Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a ...
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Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a sensational best-seller. As a boy, the young Whit stole groceries to help feed his impoverished family, later moving on into major crime to impress a young gang moll, Jo-Anne, and turns into a cold-blooded thug when he is repudiated by the girl he loves, Doll. And by his own lawyer when he is arrested and tried as the infamous Lover's Lane Bandit. In cell 2455, he studies law to the point where he wins stay after stay, twice within minutes of his scheduled execution. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The birth name for Caryl Chessman is Carol Whittier Chessman, and his father's name is Whittier Serl Chessman. Whit Whittier is the name used for the convict. See more »
When Whit and his associates steal the police car, authorities are notified in real time and a car chase begins, but how would the cops whose car was stolen be able to report it if their car was stolen? See more »
What stage does a wayward boy turn into a delinquent? I guess you don't suddenly 'turn' - you 'curve' in.
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Lurid account of Caryl Chessman's criminal career at a time when his book was big on newstands. One thing for sure—there's no attempt in the film to glamorize or soft-peddle what appears to be a thoroughly nasty personality. Rarely, in fact, has any movie of the period made its leading man so dislikable. Campbell is quite good as the cocky young punk who goes from thievery to penny-ante stick-ups to ripping off organized crime to lover's lane rapist.
The movie itself is so uncompromisingly grim as to be off-putting. There's no effort at relieving the cheap criminality with character development or snatches of humor. The screenplay does have more fast car chases and shenanigans than a NASCAR rally, while some are darn near hair-raising. Look early on for a young Kathryn Grant and before she started up the Hollywood ladder. All in all, the movie's little more than a cheap exploitation flick with few redeeming features outside of being fast-paced.
(In passing-- Chessman's appeals luck finally ran out in May, 1960, but not before attracting support from a number of celebrities ,e.g. Steve Allen, impressed by Chessman's literary talents. Then too as incorrigible as he was, he hadn't killed anyone. Nonetheless, I don't recall much public concern when he finally got a whiff of San Quentin's lethal fumes.)
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