Up 34,154 this week

Prison Break (1938)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  12 July 1938 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 172 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

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 »



(story), (screenplay) (as Dorothy Reid)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 57 titles
created 15 Oct 2012
a list of 95 titles
created 13 Jan 2013
a list of 8329 titles
created 19 Jun 2014
a list of 50 titles
created 28 Jun 2014
a list of 615 titles
created 30 Jun 2014

Related Items

Search for "Prison Break" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Prison Break (1938)

Prison Break (1938) on IMDb 6.6/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Prison Break.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Michael and Sara wed, but the happiness is short lived when the Feds apprehend her for the murder of Michael's mother, Christina. Once a hit is ordered on Sara, the team reunite to break out an increasing vulnerable Sara.

Directors: Kevin Hooks, Brad Turner
Stars: Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, William Fichtner
The Racket (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things... See full summary »

Directors: John Cromwell, Mel Ferrer, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Ryan
Moonrise (1948)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Danny is being despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused to have killed another man and is condemned to the death penalty.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Dane Clark, Gail Russell, Ethel Barrymore
Crime Wave (1954)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
The Locket (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Just before a wedding, the bridegroom hears a complex tale painting his lovely bride as devilish and unbalanced.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Laraine Day, Robert Mitchum, Brian Aherne
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A covert FBI agent infiltrates a ruthless gangster mob, but his life is at risk from a mysterious informant who funnels inside information to the hoodlums.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan
Prison Break (2011)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Director: Sam Macaroni
Stars: Timothy DeLaGhetto, Sam Macaroni
Prison Break (2008)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A brutal and unforgiving look at life within the harrowing walls of America's prison system.

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Stars: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Rob Polonsky
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped convicted murderer hides out at a New York wax museum where he hopes to get plastic surgery, which will help him revenge himself on Charlie Chan.

Director: Lynn Shores
Stars: Sidney Toler, Victor Sen Yung, C. Henry Gordon
Documentary | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Directors: Jim Barrett, Robert Dorfman, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Charles Baker, Sala Baker, Claudia Barcelo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Michael is no longer on the run. He is now locked up in an insane prison called Sona and once again he must break out to safe Sarah and LJ.

Stars: D'nel Hunter, Kyle McCaffrey, Brian Harvey
Prison Break: Sequel (TV Mini-Series 2016)
Action | Crime | Drama

The Brothers return for yet another adventure and the mystery of how Michael is still alive.

Stars: Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell


Complete credited cast:
Glenda Farrell ...
Jean Fenderson
Paul Hurst ...
Constance Moore ...
Maria Shannon, Joaquin's Sister
Edward Pawley ...
Joe Fenderson
Edmund MacDonald ...
Chris Nelson, Maria's Bridegroom
Big Red Kincaid
Guy Usher ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Athoos sta katerga  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in The Player (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Really Stacked Against Him
10 June 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Prison Break finds the two leads of Warner Brothers Torchy Blane series, Barton MacLane and Glenda Farrell, in a serious sociological drama about the dilemma of an ex-convict trying to go straight. Both in and outside of prison MacLane has it really stacked against him.

This film was done for Universal Pictures and MacLane plays a captain of tuna fishing boat who's in love with Glenda Farrell. She's a widow with a small son, but for reasons not quite explained her father Victor Kilian has a vicious hatred for MacLane. MacLane also has a sister played by Constance Moore who is in love with Edmund MacDonald who works on MacLane's boat.

On his bachelor party night, MacDonald gets good and drunk and later wakes up next to the unconscious body of Edward Pawley who is brother to Farrell and son of Kilian. MacLane says he clocked, but the next day Pawley dies and MacLane is in a jackpot for manslaughter.

In prison MacLane's nemesis is Ward Bond who is one vicious thug, usually the kind of part MacLane plays in films. Which is also coincidental because if you recall both MacLane and Bond played partner cops in The Maltese Falcon and Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.

In the end it all resolves itself a little too neatly. In fact when Bond kills a prison guard during an escape attempt that should have brought the death penalty for him. I'm surprised that Universal Pictures neglected that little fact.

Still MacLane gives a really good and sincere performance as a man trapped by circumstances only partly of his own making. He should never have taken the rap, even though he thought it was only for assault. A bit melodramatic and neat still Prison Break is a well made B film from Universal and it was nice to see Barton MacLane as a good guy and hero in this film.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Prison Break (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: