MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 23,853 this week

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 8,338 users  
Reviews: 324 user | 38 critic

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director:

Writers:

(by), (screen play), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 07 Jul 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 02 Dec 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 11 months ago
 
Ver
a list of 43 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang.
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
Black Fury (1935)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An immigrant coal miner finds himself in the middle of a bitter labor dispute between the workers and the mine owners.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Paul Muni, Karen Morley, William Gargan
Little Caesar (1931)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori's mob. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell
Scarface (1932)
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An aspiring journalist's story of his aged uncle doctor leads to the uncle's life being profiled on TV.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Paul Muni, David Wayne, Betsy Palmer
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
White Heat (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Caged (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Millionaire turned composer Dick Powell rescues unemployed Broadway people with a new play.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall
The Valiant (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After accidentally killing the key witness to a crime, a mysterious drifter turns himself to the law, under a false name intending to protect his own family. But when the news of his ... See full summary »

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Paul Muni, Marguerite Churchill, Johnny Mack Brown
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Glenda Farrell ...
Marie
Helen Vinson ...
Noel Francis ...
Preston Foster ...
...
Barney Sykes
Berton Churchill ...
The Judge
Edward Ellis ...
Bomber Wells
David Landau ...
The Warden
Hale Hamilton ...
Rev. Allen
...
Alice
Louise Carter ...
Mother
Willard Robertson ...
Prison Board Chairman
Robert McWade ...
Attorney
Robert Warwick ...
Fuller
Edit

Storyline

Having returned from fighting in World War I, James Allen doesn't want to settle into a humdrum life and decides to set off to find his fortune. He travels the length and breadth of America, working as a skilled tradesman in the construction industry. When times get tough however, he finds himself living in a shelter where an acquaintance suggests they go out for a hamburger. What the friend really has in mind is to rob the diner and Allen soon finds himself working on a chain gang with a long jail sentence. Allen manages to escape however and heads to Chicago where over several years he slowly but surely works his way up the ladder to become one of the most respected construction engineers in the city. His past catches up with him and despite protestations from civic leaders and his many friends in Chicago, he finds himself again on the chain gang. Escaping for a second time, he accepts that to survive, he must lead a life of crime. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Six sticks of dynamite that blasted his way to freedom... and awoke America's conscience!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 November 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Am a Fugitive  »

Box Office

Budget:

$195,845 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print and some of their character names were played by other actors. These were (with their character names): Oscar Apfel (Chairman of Chamber of Commerce), Edward Arnold (Lawyer), Sam Baker (Sebastian T. Yale), Spencer Charters (C.K. Hobb), C. Henry Gordon (District Attorney), Harry Holman (Sheriff of Monroe), William Janney (Sheriff's Son), Roscoe Karns (Steve), Dewey Robinson (Blacksmith), Russell Simpson (Sheriff) and Morgan Wallace (Ramsey). See more »

Goofs

Calendar pages flip several times in the film and it is always the same calendar even though the events of the story unfold over the course of many years. The first calendar flipping should be 1923 or 1924. The next is in 1929/30. The last flipping is likely intended to be 1930/31. In all cases, a 1932 (could be 1904, but due to the date of the film, 1932 is more likely) calendar is used. In two instances, the date flips from December to January and in both instances Jan 1 falls on the wrong day. Instead of using a 1933 calendar for January, they simply used the same 1932 calendar. See more »

Quotes

James Allen: Do you mind if we stay here awhile, or must you go home?
Helen: There are no musts in my life. I'm free, white and twenty-one.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paksunahka (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by W.C. Handy
Played as background music at Barney's place
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Absolutely powerhouse film, possibly the finest of the early sound era
12 April 2007 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

"I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" is possibly the finest film of the early sound era. Considering how filmmakers weren't adapt yet to the new medium, its impressive how this film seems to be devoid of much of the awkwardness that usually plagues films from this time. There isn't too much music, but it doesn't slow down the pace or distract the viewer. Also, Mervyn LeRoy's workman direction is quite adequate. Between "Little Caesar" and this, he seemed to become much more comfortable with the new sound medium.

While some of the supporting acting is a bit campy (I realize how many modern viewers don't enjoy pre-method acting), Paul Muni delivers a subdued and absolutely powerhouse performance. Its a shame he never became a bigger star, because as far as I'm concerned he's just as fine as Clark Gable or Gary Cooper. Also, the social message of this film was far ahead of its time in decrying what was a government institution. This was a very progressive film. In addition to the historical significance, the film is just as powerful as when it was initially released. In particular, the ending is a complete knockout (one of the finest closing lines ever for a film). Thankfully, this was made before the Hayes Code, so it includes some interesting (and realistic) depictions of sex. This deserves a ten the whole way, a rating I don't often hand out. (10/10)


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
One Of The Best Endings Ever PrimoEscobar
definately my #1 favorite movie massiveaction5
Criminally underrated classicmoviecomedy
Just watched this...weak script. santiken
Pre Stooge Larry Fine Sold him the suit and hat otis_thick2000
Georgia or Virginia? boazbenjamin
Discuss I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?