The Captive City

1952

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 70% · 10 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67% · 50 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 1262 1.3K

Director

Top cast

Martin Milner as Phil Harding
Joan Camden as Marge Austin
Paul Brinegar as Police Sergeant
John Forsythe as Jim Austin
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
838.97 MB
1280*956
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
Seeds 4
1.52 GB
1446*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
Seeds 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

With the endorsement of Senator Kefauver

Shot on a shoestring budget The Captive City features the starring film debut of John Forsythe. It also has the endorsement of Senator Estes Kefauver who was busy running for president at the time when it made it's debut on April 11, 1952.

Forsythe plays the editor of a smalltown newspaper who gets a story from a private investigator on a divorce case. He's representing the wife of a local bookie suing for divorce and he's being hassled by some very big muscle way out of proportion. When the PI is run down by a car, Forsythe pursues the story.

Against the advice of one and all. But what has happened is that this local bookie played by Victor Sutherland has taken on the syndicate as a partner. These folks make all kinds of threats laced with intimidation.

Forsythe does a nice job as the crusading editor whose only real support in the town is his wife Joan Camden. A few familiar faces like Martin Milner, Ray Teal, and Ian Wolfe are in the cast, but the performance best remembered will be that of Marjorie Crossland as Sutherland's wife. She's a truly frightened woman and has reason to be.

Estes Kefauver chair of the special Senate committee investigating organized crime introduced and provided a conclusion for the film. Kefauver was also running for president and racking up a string of primary victories when this film was released. The Captive City turned out to be a great campaign commercial. His party drafted Adlai Stevenson to stop him and in 1952 America liked Ike best of all.

Still The Captive City is a fine film, a good suspenseful noir,.

Reviewed by seymourblack-1 7 / 10

A Pervasive Threat To Society

In 1950, Senator Estes Kefauver headed a special committee to investigate organised crime and the committee's hearings (which were televised live), soon provoked a great deal of interest. This was the first time that most members of the general public had been made aware of the nature and extent of organised crime in the United States and although the committee's findings revealed a serious threat to society, they also became a source of fascination for many people. "The Captive City" is based on the actual experiences of Time magazine crime reporter Alvin M Josephy Jr (who co-wrote the screenplay) and is one of a number of movies (such as "The Enforcer" and "The Racket") which exploited the strong interest that existed in crime syndicates in the early 1950s.

Jim Austin (John Forsythe) is the editor and co-owner of the local newspaper in a small town called Kennington and is surprised when a private investigator tells him that he's inadvertently discovered the existence of a major gambling operation that's run by one of the town's most prominent citizens. More shockingly, Clyde Nelson (Hal K Dawson) adds that the police and local politicians are also involved and it's for this reason that he's recently been harassed by having his telephone tapped and his investigator's licence withdrawn. Jim finds Nelson's claims hard to believe and after receiving some assurances from Police Chief Gillette (Ray Teal), takes no further action. After Nelson is killed in what's claimed to be a hit-and-run incident, Jim becomes suspicious and starts to make his own investigations.

In a series of articles which Jim writes, he criticises the local police for their lack of action in pursuing Nelson's killer and soon finds that his actions bring him into conflict with the police and business people who stop advertising in his newspaper. The newspaper's press privileges are suddenly withdrawn and an attempt is made to tap his telephone. Furthermore, it becomes apparent that he's being followed by a car with Florida licence plates that fits the description of a vehicle that was known to have followed Nelson in the days shortly before his death.

Jim's investigations confirm the veracity of Nelson's claims and reveal that the level of corruption in his town is widespread with most people either being directly involved in the gambling operation or at least supportive of it. He also finds other information that makes it far too dangerous for him and his wife to remain in Kennington and so they race off to Washington with the intention of giving evidence to the Kefauver committee.

"The Captive City" is a low budget docu-noir and the inclusion of a narration, scenes shot on location and a solemn message delivered by Senator Kefauver are typical of such movies. Similarly, the use of a mixture of scenes that are well-lit and others which have the more orthodox noir look is also consistent with the docu-noir style. The story, which is told in flashback, emphasises how pervasive the influence of the mob is and how easily the corruption that it generates can become an acceptable part of everyday life.

Jim Austin's struggle against what seem like insuperable odds is made riveting because it's fact-based but also because he's continually in mortal danger. Furthermore, Robert Wise's no-nonsense direction adds so much clarity and pace to the action that its intensity remains high throughout.

Reviewed by planktonrules 7 / 10

A simple and effective crime drama

John Forsythe stars in this excellent crime drama directed by Robert Wise. Unlike most movies involving the mob, this one is quite a bit different, as you never actually get to see many of the crooks and the menace is much more implied than actual. This isn't bad, as it makes the film seem less predictable and more realistic.

Forsythe is a newspaper owner in a small town where you'd never expect the mob. When a local private detective comes to Forstythe with stories of mobs and payoffs, the newspaperman can't believe it and only does a cursory investigation. But, when a bit later this detective is killed, Forstythe starts to wonder if there really is more to the story. Unfortunately for him, when he digs deeper, he puts his life on the line as well.

Senator Kefauver (who made a name for himself crusading against organized crime) gives an epilogue in which he says the story is true. I'd really like to know more, though IMDb doesn't have any information about the case. If anyone can give me more info, I'd appreciate it.

Read more IMDb reviews

2 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment