Betrayed is a very old film that has maintained its ability to bring fear to its viewers. It’s a love story, a story about hate, and a story about true evil. 10 out of 10 stars. This should be required viewing.
Gary Simmons is a Missouri farmer and handsome widower with two young children. He’s also a high-ranking KKK member who practices catch and release. They abduct or “catch” black men from Chicago and release them in the woods so they can hunt them down and shoot them.
Cathy Weaver is a young FBI agent asked by her boss and lover Mike Carnes to go undercover and get close to Gary. She poses as a combine girl who hires out to cut corn and wheat in the farmers’ fields. She just happens to be working in Gary’s fields.
They meet and it’s love at first sight for Gary. He slowly but effectively seduces Cathy, whose undercover name is Kate Phillips. In fact, Gary is so good at appearing normal she falls head over heels in love with him, even knowing that his wife died under mysterious circumstances (she was run over by a large vehicle that backed over her twice to make sure she was dead).
Pretty soon Gary starts acting odd and she notices for the first time that some of his neighbors refuse to speak to him. Then he takes her hunting only they’re hunting a black man they kidnapped from Chicago. She tries saving the man, but Gary restrains her as his friends execute the young man. She returns to the FBI and begs to be let out of the assignment as she can’t stand to go back to Gary’s house where she’s now living, but Mike (who is jealous that she fell in love with Gary) says no, you’re in too deep.
As she risks her life again and again, she gets deeper and deeper into the lives of the KKK. They rob banks to pay for the campaigns of their followers who get elected into high political positions. They buy guns from Nazis and use them to gun down Jews and blacks. But not all of them are evil. Some of them are normal men thrust into a situation where the government has taken everything from them (their land, their sons in the Vietnam War, and their wives to cancer). They have to have someone to hate and it’s easy to hate the government. And the only men who seem to be putting a dent in the war against the government are the KKK. It’s shocking that so many of their neighbors know exactly what they’re doing and say nothing because they live right next door. And you don’t want to “accidentally” get shot in your own backyard by your neighbor.
There are some terrifying moments in this film. When you listen to the way they speak and the things they teach their children, it’s shocking. FYI the state of Missouri is where you’ll find confederate flags still hanging on houses and guns aplenty. If you doubt that rampant racism still exists, look at our president. I think Trump proved there are plenty more like him across the country.
Reviewed by Betsy.