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Hellgate (1952)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  5 September 1952 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 266 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

Man is framed & sent to toughest prison in the territory.

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gilman S. Hanley
...
Ellen Hanley
...
Lt. Tod Voorhees
...
George Redfield
...
Jumper Hall
John Pickard ...
Gundy Boyd
...
Sgt. Maj. Kearn (as Robert Wilkie)
James Anderson ...
Vern Brechene (as Kyle James)
Richard Emory ...
Dan Mott
Dick Paxton ...
George Nye (as Richard Paxton)
William Hamel ...
Lt. Col. Woods (as William R. Hamel)
Marshall Bradford ...
Dr. Pelham
Sheb Wooley ...
Neill Price
Rory Mallinson ...
Banta
Pat Coleman ...
Hunchy
Edit

Storyline

A man is accused of spying for the confedaracy, and sentenced to the notorious Hellgate Prison. After he unsuccessfully attempts to breakout, and is sentenced to solitary confinement, he redeems himself when the prison is taken down by a plague. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NEW MEXICO'S NOTORIOUS UNDERGROUND DESERT PRISON! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Tor zur Hölle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Gil Hanley is in jail he is kissing his wife Ellen and his whole head is sticking out between the bars which are so far apart he could have slid out sideways between them. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: KANSAS, 1867--A STATE OVERRUN BY GUERRILLA TERRORISTS IN THE WAKE OF THE CIVIL WAR See more »

Connections

Version of The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Prison, Southwestern Style
23 April 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Surprisingly well-produced and offbeat Western from budget-minded Lippert Productions. Note how well stocked with convicts the prison camp is, along with the realistic army tents for the staff. Hard to believe this "Devil's Island" is just a few miles from downtown LA in often-used Bronson Canyon. Lippert does a really convincing job recreating a desert penal colony in the middle of a big city. The prologue from Oliver Wendell Holmes suggests the story is based on fact, though that's not stated. Hayden plays a veterinarian wrongly convicted of guerrilla activity following the Civil War. At the prison camp he has to survive a guerrilla-hating commandant (Ward Bond), a cruel guard (the great Robert Wilke), and scheming fellow prisoners like James Arness. (The Hayden-Arness fistfight features two of the physically biggest men in Hollywood.)

The camp is a real hellhole, with underground cells (well-done), a half buried punishment coffin called "the oven", and a posse of Pima Indians for those escaping on foot. And get a load of that trap door leading underground, as if the Devil himself were on the other side. I like the way armed guards are posted on the canyon rim and silhouetted against the sky— another nice touch. There's plenty of intrigue and action, although the typhus outbreak comes as something of an anti-climax following the jailbreak. Hayden underplays throughout, as does Arness. It's really Bond and Wilke who make the strongest impression. Then too, pretty Joan Leslie has her name on the marquee, but only appears for about 5 minutes as Hayden's long-suffering wife. Anyway, it's an offbeat and entertaining 90 minutes that'll make you think twice about helping suspicious-looking strangers,


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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