Death row in San Quentin is the home for a pair of less than friendly types, John Ireland and Lawrence Tierney. The pair, along with fellow death row resident Lyle Talbot, are planning a prison break. All they need is a weapon. Tierney has arranged for a gun to be smuggled in. Charles Nolte, who plays Ireland's brother, just happens to be a trustee in the prison infirmary. Tierney fakes an appendicitis attack in-order to allow Nolte to slip the gun into death row. Tierney and the boys wait till a group of prison board members come through on a visit. Out comes the gun and up go the hands. The two board members, Morris Ankrum and Don Beddoe, are shoved into an empty cell along with guard Stanley Andrews. A call is made to the warden, Paul Kelly, for a car and a two-hour head start. Needless to say Kelly turns down the request. Tierney decides that an example of what noncompliance means needs to be made. He puts one in Andrew's head and sends his body down in the elevator. Kelly comes up to the cell block and offers himself as a hostage in exchange for Ankrum and Beddoe. By this time, Ireland, Talbot and Nolte have realized that Tierney is seriously around the bend. Ireland knows the break is a bust and wants to make a deal for his brother. "We forced him to join," he tells Kelly. Our man Lawrence, now in full nut-bar mode, shoots Talbot dead and badly wounds Nolte. Ireland goes after Tierney with a shank and manages to dispatch him though he takes two in the guts. Nolte is rushed to the clinic and the break is over. Short, sweet and to the point.
This is the one of 3 segments from the 1954 film, THE STEEL CAGE. The other two where not much but this one really stuck out. (b/w)
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