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There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Drama  |  25 December 1970 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,436 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 18 critic

A charming but totally ruthless criminal is sent to a remote Arizona prison. He enlists the help of his cellmates in an escape attempt with the promise of sharing his hidden loot.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paris Pitman, Jr.
...
Woodward W. Lopeman
...
Dudley Whinner
...
Floyd Moon
...
The Missouri Kid
...
Cyrus McNutt
...
Mrs. Bullard
...
Mr. Lomax
...
Warden LeGoff
...
Coy Cavendish
C.K. Yang ...
Ah-Ping
...
Tobaccy (as Alan Hale)
...
Whiskey
Claudia McNeil ...
Madam
...
Skinner
Edit

Storyline

Charm, intelligence and success in criminal career doesn't prevent Paris Pitman Jr. to start doing ten years in prison, in the middle of the Arizona desert. However, those years should pass quickly because of a $500,000 loot previously stashed away. New idealistic warden would only make Pitman think of getting his fortune even sooner. He starts to manipulate everyone to achieve his goal. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Once upon a time, there was a crooked man. When he was good, he was very, very good. And when he was bad, it was murder...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zwei dreckige Halunken  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of James Seay. See more »

Goofs

One of the escaping prisoners is shot from behind and falls on his stomach. Although there is an exit wound in his right abdomen, when he falls, there's apparently no entrance wound. See more »

Quotes

Cyrus McNutt: They're killing me by inches, Dudley!
Dudley Whinner: You'll outlive us all. You got a lot of inches.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Continental Divide (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Abide with Me
(uncredited)
Word by Henry F. Lyte (1847)
Music by William Monk 1861
Version sung by Hume Cronyn.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two paths to the final is cross
16 March 2010 | by (Colombia) – See all my reviews

A script full of subtlety in writing for four hands between David Newman and then qualified the director, Robert Benton, in which the mordant phrase, subtle, manipulative and hypocritical, have a high resonance.A forceful staging accuracy to account for the particular, and at times difficult, nineteenth-century prison conditions. A set of players chosen with the precision of an old watchmaker, so that each character has its own life and represents a very concrete specimens of our society. And a story that, however that may be set in 1883 in the Federal Criminal Yuma is not simply the faithful recreation of ambition, corruption and selfishness prevailing ultra-century after century, year after year, with large seat in government institutions. All this makes "There was a crooked man" a film worthy of greater recognition.

Here is a duel of minds (year prior to the riot of brilliant lucidity which later was "Footprint") between two men who see life from two opposite poles: Paris Pitman from crime: is caught after robbing five hundred thousand dollars! to a voyeuristic underground. And Loperman Woodward, the new prison warden, who arrives with the best wishes to improve conditions of prisoners.Both have leadership, a sharp temper, respect each other and create a sort of alliance to the prison to work with the higher altitude. As a curious detail, and worthy of reflection, we note that Pitman will attract snakes and Loperman limps with his right leg.

Among them, a significant cluster goes to present situations, and the story takes on a tinge of dry humor and surprise in the making, which makes this book a pleasant experience and a perfect demonstration of the enormous talent that always showed Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda re-created powerfully on those two symbols of human metamorphosis. And the rest of the cast, especially Meredith and Cronyn, require vigorous interpretive facility is maintained at the level of those two great players.

What had become of the Western, I wonder now without actors like Cooper, Stewart, Peck ... or Douglas and Fonda absolutely radiating surround magnetism?

I think, with "There was a crooked man" the Western that, then (70's), had already begun its slow decline, was another welcome break and deserved a piece of permanence.

The essential difference between a politician and a convict is just a matter of time, is that he is still out, while the latter is already in jail.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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