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Prison Break (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 12 July 1938 (USA)
Joaquin Shannon arrives home from a cruise on his fishing boat. His first mate, Charles Nelson, is to marry Shannon's sister the next day. Nelson gets drunk and Shannon finds him near the ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story "Walls of San Quentin"), (screenplay) (as Dorothy Reid) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jean Fenderson
...
Soapy
...
Maria Shannon, Joaquin's Sister
Edward Pawley ...
Joe Fenderson
Edmund MacDonald ...
Chris Nelson, Maria's Bridegroom
...
Big Red Kincaid
Guy Usher ...
Warden
Victor Kilian ...
Old Man Fenderson
Frank Darien ...
Cappy, Joaquin's Cell-mate
George Cleveland ...
Ding, Fisherman with Joaquin
...
Jackie, Jean's Son Previous Marriage (as John Russell)
Thomas Louden ...
The Priest
Paul Everton ...
Judge at Joaquin's Trial
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Storyline

Joaquin Shannon arrives home from a cruise on his fishing boat. His first mate, Charles Nelson, is to marry Shannon's sister the next day. Nelson gets drunk and Shannon finds him near the unconscious body of a man that he, Shannon, had been fighting with previously. The man dies and Shannon takes the blame and goes to prison. There he gets into trouble instigated by "Big Red" Kincaid and is denied a parole. He stops a prison break and get a parole. Not able to get work, he takes a job with a former convict on a fishing boat. Kincaid, who has shot a guard and escaped and vowing vengeance on Shannon, shows up. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Athoos sta katerga  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Player (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Tuna Fist salad with a side order of Stool Pigeon
5 October 2005 | by (Central Midwest, USA) – See all my reviews

Hi, Everyone, When a sailor goes to prison he makes waves. Barton MacLane is quite good in this 1930s tough guy who wants to marry a blonde, psycho-action drama.

The first thing we learn when our hero goes to the Big House is that prisoners in cells in the 1930s did not have toilets. There is a mixture here of stock footage of a real prison and a set on the sound stage that matches pretty well. In the 1930s it was somewhat taboo to show any plumbing fixtures other than the kitchen sink.

Ward Bond is a very good bad guy here. He looks a lot like Lee Marvin in many scenes. Ward made 21 movies in 1938 including this one. He would make 21 more in 1939 including Gone With The Wind. I doubt if anyone appeared in more great movies than Ward Bond did in his 57 years of life. He also worked in It's a Wonderful Life. He also did Maltese Falcon. Even with all his movie roles he is still best remembered as the wagon master on Wagon Train, a former number one TV series.

Barton Maclane made many wonderful movies including Unknown Island and Treasure of the Sierra Madre. He was the only guy in Treasure... who had a girlfriend.

Prison Break could be remade with more expensive sets and effects, but the story here is easy to follow. If you have a little imagination you can enjoy this one. Great cast, good music, good story and interesting examination of the effect of a prison record on someone's life. It also shows us how honorable some people can be when they want to protect a friend.

Tom Willett


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