Up 19,508 this week

Blackwell's Island (1939)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  25 March 1939 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 211 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

In a fictional version of true events at the New York prison of Blackwell's Island in 1934, reporter Tim Haydon breaks up a crime organization run by racketeer Bull Bransom from within the ... See full summary »


(as William McGann) , (uncredited)


(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 4618 titles
created 15 Jan 2013
a list of 1691 titles
created 02 Apr 2013
a list of 200 titles
created 19 Apr 2013
a list of 50 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 698 titles
created 1 week ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Blackwell's Island (1939)

Blackwell's Island (1939) on IMDb 6.2/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Blackwell's Island.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Paleface (1948)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Calamity Jane is despatched to find out who's smuggling rifles to the Indians, and winds up married to a hapless correspondence school dentist as part of her cover.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Bob Hope, Jane Russell, Robert Armstrong
The Sea Wolf (1941)
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Humphrey van Weyden, a writer, and fugitives Ruth Webster and George Leach have been given refuge aboard the sealer "Ghost," captained by the cruel Wolf Larsen. The crew mutinies against ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Claude Rains, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The 'Dead End' Kids
Bait (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A beautiful blonde leads a man down the road to ruin.

Director: Hugo Haas
Stars: Cleo Moore, Hugo Haas, John Agar
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ex-GI Nick Blake gets involved in a scheme to fleece a rich young widow, but finds himself falling for her for real, much to the displeasure of his racketeer cohorts.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: John Garfield, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Walter Brennan
Desire Me (1947)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Shortly after WWII, flashbacks tell the story of Marise, her husband Paul, and Jean, who was imprisoned with Paul in a German camp. While attempting to escape from the camp Paul is shot, ... See full summary »

Directors: Jack Conway, George Cukor, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Greer Garson, Robert Mitchum, Richard Hart
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An otherwise moral captain of a charter boat becomes financially strapped and is drawn into illegal activities in order to keep up payments on his boat.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dr. Michael Lewis treats Jane, a mysterious woman claiming to be a British secret agent on the run from German spies. Ultimately convinced, Michael helps Jane escape and with her attempts ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: John Garfield, Nancy Coleman, Raymond Massey
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe's girl Laurie, trouble erupts ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: John Garfield, Brenda Marshall, Marjorie Rambeau
Mystery | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Passengers on an ocean liner can't recall how they got on board or where they are going yet, oddly enough, it soon becomes apparent that they all have something in common.

Director: Edward A. Blatt
Stars: John Garfield, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Alan Hale


Complete credited cast:
Dick Purcell ...
Commissioner Thomas MacNair
Stanley Fields ...
'Bull' Bransom
Morgan Conway ...
Steve Cardigan
Granville Bates ...
Prison Warden Stuart 'Stu' Granger
Anthony Averill ...
Brower, a Henchman
Pearl Murray
Charley Foy ...
Benny Farmer (as Charles Foy)
Norman Willis ...
Mike Garth, a Henchman
Joe Cunningham ...
Ben Rawden
Wade Boteler ...
Capt. Pedersen
William B. Davidson ...
Defense Attorney Hempel (as William Davidson)


In a fictional version of true events at the New York prison of Blackwell's Island in 1934, reporter Tim Haydon breaks up a crime organization run by racketeer Bull Bransom from within the prison. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ilha Sinistra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Garfield made this film before Four Daughters (1938) but when "Four Daughters" became a major hit and made Garfield a star, the release of this film was held up while Warner Brothers called in director Michael Curtiz to shoot additional footage featuring Garfield to capitalize on his success in "Four Daughters". It was finally released in 1939. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

10 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Blackwell's Island (1939)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Interesting if not totally successful Warner film that mixes their gangster pictures with their prison films of the time. A gangster gets sent to prison but he's having an easier time calling the shots there so a reporter (John Garfield) enters to try and see what's going on. There's a strange mixture of laughs and thrills in this picture that comes off pretty strange. The gangster in the picture is played for nothing but laughs and this includes him constantly playing pranks on people. The film's screemplay is pretty weak and doesn't offer too much that we haven't seen in countless other Warner dramas. The one big bonus is the terrific performance by Garfield.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Blackwell's Island History Sproketer
Discuss Blackwell's Island (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: