After filming was completed, Sammy Davis Jr. asked for and received permission to put on a show for the inmates. The warden set two conditions: no racial jokes (which could start a riot) and no sex jokes (for obvious reasons). Four thousand inmates attended the show, Davis told no racial or sex jokes, and the show went off with no trouble. See more »
Although the story is supposedly taking place between 1931 and 1949, all the men's and women's hairstyles, clothing (such as warden Broderick Crawford's dacron polyester suit, in an early 1930's sequence), and manner of speech is strictly 1962, as is also the musical score. See more »
Ben Gazzara does a very good job as artist/prisoner John Resko in "Convicts 4," based on Resko's autobiography. Desperate to get his daughter a teddy bear for Christmas, Resko attempts to rob a store and ends up shooting and killing the owner. He is given the death penalty, but his sentence is later commuted to life. He is moved to another prison, where he meets a Principal of the prison (Stuart Whitman) who encourages his art talent, stating that it may be the key to his rehabilitation and finally, freedom from prison.
Sammy Davis, Jr., Ray Walston, Broderick Crawford, and Rod Steiger are featured in the film, so it's an excellent cast. The film comes off as low-budget (well, it is based in a prison), a little slow, and a little ordinary. The actors are better than the script.
Worth it for the performances.
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