6.9/10
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2 user 6 critic

Duffy of San Quentin (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 16 March 1954 (USA)
A group of prisoners are planning an escape. They take hostages. Warden Duffy tries to convince one of the inmates that their plight is useless, and to give up.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Edward 'Romeo' Harper
...
Anne Halsey
...
Warden Clinton T. Duffy
...
Gladys Duffy
...
John C. Winant
...
Pierson
...
Doc Sorin
Joel Fluellen ...
Bill Lake
...
Frank Roberts (as Joseph Turkel)
Jonathan Hale ...
Boyd
Michael McHale ...
Pinto
Peter Brocco ...
Marshall Bradford ...
Lowell - Convict in Hospital Ward
...
Eddie Lee - Police Detective
Sandy Aaronson ...
Guard
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Storyline

Based on the book and the reflections of San Quentin Prison Warden Clinton T. Duffy, the film is episodic and rambling in nature but, unlike most prison dramas, there are touches of humor. Duffy, whose "time" at San Quentin covered over 50 years was initially appointed on a thirty-day basis, which makes him one of the best job-huggers of all time. Some of his first acts, such as abolishing the stool-pigeon system and solitary confinement and hiring a female nurse (Anne Halsey) were met with opposition and outrage in some quarters. The dominant story in the film is that of Edward Harper, a prisoner deemed incorrigible by the system until Duffy builds up trust and respect. His attitude was a bit justified as he was innocent of the charges that sent him to prison. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Men Behind Bars  »

Company Credits

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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

Utilizing unused out-takes from this film with Kelly and O'Sullivan and shooting new footage with other actors, the producers created a sequel, "The Steel Cage." See more »

Connections

Followed by The Steel Cage (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Prison Reform Film
12 November 2015 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I had no idea that San Quentin was in Marin County California. So my sojourn into prison life began with this film. What a journey and very impressed with the treatment of the delicate subject of wrongly imprisoned inmates. I was horrified by the corporal punishment routinely relinquished by hardened guards.

I have no experience in trying to tame unruly, ruthless, evil criminals and imagine that San Quentin saw the worst of them. How could a brand new warden make an impact. Well, this story provides an insight on how to make a difference. How well this Hollywood version is true to the facts is unknown but I know well that one person can definitely make a difference in this world.

High recommend for perspectives on obstinate determined and wife loving wardens who strive for excellence. I pray for the many wrongfully imprisoned people who deserve a second chance to prove their innocence.


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