This is one of the most brutal and violent American films of the 1950’s that I have ever seen. It’s about the true story of Phenix City, Alabama and how it went from a vice ridden city to one with a chance to break free. However, to get to there people are beaten, men, women, and children are murdered, people are coerced through sex, money, and violence, a house is bombed, and the man running for district attorney is assassinated.

The film begins with a reporter talking to people who were actually there. It gives us the basic plot line about a vice ridden town, the son an attorney returning from Germany, the assissination of that attorney after being elected Attorney General for Alabama, and the son’s subsequent replacement of his father to clean up the town. That’s exactly what happens. It’s the stuff I mentioned in the first paragraph that make this it a gritty, nasty, and real crime film. Scenes like those below:

The Poppy Club where the crime syndicate is run out of

They kill this kid to send a message

She is beaten to intimidate people to vote the way they want

Also beaten to control the vote

Using the promise of sex to control the vote

A bombing

The assassination

Yet another murder

Like I said in the beginning, this is one of the most brutal and violent American films of the 1950’s I have ever seen. It’s also one of the best film noir’s I have ever seen. I highly recommend it.

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