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Ex-Army officer Jameson takes a job a prison guard at San Quentin. Joe, the brother of his new girlfriend May, is sentenced to the prison for robbery. When Jameson tries to separate lawbreakers from hardened criminals, badguy Hansen tries to stir up trouble by telling Joe about Jameson's interest in his sister. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie doesn't really offer anything new or spectacular but it does provide a good qualitatively 70 minutes. It's your standard prison drama in which most of the formulaic ingredients are present but this time also with a love-story mixed in.
The story is perhaps not the most interesting or refreshing but it is told in a good way. The pace of the movie is high and obviously made by experienced professionals. The editing is a bit offbeat and weird at times and the action and ending is rather weak but nevertheless "San Quentin" remains a perfectly watchable movie, thanks to the professional cast & crew involved.
The movie has a solid cast. Pat O'Brien plays the leading role very well and he really makes the character work. Also great was Humphrey Bogart, from the period when he was not yet a leading man in Hollywood movies. The most other characters remain rather flat and blank but this was often the case in movies from the '30's.
Of course prison movie set in the '30's are the most interesting to watch, when convicts still wore those great uniforms and guards where known as brutal animals who weren't afraid of using their weapons. This movie is set in that period and although this movie is not an heavy or dramatic one, it still makes this movie a better than average one, thanks to the time period it is set in.
It's not an essential viewing. The movie is too dry, simple and short for that. However when you do watch this movie, you won't regret it. It's well made entertainment and has some excellent actors in it.
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