7.7/10
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76 user 35 critic

The Defiant Ones (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 27 September 1958 (USA)
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Capt. Frank Gibbons
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Big Sam (as Lon Chaney)
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Solly
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Lawrence Dobkin ...
Editor
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Angus (as Carl Switzer)
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Billy
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Storyline

When the truck that is transporting convicts has an accident on the road, the inmates John "Joker" Jackson and Noah Cullen that are chained to each other escape. They hate each other but they need to help each other to succeed in their intent of going north to jump in a train and reach freedom. Meanwhile the humane Sheriff Max Muller organizes a posse to track them down in a civilized manner and respecting justice. Joker and Cullen reach a small farm where a lonely woman helps them to get rid of their chains. She offers to drive her car with Joker and her son Billy while Cullen would escape through the swamp to the railroad. But when Joker learns that she sent Cullen to a trap, he leaves her and is shot in the shoulder by Billy. Joker seeks out Cullen to save him and when they meet each other, their former hatred has changed to friendship and respect. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | convict | train | swamp | prison | See All (63) »

Taglines:

They couldn't like each other less. They couldn't need each other more. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flucht in Ketten  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$778,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other than Sidney Poitier's singing, all of the music in the film comes from radios. See more »

Goofs

Twice they are soaked to the skin in water and mud, but come up with dry cigarettes and matches. See more »

Quotes

John 'Joker' Jackson: Ya'll can't lynch me! I'm a white man!
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Connections

Edited into Afro Promo (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Gone
Adapted from "Long Gone (From Bowlin' Green)" (1920)
Music by W.C. Handy (as William C. Handy)
Words by Chris Smith
Sung a cappella by Sidney Poitier (uncredited) several times
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User Reviews

 
The Best Movie on Racism
26 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Kramer's story about to escaped prisoners hooked up together, black and white, is still the best picture ever made on racism. At first they hate each other, but through their run for freedom they even become true friends and the different color of their skins actually disappears and they are just to men who like each other. Sidney Poitier is good as always and Tony Curtis gives what is probably his best performance ever in drama, matched only by his acting in The Boston Strangler later in 1967. The supporting cast is also good and correctly chosen. Although real action scenes are just a few, Kramer manages to keep attention permanently for viewers along with an increasing interest in how things turn out. Time has not affected the film which still stands as a big one.


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