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Castle on the Hudson (1940)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  17 February 1940 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 354 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

Mobster Tommy Gordon isn't worried about being sentenced to Sing Sing prison because his political pals have promised him a quick parole. A troublesome prisoner, he finally concedes that ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Castle on the Hudson (1940)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kay
...
Warden Long
...
Steven Rockford
Henry O'Neill ...
District Attorney
Jerome Cowan ...
Ed Crowley
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Mike Cagle
...
Chaplain
Margot Stevenson ...
Ann Rockford
Willard Robertson ...
Ragan
Edward Pawley ...
Billy Wayne ...
Pete
Nedda Harrigan ...
Mrs. Long
Wade Boteler ...
Principal Keeper
Barbara Pepper ...
Goldie
Edit

Storyline

Mobster Tommy Gordon isn't worried about being sentenced to Sing Sing prison because his political pals have promised him a quick parole. A troublesome prisoner, he finally concedes that his friends have deserted him, and he makes an effort to reform. When his girlfriend Kay is injured in an accident, Warden Long gives Tommy a pass to go see her. But trouble erupts when Tommy encounters the man responsible for his imprisonment. 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:

17 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Años sin días  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A partially obscured theater marquee in an opening scene of MGM's Tenth Avenue Angel (1948) is for this film. "Castle" was originally released in 1940 by Warner Bros. but re-released in 1949, so it kind of receives an advance re-release plug, albeit a quick one, in a rival studio's film. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, just before Mike Cagle is executed, the Warden is looking at the list of death row inmates and checks off the name spelled Mike Kagel. See more »

Connections

Version of 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played occasionally on harmonica
See more »

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User Reviews

Garfield Showcase
23 October 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Cocky gangster (Garfield) goes to prison where he gradually reforms until given a break by the prison warden (O'Brien). Then problems ensue.

Typically gritty Warner Bros. fare from the pre-war era. Garfield shows he's in the same gangster class as Cagney and Robinson. Watch him spit out dialog faster than a machine gun burst while doing a tough-guy routine. And who better to double-cross him than that slippery lounge lizard Jerome Cowan who could machine gun his own dialog as a reporter in dozens of period films.

But the real scene stealer is scrawny, athletic Burgess Meredith, a brainy con who outwits the prison head-doctor (Grant Mitchell) in the movie's best scene. He may be the least-likely looking con I've seen; still, he and Garfield make a dynamic leadership team (as long as it's not Saturday!). On the other hand, goofy Big Boy Williams strikes me as a matter of taste.

It's a compelling, if not original, plot that redeems Garfield without whitewashing him. Still, I'm not sure what his actual capital crime is when they lead him away, especially when the all-powerful Production Code insisted that justice be served on this side of the pearly gates. Nonetheless, his scenes with the warden (O'Brien) are nicely shaded gems of growing respect, while a lovely Sheridan is affecting as the luckless girlfriend.

As this gutsy little programmer shows, star-studded MGM may have had the gloss, but plebeian Warner's had the grit.


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