I Watched The Movie An American Crime And It Made Me Sick via @erinwise82


This movie is from 2007, yet I had never seen it until a couple of days ago. Once again I was on Hulu, I came across An American Crime and decided to watch it. There are a few movies that have made my skin crawl, but this one…This one takes the cake!

I read the description of the movie, I knew it was going to be a hard watch, but what I saw was not at all what I was expecting. The actors were absolutely amazing, as you truly felt what they were feeling. You sympathized with them….Well some of them. I think what made this movie so hard to watch, it’s based on a true story. storimage

Set in the mid 60’s, Sylvia and Jennie Likens stayed with Gertrude Baniszewski, a divorced mother of six, while their parents travel with a carnival. During their time there, Paula, Gertrude’ s eldest daughter, reveals a secret to Sylvia. When Sylvia reveals the secret trying to help Paula, Paula promises to make Sylvia pay.


Paula tells her mother Sylvia is spreading awful rumors about her. Gertrude is not to thrilled with this and has her son hold Sylvia while Paula beat her for “lying”. fimage

When the “rumors” continue about Paula, Gertrude takes matters into her own hands. Calling a family meeting, Gertrude makes Sylvia do an awful thing, and I’m very sorry, you’ll have to watch it yourself to know, I cannot repeat it. When another daughter and her boyfriend walk in on what’s happening, Gertrude tells them Sylvia must be punished, she is trash, dirty, a slut, and has the boyfriend throw Sylvia in the basement. iimage

Sylvia awakens, not able to move, with her sister sitting beside her, too scared to say or do anything to help her sister, fearing the same punishment. Gertrude tortured Sylvia and encouraged her children to do the same. They would burn her with cigarettes, kick her, hit her, tied her up, it was incredibly hard to watch. I was cringing every time I saw one of them grab the keys to the basement. keyimage


Not long after Gertrude’ s children began what they believed to be punishment, they started bringing friends over to punish Sylvia too. At first, it was a few friends at at time, punching her in the face, kicking her, burning her. Then more kids and teens began to come and do the same.cimage


Neighbors would hear Sylvia’ s screams, yet they all just minded their business. No one interfered. Gertrude was pretty smart too, she had all of her kids, as well as all the other kids who came to torture Sylvia lie to everyone about Sylvia’ s whereabouts.

This story is told throughout the court hearing and the outcome is completely shocking to me. The horrendous acts done to this poor defenseless girl….completely heartbreaking. image

If you can stomach watching the torture of an innocent young teen, this movie is very well done. I will be honest and say I will never watch it again, but a movie making me feel as much as this one did, is worth at least one watch.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below or find me on Twitter @thenerdygirlexp or @erinwise82

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