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The Defiant Ones (1958)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,745 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 28 critic

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

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Title: The Defiant Ones (1958)

The Defiant Ones (1958) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Capt. Frank Gibbons
...
Big Sam (as Lon Chaney)
King Donovan ...
Solly
...
Mack
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Editor
...
Lou Gans
...
Angus (as Carl Switzer)
Kevin Coughlin ...
Cara Williams ...
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Storyline

Joker Jackson and Noah Cullen are two convicts on a chain gang who hate each other. After a truck prison accident, they flee and are pursued by the police. While they're chained, the two are dependent on one another. When they eventually get rid of their chains, their hostility has been changed into fellowship and respect. Written by Tony Kessen <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flucht in Ketten  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlie Potatoes is an old slang term (more common in the USA than the UK) for someone who is on top of the world, usually in terms of money or popularity. See more »

Goofs

As John and Noah are swept downriver together, a person is seen on the shore moving into the top of frame, watching the two men. See more »

Quotes

Noah Cullen: I ain't gettin' mad, Joker. I been mad all my natural life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Samurai Jack: Jack and the Scotsman: Part 1 (2001) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Full marks for guts, more than half marks for merit
14 December 2001 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Proof that Stanley Kramer's decision to idealise the Sidney Poitier character in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" was a conscious, thought-out move (some would say it was a mistake for all that, but that's another matter), and not a cowardly or patronising one. Poitier's convict here has streaks of nobility - Curtis's does too - but the aggression for which he was jailed is real enough.

For the first half, everything is firmly screwed in place: the black and the white convict chained together, the local volunteers tracking them down, the humane sheriff trying to keep his forces in check. Things started to shake themselves loose when the woman makes an entrance. The story had worked well so long as the two convicts were estranged from civilisation, with only each other to fall back on, and it might have continued to work, if the woman had been interesting in some other way than as a plot device. In fact things got better again as soon as she vanished from the screen.

Solid and intelligent, but the other well-known Kramer films, considered as films, are better.


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