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
Robert Mitchum turned down the Tony Curtis' role. Mitchum, a real-life veteran of a Southern chain gang, said that he didn't believe the premise that a black and white man would be chained together, as such a thing would never happen in the very strictly segregated South. Over the years, this reason was corrupted to the point where many people believed Mitchum turned down the role because he didn't want to be chained to a black man, an absolute falsehood. Curtis repeated the inaccurate story in his autobiography, but recanted after it was explained to him. See more »
When jumping into the mud pit, Tony Curtis' stunt double has a noticeable bald spot. See more »
Go on, tell me all that big talk about Charlie Potatoes, when the chains off and nobody chasing you. Come on. You can't, can you? You can't because you're nothing. You're not even a man! You're a monkey on a stick. That cracker mob back there, they pull the string and you jump.
[John punches him]
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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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