The Film (2.5/5)
The Captive City is another Film Noir gangster movie from the 1950s. John Forsythe (Kitten with a Whip) stars as a newspaper man, Jim Austin, who tells of a story (in flashback) about a corrupt city. Joan Camden plays his worried wife. Victor Sutherland (Donovan’s Brain, Them) is Murray Silak, the leader of a mob running a gambling syndicate, controlling the entire town, including the police force! Silak does report to one other higher authority, a person known only as *Mister Big*. Forsythe gets involved after he gets a couple of phone calls from someone that the syndicate is out to kill, but does not take it too seriously until he discovers that man has been murdered. He investigates the murder which leads him to discovering how corrupt the city that he is living in, really is and soon he gets hunted down by that same gang of criminals.
This is a pretty good ,above average, crime drama, directed by Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Star Trek) who leaves science fiction behind to direct a Film Noir. The Captive City boasts a lot of gang violence and some brutal murders and makes for a really good crime thriller! But in-between the action sequences, it can be considered slow or talky to some. As with most of Wise’s films, they are directed in a slow methodical pace. If you have a passion for Noirs, love gritty black and white gangster films that are dialog heavy, you will enjoy this film. I’ve seen some better Film Noir crime movies, including Storm Fear and He Ran All the Way (also on blu ray from Kino Lorber) but this holds its own. John Forsythe is a terrific actor, who was great in his role as a reporter who stumbles along a city run by thugs. It made The Captive City a much better watch.
Kino delivers The Captive City in its original aspect full screen aspect ratio, in 1080p with an AVC encode and the results are really good. Excellent contrast, good black levels, probably a little boosted for clarity, grain is present, there is some mild print damage here and there but overall this looks solid
The audio quality is the usual Kino DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0 and does have no audio issues. We don’t get much in the way of extras other than trailers for The Captive City
This movie’s extra is a theatrical trailer. And that’s it, folks. We know extras’ enthusiasts will cry foul but many films from this era are difficult to get any kind of extras for, and just having the movie in 1080p is plenty enough to be thankful for.
Kino Lorber once again has done an excellent job bringing a classic Film Noir to the world of HD, a film no one had the right to think it would ever get a blu ray release. A good film, with excellent audio and video quality makes this one a winner. We can expect more black and white thrillers in 2016 as well including Curse of the Faceless Man, Donovan’s Brain and The Chase!