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Buried Alive (1939)

 -  Drama  -  6 November 1939 (USA)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 104 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

A prison trustee rescues a despondent executioner from a bar-room brawl, and is blamed for the fight by a tabloid reporter who actually started it, and loses parole, becomes embittered, and gets blamed for murder of guard.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joan Wright
Robert Wilcox ...
Johnny Martin
Paul McVey ...
Jim Henderson
Ted Osborne ...
Ira Hanes (as Ted Osborn)
George Pembroke ...
Ernie Matthews (as Geo. Pembroke)
Stephen Chase ...
Dr. Robert Lee (as Alden Chase)
George Lynn ...
Gus Barth (as Peter Lynn)
Wheeler Oakman ...
Manning
Norman Budd ...
The Kid
...
Riley
Boyd Irwin ...
Rutledge
Edward Earle ...
Charlie Blake
Dave O'Brien ...
Carson
Robert McKenzie ...
Al Garrity (as Bob McKenzie)
Don Rowan ...
Big Billy
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Storyline

Ernie Matthews, who operates the prison electric chair, is having a crisis of conscience about his role as state executioner. His unrequited love for Joan Wright, another prison employee, adds to his depression. She in turn loves Johnny Martin, the warden's chauffeur and a trustee eligible shortly for parole. When the despondent Matthews goes to a local road house after an execution to get drunk, he's taunted by a sadistic reporter, and a brawl results. Because Johnny came to Matthews' aid in the fight, the parole board, pressured by the press, turns down his expected release, and Johnny reacts bitterly, forcing the warden to rescind his privileges. When Johnny's mentally challenged cell mate Big Billy strangles a sadistic warder, it is only Johnny's intervention that keeps a second guard from being killed. Another vindictive convict, Gus Barth, the only living witness to Johnny's heroism, spitefully hides the truth, hoping that Johnny goes to the electric chair. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love finds its way... behind the gates of prison!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bakom fängelsets murar  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Actor/stuntman Dave O'Brien plays the part of a reporter without his signature hairpiece, but he is wearing it when he doubles Robert Wilcox in the bar brawl scene. Even with his hairpiece on, it is obviously O'Brien. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Martin: [after hearing his parole's been denied] So this is what I've been working for, is it? For three years I've listened to a lot of guff and watched my step every minute because I want to get out of prison and now you're givin' me the business. And you want me to be a model prisoner for six more months and try again? Well, no thanks, mister! I'm simple enough to be a sucker twice from now on? You can take that model prisoner bunk and stuff it in the dismal swamp! I'll tell you what a model prisoner...
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Connections

Referenced in The Man Who Came to Dinner (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Neatly Tied Up, But Overall Ridiculous
5 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Let's see now. A central figure is the guy who throws the switch at electrocutions. There are three guys in love with a woman who works as a nurse at the prison hospital. One of the prisoners gets to dress up in a suit and drive people around. The warden spends all of his time trying to help this guy. The security is non-existent. The nurse falls in love with the convict rather than the three guys who are in love with her. If prisons were run like this, they would be empty. Everyone would have walked away.

My favorite character is the executioner. He has the shakes but can't seem to quit the job. About once a month he puts the juice to someone. He really wants to buy a farm and raise chickens. Oh, there's also a chaplain who is in love with this woman. Then there is an evil reporter who frames the poor schmoe. Does this sound like something you'd like to see?


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