7.7/10
10,585
76 user 32 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:

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  »

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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

Both leads had tremendous praise for the supporting cast. Tony Curtis was particularly excited to be appearing with Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer, who had been a child star as Alfalfa in the "Our Gang" comedies that Curtis watched as a child. Curtis later said he loved listening to Switzer (an incessant poker-player) talk about being a kid actor in early Hollywood and how he had been swindled out of the money he made from that popular shorts series. See more »

Goofs

When the police stop to take a rest, we see stubble on the face of Captain Gibbons. Jackson and Cullen, who have been on the run for even longer, are shown completely clean-shaven in the next scene. 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.
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Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) 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

 
Defiantly Great ****
26 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

A totally absorbing film showing great acting talents of Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier as escapees from a chain gang. Chained together, they must get along to survive and conquer the racial prejudices that divide them so.

Both actors received best actor nominations. For both being nominated, David Niven was given a gift that year of the best actor award for Separate Tables.

Comedienne Cara Williams shines as a woman they meet while on the lamb. While her part is brief, Williams is gritty and was nominated for best supporting actress as well as sheriff Theodore Bikel, in the supporting category as well. His relentlessness in trying to capture the two is memorable.

The film is truly an excellent character study. Its ending will have you stand up and cheering.


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