John Ingram of Oklahoma has a loving family, loves his work fighting oil fires, and is good at it. But 9 years ago, under another name he escaped from a Southern chain gang. Enter William Ramey, a "friend" from John's past, who gradually works up to a blackmail attempt under a promise to get Ingram cleared...but instead has him sent back to the old chain gang. Though determined to tough it out this time, circumstances compel Ingram to attempt another escape... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Tough guy Edward G. Robinson, who normally dominates every movie he's in, is upstaged in this one, a good, unambitious actioner, first by raging oil well fires, then by the sly performance of Gene Lockhart, as a particularly loathsome, scheming villain, complete with a baby talking Down East accent. The movie is otherwise unexceptional though very skillfully made at MGM, and features an innocent Robinson on the run from the law for a crime he did not commit. As his sidekick, Guinn Williams is presented as so moronic one wonders how he can hold down any job, much less function as E.G.'s second in command in such a dangerous profession as putting out oil well fires, but the ways of Hollywood are sometimes mysterious. The capable Ruth Hussey is wasted in the boring and irritating role of the wife, from whom we want the movie to get away as quickly as possible. Robinson at first seems out of place in the Oklahoma oil fields but is so robust as the hard-driving entrepeneur hero that this is easily forgiven, and besides, he always excelled at playing fearless men.
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