6.9/10
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23 user 7 critic

Hell's Highway (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 23 September 1932 (USA)
Chain gang prisoners forced to construct a "liberty highway" for their overseer chasten under his brutal stewardship, causing Duke Ellis to mastermind a mass riot.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Johnny Ellis
...
Mary Ellen
...
...
Billings
...
Whiteside
...
Carter
...
Pop-Eye
...
Matthew (as Chas. Middleton)
...
Rascal
Louise Carter ...
Mrs. Ellis
Sandy Roth ...
Maxie
...
Society Red
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Storyline

Chain gang prisoners forced to construct a "liberty highway" for their overseer chasten under his brutal stewardship, causing Duke Ellis to mastermind a mass riot.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gloria y hambre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A preview print had Richard Dix being shot and killed after saving his brother Tom Brown, but the ending was changed before the final release of the film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Unfunny Side of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
20 January 2003 | by (Dayton, Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

Having seen "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" recently, that film came to mind soon after Hell's Highway began. The similarities were obvious-- chain gangs, road work, harsh guards, escape, pursuit and capture. Even the music was similar-- worksong spirituals sung in rich harmony by black male choruses. But where "O Brother" wove humor and comedy throughout the story, "Hell's Highway" was hard, gritty, and definitely humor-less. You're told at the beginning this film is on the bandwagon of penal reform that must have existed at that time, showing the abuses and brutality and the efforts to stop it. It does this quite well, even with the corny (by today's culture)"Oh gosh, gee whillickers, Ma" script and acting that appeared occasionally. Producer David O. Selznick must have been a closet pyromaniac--a powerful scene in which the prison camp burns certainly called to mind the burning of Atlanta in "Gone With the Wind." This Depression-era film showed that even decent folks could find themselves behind the 8-ball of life. Overall, an excellent insight into one aspect of early 20th century American culture. Ignore the outdated-ness of the film and you'll learn a lot.


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