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20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

7.1
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Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

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Title: 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
Arthur Byron ...
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Warren Hymer ...
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Storyline

Tom Connors is sentenced to Sing Sing believing his influential friends will soon have him out on parole. A trouble maker, he gets ninety days in solitary and no parole. His girlfriend Fay is injured and Warden Long lets Tom visit her on his honor to return. During a fight with mobster Joe Finn Fay shoots Finn, Tom jumps out the window and is blamed for the death. He gives himself up but is sentenced to the electric chair. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cagney was originally set for the male lead but was engaged in a contract dispute with Warner Brothers at the time. See more »

Quotes

Prisoner: Get a load of that outfit!
Policeman: Hey, Steve, they're going to the boiler room.
[to Tommy]
Policeman: Not you. You're working here.
[sends him to the Ice Room]
See more »

Connections

Version of Castle on the Hudson (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit of Independence
(1912) (uncredited)
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played during the baseball and marching montage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Early prison drama benefits from direction by Michael Curtiz...
4 December 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Warner Bros. began their grim social dramas in the '30s and 20,000 YEARS IN SING SING is a good companion piece to their other blockbuster drama I WAS A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG.

If this one had been made ten years later, it would have starred Humphrey Bogart (a much more convincing tough guy prisoner than Tracy), and Ann Sheridan would have played the gangster's moll. Here the roles are essayed by SPENCER TRACY and BETTE DAVIS, both of them effective although not as well cast as Bogart and Sheridan would have been.

Tracy is the swaggering bully who thinks life owes him something, even in prison, and only after some hardships behind prison walls does he begin to respond to the humanity of a good warden. All of the prison scenes are well done and probably are a true reflection of what life behind bars was like during this time period. LYLE TALBOT has a good supporting role as a rebellious prisoner bent on making a break and LOUIS CALHERN is fine as Joe Finn, a con man who gets his comeuppance from Tracy and Davis in a well staged fight scene.

Good, grim social drama has all the usual melodramatic overtones of the '30s dramas but still packs a punch even though it's a time capsule of prison life then. There is virtually no background music throughout unless montages are being shown, something that would change drastically in just a few more years.


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