A teenager (Sal Mineo) fights to retain his dignity and self-respect against the brutality, sadism and cynicism of the "big guys" around him in the brutal world of a Georgia orphanage. The ...
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Alfred L. Werker
A teenager (Sal Mineo) fights to retain his dignity and self-respect against the brutality, sadism and cynicism of the "big guys" around him in the brutal world of a Georgia orphanage. The young man soon becomes involved with an escaping convict from a nearby prison. Through his experience with the convict - a man unjustly sentenced - he finds within himself the strength to stand up to those who abuse their power and hopefully restore his confidence. Written by
At an orphanage for boys and young men down in rural Georgia, a tough-yet-sensitive teen befriends a convict at a nearby work farm; when the prisoner eventually makes a break for it, causing all hell to break loose in the small community, the kid has to decide whether to talk his friend into giving up or aid in his escape. Slow, rather dreary co-feature from Columbia, ostensibly designed as a showcase for young star Sal Mineo, though James Whitmore's haunted con has the film's best moments. Connecting with the audience in a much more immediate way than his young co-star, brawny, masculine Whitmore understands how to make his character's fear and damage work best for him. The other story threads (a visiting former-orphan attempting to buy acceptance with his newfound wealth, a salty sheriff and his deputy, and a lonely woman living in a swampland shack) never quite come together, despite good actors and location shooting. It's a puzzling movie (a cynical viewer might even say a sexually conflicted one), with awkward melodrama and interaction ultimately keeping it from being anything more than second-string fare. ** from ****
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