6.9/10
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22 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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(by), (by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Johnny Ellis
...
Mary Ellen
...
Oscar Apfel ...
Billings
Stanley Fields ...
Whiteside
...
Carter
Warner Richmond ...
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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 »
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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

 
A really surprising find...
22 August 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

What surprised me about "Hell's Highway" more than anything else was that it addressed the abuses of the chain gang system two months before the much more famous "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang" debuted. So why is the latter film a super-famous film for its social commentary and "Hell's Highway" is pretty much forgotten? Well, the biggest reason is focus. In "Hell's Highway", while the system is bad, the movie ALSO focuses on the inmates--and shows them, in most cases, as a bunch of bad folks. Killers, thieves, cut-throats and homosexuals seem to make up most of the prisoners--so at the time the message of reform was somehow lost. The public no doubt was torn between hating the prisoners and the system that mistreated them.

The film stars Richard Dix in an unusual role. He plays perhaps the toughest of all these prisoners--a guy respected yet feared by everyone. Only when his young brother is also committed to this same chain gang is Dix's toughness challenged. Amidst this strange family reunion is the purpose of this chain gang--not to rehabilitate but to provide cheap labor for a jerk trying to produce a road and make himself rich in the process.

The film excels due to pretty good acting and an exciting script. While it's not as timeless and important as "I Am a Fugitive...", it is, nonetheless, well worth seeing and might surprise you at the film's quality and strength.

sign language gibberish


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