A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. ... See full summary »
At overcrowded Westgate Penitentiary, where violence and fear are the norm and the warden has less power than guards and leading prisoners, the least contented prisoner is tough, single-minded Joe Collins. Most of all, Joe hates chief guard Captain Munsey, a petty dictator who glories in absolute power. After one infraction too many, Joe and his cell-mates are put on the dreaded drain pipe detail; prompting an escape scheme that has every chance of turning into a bloodbath. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When the Group Theater (1931-1940), the first American acting company to attempt to put the Russian Stanislavski's principles into action, disbanded many of the actors who had participated in its revolutionary realistic productions on Broadway ("Awake and Sing" "Waiting for Lefty") made their way to Hollywood in search of work;, Roman Bohnen ("Warden"), and Art Smith ("Dr. Walters") - all of whom can be seen in this film. As many of the actors in The Group were members of the Communist Party or leftist organizations, they would soon be blacklisted during the HUAC period along with the director of this film, Jules Dassin. In 1946, a year before the release of this film, Elia Kazan, one of the members of The Group Theater who named names, happened to be in Hollywood and saw a production of one of Tennessee Williams's early plays "Portrait of a Madonna" directed by Hume Cronyn - who plays the sadistic Capt. Munsey in this film. Kazan was so impressed by the work of Cronyn's wife, Jessica Tandy, that he offered her the role of Blanche Dubois in his Broadway production of "Streetcar Named Desire." See more »
During the fight in the guard tower between Munsey and Collins, guard Tom seems to have been killed, but the stunt actor Tom Steele who plays him is very clearly doubling Hume Cronyn. See more »
[Joe has just been returned to his cell after spending some time in solitary. His cellmates are bringing him up to date on latest developments]
About the stool pigeon, Joe, we made arrangements. Everything is okay.
Everything's okay? What's okay? Nothing's okay. It never was and it never will be. Not till we're out. You get that? Out.
See more »
One of the best prison movies ever made.Jules Dassin's direction is so strong ,so precise,so mind-boggling it packs a real wallop.Hume Cronyn gives a subdued but extremely scary portrayal of a sadistic brute.Always in a suave voice,always saying "I want to help you",there's only one way for him:the hard one.Burt Lancaster is equally efficient as a tough inmate .But the whole cast cannot be too highly praised.
The cast and credits read :"the women from outside" .There are four flashbacks which really fit into the movie.All of them last barely two or three minutes but they could provide material for four other movies. The first one (Flossie's ) verges on farce ,it is the comic relief of a desperate movie and we need it!Then the "fur coat" segment which is some kind of Cinderella turned film noir.The third one,perhaps the less interesting (everything is relative!), features Yvonne De Carlo as an Italian girl during the war the former soldier was in love with .And finally Burt Lancaster's story, he tries to find money to pay his girlfriend's operation.
These flashbacks are not gratuitous:all that is left to those men is memories .Besides,the last line tells us something like that:"nobody will escape!nobody!" More than ten years before ,Dassin had shown what French director Jacques Becker would do in his famous prison movie "le trou" (1960) : the prison as a metaphor of the human condition.
There are lots of scenes which will leave you on the edge of your seat.My favorite scene: the informer's death while Lancaster is securing his alibi with the doc.But the final is awesome too,something apocalyptic.
20 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?