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Blackwell's Island (1939)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  25 March 1939 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 197 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 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 »

Directors:

(as William McGann) , (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Blackwell's Island (1939)

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Tim Haydon
Rosemary Lane ...
Mary 'Sunny' Walsh
Dick Purcell ...
Terry Walsh
...
Commissioner Thomas MacNair
Stanley Fields ...
'Bull' Bransom
Morgan Conway ...
Steve Cardigan
Granville Bates ...
Prison Warden Stuart 'Stu' Granger
Anthony Averill ...
Brower, a Henchman
Peggy Shannon ...
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)
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ilha Sinistra  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first press screening was held at the Welfare Island Prison. See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Garfield Story (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Average, Despite Garfield
7 March 2013 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

After being convicted, an egotistical crime boss corrupts the prison he's sent to, until a crusading commissioner and crime reporter get on his trail.

If you like the blustery Wallace Beery you might like this movie. After all, the film's real star is a Beery impersonator, Stanley Fields (Bull Bransom), who has the most scenes and screen time. Looks to me like Garfield's only got a featured part though he gets top billing. I guess (IMDB) the top billing is because his smash hit Four Daughters (1938) was made after this film but released before Blackwell. So Warner's shot more scenes for him in this film before releasing it, knowing they had a budding star. Anyway, as a Garfield fan, I've never seen him look so young. Still, he's got his usual fast-talk delivery but without the patented tough guy demeanor. All in all, this may be his first screen appearance.

At the same time, why top bill Rosemary Lane when she's only got about a minute of screen time. No doubt she was also added after initial shooting because she played so well with Garfield in Four Daughters. I've spent some time on these oddities because the movie itself is ordinary, at best. Fields makes a comical crime boss in a routine screenplay that relies mainly on his Beery-like qualities. Warner's does get to use a lot of its stock footage of prison turmoil, a topic it specialized in. Still and all, except for the evolution of Garfield's career, the movie itself is nothing more than a routine bottom-of-the-bill programmer.


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