7.7/10
10,000
72 user 23 critic

The Defiant Ones (1958)

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

Director:

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »
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An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

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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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Mack
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Editor
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Lou Gans
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Angus (as Carl Switzer)
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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 | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flucht in Ketten  »

Box Office

Budget:

$778,000 (estimated)
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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

Billy's hair style changes twice after he is pulled up from the ground: down in his face then neatly combed and parted to one side. 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 Dynamite Brothers (1974) 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 (United States) – 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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