Watch Poor White Trash
- 1 hr 24 min
Poor White Trash is a drama film from 1957 directed by Harry Keller, and starring Peter Graves, Lita Milan, and Douglas Fowley. The movie was produced by Robert E. Kent and released through Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. This movie portrays a dark side of the US society in the mid-20th century, where poverty and ignorance create corruption and chaos.
The story follows Johnny Johnson (Peter Graves), a newly married man who struggles to find a job and provide for his family in a small Southern town. Johnny is a former soldier who has returned home after the Korean War with no prospects and no education. Despite his ambitions, Johnny is unable to make ends meet, and his wife, Linda (Lita Milan), is forced to work as a waitress to support their family. Johnny is frequently humiliated by his wealthy and influential boss, Mr. Alexander (Douglas Fowley), who employs him in a minimum-wage job.
Johnny's life takes a downward spiral when he is wrongfully accused of stealing money from Mr. Alexander's safe. He is arrested and sent to jail. While there, he meets and befriends two criminals, Kyle (John Marley) and Red (Terry Moore), who convince him to rob an armored truck. Johnny reluctantly agrees, hoping to get enough money to start a new life with Linda.
The robbery goes wrong, and they end up killing a cop in the process. The trio is chased by the police and the FBI, and their lives become a never-ending nightmare. They desperately try to flee to Mexico, but the odds are against them as they encounter one obstacle after another.
The movie is a powerful social commentary on the poverty and inequality that existed in the US in the 1950s. The characters in the film are portrayed as real people who are not evil but have made desperate choices due to their circumstances. Johnny is a good man who is pushed to the edge by a system that offers him no hope or support. Linda is a loving wife forced to work long hours in a diner to make ends meet. Mr. Alexander is a wealthy businessman who takes advantage of his position to exert his power and control over others.
The film is shot in black and white, which adds to the gritty realism of the story. The cinematography captures the starkness of the Southern landscape, and the sound design is effective in conveying the tension and drama of the action scenes. The score is understated but emotionally evocative, enhancing the film's darkest moments.
The actors' performances are solid and effective. Peter Graves delivers a nuanced portrayal of Johnny, conveying his internal conflict and his desperation to provide for his family. Lita Milan's portrayal of Linda is heartfelt and sympathetic, highlighting the struggles of women in that era. Douglas Fowley's performance as Mr. Alexander is chilling and menacing, instilling fear in the audience.
Overall, Poor White Trash is a captivating and engaging film that offers a realistic portrayal of the socio-economic issues that plagued the US in the post-war years. The themes of poverty, corruption, and crime are still relevant today, making this film a timeless classic.
Poor White Trash is a 1961 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 24 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0.