IMDb > I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
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I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang -- Trailer for this classic action drama

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   8,176 votes »
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Down 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Robert E. Burns (by)
Howard J. Green (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 November 1932 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Six sticks of dynamite that blasted his way to freedom... and awoke America's conscience!
Plot:
Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Absolutely powerhouse film, possibly the finest of the early sound era See more (300 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Muni ... James Allen
Glenda Farrell ... Marie
Helen Vinson ... Helen
Noel Francis ... Linda
Preston Foster ... Pete

Allen Jenkins ... Barney Sykes
Berton Churchill ... The Judge
Edward Ellis ... Bomber Wells
David Landau ... The Warden
Hale Hamilton ... Rev. Allen

Sally Blane ... Alice
Louise Carter ... Mother
Willard Robertson ... Prison Board Chairman
Robert McWade ... Attorney
Robert Warwick ... Fuller
William Le Maire ... A Texan (as William LeMaire)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erville Alderson ... Police Chief (uncredited)
Irving Bacon ... Bill (uncredited)
Reginald Barlow ... Parker (uncredited)
James Bell ... Red (uncredited)
Everett Brown ... Sebastian T. Yale (uncredited)
Frederick Burton ... Southern Prison Official (uncredited)
A.S. 'Pop' Byron ... Cop in Barbershop (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Job Foreman (uncredited)
Wallis Clark ... Chicago Lawyer (uncredited)

G. Pat Collins ... Wilson (uncredited)
George Cooper ... Vaudevillian (uncredited)
Jack Curtis ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

Douglass Dumbrille ... District Attorney (uncredited)
J. Frank Glendon ... Arresting Officer (uncredited)
Lew Kelly ... Diner Cook (uncredited)
Jack La Rue ... Ackerman (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Chamber of Commerce Chairman (uncredited)
Walter Long ... Blacksmith (uncredited)
Jack Low ... Big Prisoner (uncredited)
John Marston ... Prison Commissioner (uncredited)
Charles McAvoy ... Cop (uncredited)
Edward McNamara ... 2nd Warden (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Dennis O'Keefe ... Café Chateau Dancer (uncredited)
William Pawley ... Doggy (uncredited)
Charles Sellon ... Hot-Dog Stand Owner (uncredited)
Allen D. Sewall ... Train Station Guard (uncredited)
Lee Shumway ... Arresting Officer (uncredited)
William H. Strauss ... Pawnbroker (uncredited)
Sheila Terry ... Allen's Secretary (uncredited)
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Marine on Ship (uncredited)
Jack Wise ... Tailor (uncredited)
Harry Woods ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

John Wray ... Nordine (uncredited)

Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy 
 
Writing credits
Robert E. Burns (by)

Howard J. Green (screen play) &
Brown Holmes (screen play)

Sheridan Gibney  screen play (uncredited)

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Sol Polito (photography)
 
Film Editing by
William Holmes (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Jack Okey 
 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Al Alleborn .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert H. Wagner .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
 
Other crew
S.H. Sullivan .... technical director
Robert E. Burns .... consultant (uncredited)
S. Charles Einfeld .... general press agent (uncredited)
Jack Miller .... technical director (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
92 min (Turner library print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (original release)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 (1946) | Finland:(Banned) (1933) | Norway:16 (1933) | Sweden:15 (cut) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (certificate number not assigned at release) | USA:Approved (re-release: PCA #2647-R, 3 September 1936) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was based on the true story of Robert E. Burns. It sticks basically to the facts except for two instances: Burns actually did steal the $5.29 in order to eat, and he finally succeeded in evading the Georgia legal system with the help of three New Jersey governors. Burns actually slipped into Hollywood and worked for a few weeks on the film, but ultimately the stress and risk were too much, and he fled back to the safety of New Jersey. The book and film helped bring about the collapse of the brutal chain gang system in Georgia. Warner Bros. took a big chance on the film, as social commentary was not normally done in Hollywood pictures. However, this film was a critical and financial success and helped establish Warners as the studio with a social conscience - it also helped save the financially ailing company. Even though Georgia was never specifically named in the film, numerous lawsuits were filed against the studio, the film was banned in Georgia, and the studio's head and the film's director were told that should they ever find themselves in Georgia they would be treated to a dose of the "social evil" they so roundly denounced.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
Pete:I'm hungry. What would you say to a hamburger?
James Allen:What would I say to a hamburger? Boy. I'd take Mr. Hamburger by the hand and say, "Pal, I haven't seen you for a long, long time."
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Dr. No (1962)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Darktown Strutters' BallSee more »

FAQ

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Absolutely powerhouse film, possibly the finest of the early sound era, 12 April 2007
Author: TheMarquisDeSuave from Worcester, MA

"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)

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Funny lines? OdasCoo
Pre Stooge Larry Fine Sold him the suit and hat otis_thick2000
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