TOWN WITHOUT PITY (1961)

  • September 11, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Before there were labels for the phenomena we now call "Slut Shaming" and "Rape Culture," this tense cold war era drama confronted those issues head on. Four American soldiers go on trial for raping a local girl near the Kaserne where they were stationed in post-World War II occupied Germany. The reaction of the townfolk to this act of savagery committed against one of their fellow citizens by members of a foreign army may be surprising. Or not.

Starring Kirk Douglas as defense counsel, Barbara Ruetting as a German newspaper reporter, Christine Kaufmann* as the young victim, Gerhart Lippert as her boyfriend, Hans Nielsen as her father, E.G. Marshall as the prosecutor, and (a very young) Robert Blake and Frank Sutton (yes, "Sgt. Carter" from "Gomer Pyle, USMC") as two of the four accused. "Town Without Pity" was a joint American-German-Swiss production, directed by Gottfried Reinhardt.

* Christine Kaufmann will portray Aunt Polly in "Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn," which will be released later this year.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tos3dCc1J94

Despite a stellar performance by Kirk Douglas, this film is probably best known for its soundtrack, which is dominated by a single song. "Town Without Pity" became a gigantic hit, and Gene Pitney's signature song.  

Watch Pitney perform it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7BRraVMZzc

 

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