7.7/10
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70 user 23 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)
King Donovan ...
Solly
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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 was very keen to make the film as he saw it as an opportunity to break out of the mindless, pretty boy roles he was usually assigned. Director Stanley Kramer initially had some misgivings but ultimately relented. 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

[Why they don't have to worry about finding the 2 convicts]
Sheriff Max Muller: They'll kill each other in five miles.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Chained (2004) 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

 
Two chained convicts tried to escape
15 August 2002 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

I have seen this film several times and each time I am feeling that this is one of the best drama I've ever seen. There are new remakes of this film, but the original is the best. Acting of Sidney Poitier is without any doubt superb, while Tony Curtis did also his best. The director, Stanley Kramer, chose a very good and interesting plot, how two different persons can have better relationship and interests when they fight together for their lives. No matter if one is black and the other white, or no matter if one is atheist and the other Christian, at the end they will understand each other because their cause is only one and is the same, to become free.


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