History Film / AnAmericanCrime

3rd Mar '17 11:54:03 AM CL
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* DolledUpInstallment: ''The Afflicted'', a later true crime film with a similar premise, has the alternate title of ''"Another American Crime"''.
22nd Jan '17 2:00:06 PM Bergamot
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* BasedOnATrueStory
* BlatantLies : Gertrude's story about Sylvia going to juvie.

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* BasedOnATrueStory
BasedOnATrueStory: Based on the murder of Sylvia Likens, a.k.a. "The Illinois Torture Murder." All dialogue from the courtroom scenes are drawn directly from the court transcripts.
* BlatantLies : BlatantLies: Gertrude's story about Sylvia going to juvie.



* MayDecemberRomance : Gertrude and Andy. Keener was 48 at the time of filming, and Creator/JamesFranco was 29.

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* MayDecemberRomance : Gertrude and Andy. Keener was 48 at the time of filming, and Creator/JamesFranco was 29. A case of RealLifeWritesThePlot, as the real "Andy" was 18 to Gertrude's 34 when they began dating.



* WouldHurtAChild

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* WouldHurtAChildWouldHurtAChild: Gertrude Baniszewski.
20th Mar '16 2:55:56 PM BronyoftheOctaves
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* [[spoiler: MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Maybe. By the end, when Gertrude is sentenced, her kids cry at the fact of their actions ''and'' the loss of their mother. When Gertrude is in prison and sees the spirit of Sylvia, she begins to tear up and tries to mouth the words "I'm sorry", before Sylvia fades away]].
1st Feb '16 3:40:25 PM creader
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* DestroyTheAbusiveHome: The ultimate fate of the Baniszewski home. While plans were made to restore the house as a shelter for abused girls, funding fell through, with many in the community blaming lack of donations on the location being too heavily overshadowed by the murder. Two years after the film's release and almost forty-five years after Sylvia's murder, the house was demolished.



* MamaBear : Most of the abuse starts when Paula complains to Gertrude about Sylvia "spreading lies."

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* MamaBear : MamaBear: Most of the abuse starts when Paula complains to Gertrude about Sylvia "spreading lies."



* TheSixties: A rather darker side thereof--less free love and more secrecy and lack of child protective services.



* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Very nearly literally. Many laws regarding mandatory reporting of suspected abuse came into being directly because of this case.



* TheSixties: A rather darker side thereof--less free love and more secrecy and lack of child protective services.
15th Aug '15 10:49:35 PM shamblingdead2
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* PosthumousNarration : Sylvia is telling her own story.
15th Aug '15 10:30:39 PM shamblingdead2
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* BlatantLies : Gertrude's story about Sylvia going to juvie.
15th Aug '15 10:05:24 PM shamblingdead2
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* MamaBear : Most of the abuse starts when Paula complains to Gertrude about Sylvia "spreading lies."
15th Aug '15 9:24:34 PM shamblingdead2
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* DisproportionateRetribution: Much of what happens to Sylvia falls under this.

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* DisproportionateRetribution: Much of what happens to Sylvia falls under this. The first beating happened because the girls' parents' payment was late, and because Gertrude believed Sylvia was telling lies about Paula.
15th Aug '15 9:16:20 PM shamblingdead2
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* MayDecemberRomance : Gertrude and Andy. Keener was 48 at the time of filming, and Creator/JamesFranco was 29.
12th Jan '15 12:44:40 PM Bergamot
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* AffectionateNickname: Sylvia's father calls her "Cookie."



* CreepyCircusMusic: The end credits, where [[CreepyChildrenSinging a children's choir]] imitates the piping of a circus calliope.



* TeenPregnancy: Gertrude tells Sylvia that she had her oldest daughter Paula at young age. Paula herself gets pregnant by her cheating boyfriend (though somehow doesn't show after months have passed). Gertrude is unable to deal with the thought that Paula made the same mistake she did, leading her to blame poor Sylvia and ultimately torture her to death.

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* TakeMeInstead: When Gertie is about to beat both Likens girls, Sylvia offers to take both beatings to spare her disabled sister.
* TeenPregnancy: Gertrude tells Sylvia that she had her oldest daughter Paula at a young age. age, and Paula herself gets pregnant by her cheating boyfriend (though somehow doesn't show after months have passed). boyfriend. Gertrude is unable to deal with the thought that Paula made the same mistake she did, leading her to blame poor Sylvia and ultimately torture her to death.death.
* TheSixties: A rather darker side thereof--less free love and more secrecy and lack of child protective services.


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* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: In the final scenes, Sylvia relates the fates of many of her tormentors.
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