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Duffy of San Quentin (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  16 March 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 29 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 6 critic

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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Title: Duffy of San Quentin (1954)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Edward 'Romeo' Harper
...
Anne Halsey
Paul Kelly ...
Warden Clinton T. Duffy
...
Gladys Duffy
...
John C. Winant
Horace McMahon ...
Pierson
Irving Bacon ...
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
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Men Behind Bars  »

Company Credits

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

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

 
A portmanteau movie in disguise
14 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

Although the screenplay is based on The San Quentin Story by Clinton Duffy and Dean Jennings, this movie emerges as a slow prison drama. Actually, the script divides into three clearly stand-alone episodes and could justly be described as a portmanteau film. The first and third episodes are actually fairly interesting, despite the fact that the first is a routine, thoroughly conventional story about the new prison warden versus the sadistic captain of the guards, plus the tough convict the warden reforms. The third episode revolves around that old chestnut about the state prosecutor himself being sent to jail. However, it's a tribute to the acting, the photography and Walter Doniger's driving direction that these segments come across fairly well. But nothing can save the second segment, a long-winded account of the female prison hospital nurse versus resentful male subordinates. Unfortunately, Doniger obviously found this ep as uninteresting to him as it is to us. His work is dull, utilizing very little camera movement and relying almost wholly on close-up after close-up. With John Alton on camera, this procedure also draws attention to the presence of some really ancient stock shots. U.K. release title: Men Behind Bars.


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