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There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,356 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 17 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
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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:

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

The prison set took seven weeks to build. When construction began, it was snowing. When it ended, the temperature was 100 degrees. Upon completion of filming, the entire set had to be removed and the area it occupied restored to its original pristine state, so that no trace would be left. See more »

Goofs

After escaping from prison, Pitman visits the widow Bullard and leaves the prison mule in her corral and takes a horse. After being bitten by the snake and dying, the warden takes his body back on the horse he rode, which now is a mule again. See more »

Quotes

Woodward Lopeman: Don't tell me you can't make speeches; you could talk a coyote out of a chicken.
See more »

Connections

Edited into La classe américaine (1993) 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

 
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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