5.9/10
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San Quentin (1946)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 16 December 1946 (USA)
Television viewer seeing this for the first time: Gee whiz, it's in black-and-white and was made in the 40's and is about crime and...Eureka!...another "noir" film is discovered. How about ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Gordon M. Douglas)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nick Taylor
Marian Carr ...
Betty Richards
...
Warden Kelly
...
Ruthie
...
'Broadway' Johnson
...
Hal Schaeffer, Robbery Detail (as Richard Powers)
Tony Barrett ...
Steve Marlowe
Lee Bonnell ...
Joe Carzoni
...
Tommy North
...
Jeff Torrance
Lewis E. Lawes ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Doctor (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Television viewer seeing this for the first time: Gee whiz, it's in black-and-white and was made in the 40's and is about crime and...Eureka!...another "noir" film is discovered. How about just another typical Martin Mooney film that starts out as pretending to be something socially significant---call Prison Warden Lewis E. Lawes to do another prologue speech---and then quickly gets into just another cops-vs-robbers (or good crooks vs. bad crooks)B-feature action-thriller that will open in every 2nd-tier theatre in the country on Sunday, close on Wednesday... and be the bottom-half of a grind-house twin-bill two weeks later. "San Quentin" ably fills that description. Ex-con Jim Rowland (Lawrence Tierney), gone straight and returning from WWII as a hero, is more than a bit irked, as one of the founders of the Prison Welfare League (cons rehabilitating cons inside and outside the walls), when he learns that bank robber Nick Taylor (Barton MacLane) has used the good name of the PWL to ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SAGA OF THRILLING CONFLICT, ROMANCE AND REGENERATION! (original poster-all caps)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'evaso  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Raymond Burr. See more »

Crazy Credits

The story of this photoplay is told against the pictorial background of San Quentin prison, and the factual background of our penal institutions generally, but in its presentation of persons and specific institutions it is fictional. The characters are not intended to represent actual persons, living or dead. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Routine, at Best
8 July 2014 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Thoroughly routine cops and robbers, whose only distinction may be Raymond Burr's first screen appearance. The first part is a not very convincing look at reformed convicts who passed through the prison's controversial reform program. It's a worthy topic, but spread on pretty thick. The movie's main part is straight cops and robbers, with reformed convict Tierney trying to nab ruthless MacLane who's abused the program and given it a bad name.

Tierney was always more of a presence than an actor. Here his role tends to fade him into the background, overshadowed by the always energized MacLane who ends up stealing the show. Surprisingly, the staging is not noir though the film comes from noir's Mecca, RKO. Instead, prolific director Douglas films in pretty straightforward style, doing little to heighten either suspense or atmosphere. Unfortunately, the result looks like just another studio assignment for him. Fortunately, the movie has two real feminine eye-catchers, the blonde Carr and the brunette Forman. Both are real additions to the rather lackluster visuals.

All in all, the movie's not a good vehicle for Tierney's odd appeal. Nor is it compelling cops and robbers. While Burr is more the fall guy than the menacing heavy he could be.


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