A group of convicts break out of prison, killing a guard, kidnapping the warden and forcing a reluctant inmate to accompany them. However, when a car accident kills everyone except the ...
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Joe Thunderhorse, a Sioux Indian who has become the wealthy star of a Wild West show, returns home to his reservation after years away and finds that his father is dying and his people are being abused by corrupt white officials.
A group of convicts break out of prison, killing a guard, kidnapping the warden and forcing a reluctant inmate to accompany them. However, when a car accident kills everyone except the warden and the inmate hostage, the warden steals $100,000 of the gang's money, then when police arrive he accuses the inmate of the guard's murder in order to cover up his own crime. Written by
BEHIND THE HIGH WALL is a little bit of a letdown. The basic idea of the plot is good, if not terribly original: good guy goes bad to try for a better life. The movie starts off just fine with intrigue and some fine action scenes. It's too bad the picture bogs down in talk midway and only barely recovers. What makes BEHIND THE HIGH WALL worth seeing is the dark, sometimes oppressive noir photography and the impressive cast. Tom Tully is excellent as always in a conflicted, yet sympathetic lead role as a prison warden who makes a bad decision. As his crippled wife, Sylvia Sydney--a great actress who is a standout in Fritz Lang's FURY--is almost wasted. But she brings credibility to what could have been merely a maudlin character. The other impressive cast member is John Gavin. Anyone who doubts this chiseled matinée idol's acting talent should see this. Gavin never hits a false note and carries all his scenes with terrific conviction. The movie is populated with many other faces later familiar from TV as well: John Larch, Barney Philips, Peter Leeds, Ed Kemmer (wasted as a frustrated lawyer), Amzie Strickland, and Betty Lynn (later known as 'Thelma Lou' on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW). Lynn's father is played excellently by veteran actor Don Beddoe.
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