You left out the elephant in the room – TRY AND GET ME. Not only does it unmask a corrupt press, but it also shows the essential instability and gullibility of the masses, much like FURY and BLACK LEGION before it, as well as films of the same era – THE LAWLESS, THE WELL and THE BIG CARNIVAL (also displaying a corrupt media). Looking back, the fact that TAGE and the other 3 films could have been made in the period of the early 50s is quite extraordinary. The gullible masses have been with us throughout recorded history, but in the US it has encompassed the nativism that gave rise to the Knownothings of the 19th century, to Mencken’s and Sinclair Lewis’ yokels of the 1920s, and to the followers of Father Coughlin in the 1930s. In our present “fix” it is as good a time as any to hold a mirror up to those who let themselves be bamboozled, especially by those that are “morally unfit” to assume an office of public trust.
You have no problem mentioning a film about government corruption like ALL THE KING’S MEN (btw, also check out Cagney in A LION IN THE STREETS), but somehow films like CAUGHT and RUTHLESS are “borderline” noir. Not all government is corrupt. Remember, perhaps apocryphal, the Tea Partier who said “Damn gummint, keep your hands off my Social Security”. However, thanks to Citizen’s United we now have cemented into place “the best government that money can buy”. Likewise, not all businessmen are like Robert Ryan in CAUGHT or Zack Scott in RUTHLESS. Most recently, we have Dick’s Sporting Goods, who have stopped the sale of military grade assault rifles - good for you, Dick. However, we can’t forget Wells Fargo, Enron, the bandits of the 2008 meltdown, etc. etc., etc. White collar crime is simply a feature of the present economic system.