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directed by Robert Wise
USA 1952


Robert Wise's taut direction and masterful cinematography by Lee Garmes enhance this taut thriller about a federal investigation into the total corruption of a small town by organized crime.


Theatrical Release: 26 March 1952 (USA)

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DVD Review: MGM (MGM Limited Edition Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:31:09

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.11 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 10



Senate hearings on organized crimes, also known as Kefauver hearings named after the senator heading them, was a big hit on American TVs in 1950. Hollywood took notice and number of films, so called city exposť, appeared on movie screens across America starting with independently produced The Captive City in 1952. Masterfully directed by Robert Wise, the film got full support from the government and even has a cameo by Estes Kefauver himself, addressing the audience in the end of the film. Most of these films follow a similar story of an outsider trying to fight the corruption of a city government and expose its connection to the criminal activity. John Forsythe is a very likeable hero of the film, playing a newspaperman of a city's paper being forced to keep quiet of a corruption in the government.

The film is being released on DVD in this single-layered MOD disc. The film was strangely encoded anamorphic with black bars appearing on both sides. The contrast is muddy and has a greenish hue, although it was less obvious on a CRT screen. I didn't notice any ghosting, although Allied Vaughn who authored the discs issued the following statement about their recent releases:

Allied Vaughn has recently become aware of reports where consumers are seeing an unusual amount of "ghosting" when viewing select MGM Limited Edition Collection titles on certain combinations of television screens, DVD players, and discs. Allied Vaughn has successfully identified the problem which causes the "ghosting" and has taken all necessary steps to correct this issue. The discs reporting the issue were made between March 15 and May 3, 2011. No product manufactured after May 25th, 2011 should exhibit this affect. ... Allied Vaughn stands behind the quality of the MGM Limited Edition Collection. Should a consumer experience excessive ghosting problems with those titles, we will replace that disc in accordance with our manufacturing warranty. Consumers may contact their retailer for replacement, or Allied Vaughn directly at 1-800-759-4087, ext 5, or via email at

The mono audio is fine and there are no extras provided, not even a theatrical trailer. A recommended release of an important and influential crime drama.

  - Gregory Meshman


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