Moviedrome Mondays: The Phenix City Story (1955)

Once again, I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Phil Karlson’s 1955 expose film noir classic The Phenix City Story, so I will have to made do with Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was August 12, 1990 (read here). Fittingly shot in black-and-white and filmed on location (which gives it a documentary feel), this may be one of (If not) the grittiest film noirs to emerge from the American cinema during the 1950’s. The plot deals with attempts to clean up a seedy Alabama town and it was reportedly based on a true story (read here and here). If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Phil Karlson films, read here.

I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer either.


10 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: The Phenix City Story (1955)

  1. I’m sure I saw The Phenix City Story in the summer of 1990, as hard as I try, I’ve no recollection of the it and I certainly haven’t seen it since. Alex Cox does raise some interesting points about product placement, and the lack of black people in this film. It was nice to see this post in my reader John. Stay safe my friend!

  2. I’d watched 10 minutes of this one on VHS tape recorded at the time. Then the tape ran out! Sure it’s online somewhere. I really need to investigate. I like the semi-doc style of these type movies. Cheers dude

  3. Phenix City, just across the river from Columbus, Georgia and nearby Ft. Benning was an archetype military base town. Outside the reach of the authorities in Columbus and out of sight as far the state leadership in Montgomery were concerned, it was a typical place for soldiers. Watch the movie, and you will see soldiers or men dressed as soldiers in many of the scenes.

    Without nearby Ft. Benning, Phenix would have been nothing but a slowly dying Alabama river town living off of Columbus’ economy. There were plenty of such towns across the country that lived off of nearby military bases, but Phenix City was perhaps the worst of the lot. It special geographic location gave it a special place.

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