue tener un atractivo suficiente para mí.
Aunque lo que también me saca es la fotografía, algo feucha, casi parece un producto de televisión. Se desarrolla sin sorpresas, sin nada que me termine generando algún tipo de estímulo para seguir enfocado en ella. Una pena.
Robert Wise's "Captive City" is a noirish docudrama based on the experiences of Time reporter Alvin Josephy who co-wrote the script with Karl Kamb. It's fairly routine procedural in which a newspaper reporter is trying to bring justice to his small town where small-time gambling operations (run rather causally by several local businessmen) is being infiltrated by organized crime.
As the story opens, journalist Jim Austin (John Forsythe) and his wife (Joan Camden) are on the run from mob assassins ... he narrates the bulk of the film in flashback, dictating it into a tape recorder as he and his wife take respite in a police station on the way to the state capital. The narration doesn't add much to…
Crusading Newspaper Noir and Ripped from the Headlines Noir.
Tagline: Violence! Vice! Corruption!
When newspaper editor John Forsythe and wife rush into the police station with an urgent tale told in flashback, I thought of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). In fact, there are a number of similarities between the two films. Here, however, the menace is not seeds from outer space but plain old organized crime. The story is told in grippingly fluent fashion by versatile director Robert Wise.
At the time (1951), the Kefauver Committee on Organized Crime was making national headlines, accounting for the Senator's public service epilogue.
Things I like: Plenty of bookies, Getaway Woody and a Tape drive.
Flagrant John Forsythe bow tie.
Frank reference - Francis is the Chief of Police's secretary (Uncredited)
Robert Wise directs but without much enthusiasm and Lee Garmes, the cinematographer has little opportunity to show his skill. Indeed, this little B movie, I hesitate to use the much overused 'noir' tag, is most uninspired. Prompted, apparently, by the real life Senate Committee on organised crime and even sporting an afterword by the real life head of that committee, Senator Estes Kefauver, urging American citizens to play their part in stamping out such crime in their neighbourhoods, this still lacks a bit of 'life'. John Forsythe doesn't help with a lacklustre performance as the lead and Joan Camden even less so as his wife. The thing here is that this was clearly intended as a well meaning do good…
Couldn't bring myself to agree with Eddie that this isn't Film Noir. Noir can fit in a crime picture alongside being a Newsman Procedural and an actual True Crime story. The alleyways and shadows tell all.
Not one of the top-tier Wise best pictures, but does capture the exposé rawness that Crime television and even film would push around in the 1950's and '60's - 'ripped straight from the headlines' with a punch. And with Wise's tough hand, you know that alone makes The Captive City worth watching. So give it a spin.
Cult Movie Challenge 2019! Week 46 - a noir film!
Y'know a damned assured way to make a film difficult to rate? Pull a sitting US Senator to give the production his blessing and show up at the end to deliver a little PSA about how you the viewer can stop organized crime in your own neighborhood. Senator Estes Kefauver does indeed make an appearance at the end of Robert Wise's The Captive City, making blindingly clear the already bluntly delivered message of the picture, and forcing me to mull on whether the film counts as propaganda or not. Kefauver's record, from what I can tell, doesn't have the stink of a McCarthy, and his work in trying to bust…
Racing along a back road in a Kennington Journal press car, newsman Jim Austin (John Forsythe) and his wife (Joan Camden) are being pursued by someone. They pull off at the first site of a police station and run inside, saying they're in mortal danger. Fearing they'll die without anyone knowing why, the newsman uses the station's tape recorder to tell the story of how they ended up in this predicament.
What an intro! (the one in the movie, not what I wrote, haha) We see what a gambling syndicate and the mafia can do to a small town. People are scared and even dying, and Austin wants answers. According to Sen. Estes Kefauver, a crusader against organized crime who…
This was directed by Robert Wise, so I was expecting a better film than what this turned out to be. I think much of the problem with this dinky movie has to do with the ordinary script, which is about a small town being taken over by “the mob”, and how one honest Newspaper journalist tries to expose the corruption. Even in 1952 it felt way familiar and predictable and was done much better in Phil Karlson’s Blistering “The Phoenix City Story” actually done 3 years later. I also blame the dull cast headed by the dullest of dull actors John Forsythe as the combative journalist. The opening though is good. A speeding car with Forsythe and his wife in…
The infamous La Cosa Nostra makes its way into the average all American town. As the viewer follows a journalist's one man crusade to expose organized crime and police corruption in his town. Encapsulated with thrilling tension and some hard hitting drama and a stellar performance from John Forsythe. This is a good way to spend 90 minutes.