The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, July 8-14

07/08/2015 7:28 AM |
John McIntire in Phil Karlson’s THE PHENIX CITY STORY (1955). Courtesy Film Forum via Photofest. Playing July 13

The Phenix City Story (1955)
Directed by Phil Karlson
An opening 13-minute newsreel lends documentary credence to this no-frills drama, which seeps into the hot pavement of its corrupt Alabama town. Though vice and violence rules the streets, the film cannot quite be classified as noir, as that genre’s evil occurs in the shadows below the legitimate world. Vice in Phenix City takes place in broad daylight, a reflection upon how deeply the town owes its prosperity to its seediest element. And despite Karlson’s bullish pulp prose, the film depicts a far-seeing vision of noble resistance, never a matter of single victory but an ongoing, even generational, siege for good. Jake Cole (July 13, 2:10pm, 5:50pm, 9:30pm at Film Forum’s “True Crime”)