7.1/10
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There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)

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:
...
...
Woodward W. Lopeman
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Dudley Whinner
...
Floyd Moon
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The Missouri Kid
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Cyrus McNutt
...
Mrs. Bullard
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Mr. Lomax
...
Warden LeGoff
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Coy Cavendish
C.K. Yang ...
Ah-Ping
...
Tobaccy (as Alan Hale)
...
Whiskey
Claudia McNeil ...
Madam
...
Skinner
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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:

THE CROOKED BUNCH...locked in a living hell-hole! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 September 1970 (France)  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The construction of the vast prison set cost $300,000. See more »

Goofs

The angel that Whinner draws on the wall of their cell looks slightly different at the end of the scene than the beginning. See more »

Quotes

Paris Pittman Jr.: [Entering with a mask intending to rob the family] Ah, nothing like fried chicken while it's still hot and crispy! So the quicker you open that safe and give us the money, the quicker you can get back to that tasty-looking chicken.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Continental Divide (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Betsy from Pike
(uncredited)
Traditional American ballad
lyrics written by John A. Stone prior to 1858
version sung by Alan Hale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Postmodern yet powerful
19 January 2007 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

A unique combination of a western and an existentialist black comedy.

The two foils are Kirk Douglas as a cunning and charming prisoner, and Henry Fonda as his steady and observant warden. They match wits within a teeming ecology of interesting characters. Burgess Meredith is the heart of the ensemble and provides several poignant moments: the bath scene and his reaction to a shooting are unforgettable.

You'll either hate or love the way "A Crooked Man" subverts the conventions of the genre. The tone of the movie is purposefully inconsistent. One moment, it's sympathetic and moving. The next it's cold and nihilistic. The humor is particularly unique for how it brings slapstick and abstraction together. Consider the way Ah-ping meets his end, or the film's obvious disingenuous portrayal of the schoolteacher's fate. Behind these profoundly idiotic scenes is something profound. One caveat: a pointless and homophobic subplot mars this otherwise perfect film.

"A Crooked Man" will be a real treat for those who like films that leave the well-beaten path.


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