The Captive City

The Captive City

Robert Wise (1952)

PG Certificate


Our Score
An exposé of organised crime, as seen through the eyes of a small-town newspaper editor, played by John Forsythe. The local sheriff has been bought off, local tradespeople either pay up or get rubbed out - yes, Kennington is a nice place to live. Using the documentary approach, director Robert Wise creates an excellent atmosphere of corruption, and the lack of star names adds to the general authenticity. The story is framed in flashback during Forsythe's journey to Washington where he testifies to the Senate Crime Investigating Committee headed by Senator Kefauver (who makes a cameo appearance). Estes Kefauver was a feared figure in Hollywood, having criticised the studios' glamorising of crime, so films like The Captive City and Hoodlum Empire (in which Brian Donlevy played a clone of the senator) were made to redress the moral balance.


A small-town newspaper editor defies threats to his wife and family to expose corruption in high places. Drama, starring John Forsythe, Joan Camden and Harold J Kennedy.

Cast & Crew

Actor John Forsythe
Actor Joan Camden
Actor Harold J Kennedy
Actor Marjorie Crossland
Director Robert Wise

Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. Ltd