7.7/10
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70 user 22 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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...
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Capt. Frank Gibbons
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Big Sam (as Lon Chaney)
King Donovan ...
Solly
...
Mack
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Editor
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Lou Gans
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Angus (as Carl Switzer)
Kevin Coughlin ...
...
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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 | freedom | swamp | See All (63) »

Taglines:

One of the great ones! 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  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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

Tony Curtis insisted that Sidney Poitier received top billing. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film after Jackson falls in the mud trying to catch up to Cullen there is thick mud all the way up his front over his shoulders. In the next shot his right shoulder is suddenly unmuddied. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in The Ben Stiller Show: With Garry Shandling (1992) 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

Another Stanley Kramer great.
10 August 1999 | by (Auburn, Me) – See all my reviews

A great job by Stanley Kramer on this film. Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier turn in stellar performances as two convicts who get an unexpected shot at escape but are held together by a length of chain. They must learn to overcome their racial dislike of each other in order to survive and gain their freedom. But will they? The film is shot in black and white and had it been shot in color it would not have been as good. A remake was done some years later which was passable but didn't match this original version.


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