IMDb > The Defiant Ones (1958)
The Defiant Ones
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The Defiant Ones (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.7/10   7,928 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Nedrick Young (written by) (originally as Nathan E. Douglas)
Harold Jacob Smith (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Defiant Ones on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 September 1958 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
One of the great ones! See more »
Plot:
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Poitier/Curtis Jail-Break Classic See more (65 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tony Curtis ... John 'Joker' Jackson

Sidney Poitier ... Noah Cullen

Theodore Bikel ... Sheriff Max Muller

Charles McGraw ... Capt. Frank Gibbons

Lon Chaney Jr. ... Big Sam (as Lon Chaney)
King Donovan ... Solly

Claude Akins ... Mack
Lawrence Dobkin ... Editor

Whit Bissell ... Lou Gans

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Angus (as Carl Switzer)
Kevin Coughlin ... Billy
Cara Williams ... Billy's Mother
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Dime ... Townsman (uncredited)
Clem Fuller ... Search Party Member (uncredited)

Ned Glass ... Doctor (uncredited)
Mickey Golden ... Search Party Member (uncredited)
Herman Hack ... Search Party Member (uncredited)
Signe Hack ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Bill Lovett ... Townsman (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Townsman (uncredited)
Harold Jacob Smith ... Prison Truck Driver (uncredited)
Nedrick Young ... Prison Guard in Truck (uncredited)

Directed by
Stanley Kramer 
 
Writing credits
Nedrick Young (written by) originally as Nathan E. Douglas

Harold Jacob Smith (written by)

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ernest Gold 
 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frederic Knudtson (film editor)
 
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad 
 
Art Direction by
Fernando Carrere 
 
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish  (as Joe Kish)
 
Makeup Department
Don L. Cash .... makeup (as Don Cash)
 
Production Management
Clem Beauchamp .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Helmick .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Art Cole .... property master
 
Sound Department
Walter Elliott .... sound effects
Jean L. Speak .... sound engineer (as James Speak)
Wayne Fury .... sound editor (uncredited)
John Mick .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Alex Weldon .... special effects
 
Stunts
Ivan Dixon .... stunt double: Sidney Poitier (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy .... stunt double: Tony Curtis (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Almond .... chief gaffer
Al Myers .... camera operator
Morris Rosen .... company grip
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joe King .... costume supervisor
 
Music Department
Jack Marshall .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John Franco .... script supervisor
Stanley Kramer .... presenter
Cindy James .... dog trainer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min (Turner library print) (copyright length)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Stanley Kramer originally had Sidney Poitier and Marlon Brando in mind for the two protagonists. Both were interested but only Poitier was available. Brando was caught up in filming Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), a film with a highly troubled and seemingly endless shoot. As the start date for The Defiant Ones (1958) loomed, Kramer had no option but to start looking at other actors.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the end of the film the two convicts run a considerable distance away from the bridge as they try to board the train. But when they are finally found the same bridge is only yards away.See more »
Quotes:
Law officier:How come they chained a white man to a black?
Sheriff Max Muller:The warden's got a sense of humor.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Long GoneSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
The Poitier/Curtis Jail-Break Classic, 2 October 2004
Author: mdm-11 from United States

Sidney Poitier continues to break race barriers with this formula jail-break drama. Teamed with Tony Curtis, the escaped prisoners encounter many situations, where their difference in color seems to matter more than the fact that both are fugitives from the law. Throughout the film, the viewer empathizes with the escapees, figuring that they always got a bum deal in life. A scene towards the end, where a single mother sees a chance to "hook up" with Curtis, shows how Curtis, although often disagreeing, even physically fighting with Poitier, still sees Poitier as an equal in their quest for freedom. Rather than "sell out" his friend, he would rather die trying to save him. The inevidable ending (remember that one of the rules in Old Hollywood was that the bad guys can never win)is quite moving.

Definitely among the established Hollywood Classics. Although many of the "old ways" have changed drastically since the late 50s, this film offers insight into a piece of Americana many people living today can still recall. An important piece of Film History, and highly recommended.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (65 total) »

Message Boards

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