The Captive City

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

Designed to capitalize on the 1950 Kefauver Committee's investigation of organized crime, this film splits its attention between drama and a police expose, effectively using a documentary style. Forsythe is the editor of a small-town newspaper who is told by private eye Dawson that the entire city administration and police department of Kennington is in...read more

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Designed to capitalize on the 1950 Kefauver Committee's investigation of organized crime, this film splits its attention between drama and a police expose, effectively using a documentary style. Forsythe is the editor of a small-town newspaper who is told by private eye Dawson that the

entire city administration and police department of Kennington is in the hands of a crime syndicate headed by gambling czar Sutherland. At first, Forsythe doesn't believe the tale, but when Dawson's license is inexplicably revoked--he has been probing into Sutherland's background while doing

spadework on a divorce case--Forsythe begins his own investigation and soon learns that police chief Teal and his minions are all on Sutherland's payroll. When Forsythe and his wife, Camden, are threatened by Sutherland, the editor flees with Camden, heading for Washington, D.C., to testify before

Kefauver, the hoods in hot pursuit. The story is told in flashback, beginning with Forsythe's flight, then harking back to the events leading up to it, ending with syndicate representatives offering the editor a fortune to withhold his testimony from Kefauver. He heroically refuses and goes to the

witness stand, knowing he is risking his life and that of his wife. To add authenticity, the producers convinced Kefauver himself to appear before and after the film with strong cautions about organized crime and its encroachment into the everyday life of all Americans. Though the story is weak in

spots, Garmes' masterful and moody camerawork and Wise's sharp direction make the overall production taut and suspenseful. Forsythe, originally a stage and pioneering TV actor, gives a solid, understated performance. Teal is frighteningly realistic as the corrupt police chief, and Sutherland is

even more terrifying as the crime boss. Dawson is perfect as the gumshoe whose honesty exceeds his greed.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Designed to capitalize on the 1950 Kefauver Committee's investigation of organized crime, this film splits its attention between drama and a police expose, effectively using a documentary style. Forsythe is the editor of a small-town newspaper who is told… (more)

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