The true story of Robert Elliot Burns, the prisoner who, after being sentenced to a Georgia chain gang, attempted two daring escapes.

Director:

Writers:

(book),
Reviews
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A detective comes out of retirement to help his daughter's fiance prove that he did not commit a series of murders.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Stars: George C. Scott, Rebecca De Mornay, Ian McShane
Billy the Kid (TV Movie 1989)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Gore Vidal's historical novel is brought to life in this television production of Turner Network Television's Billy the Kid.

Director: William A. Graham
Stars: Val Kilmer, Ed Adams, Rene Auberjonois
Don't Look Back (TV Movie 1996)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Drug addict Jesse think he's found the answer to all his problems in the form of a breifcase full of money. However, the money isn't his and stealing it from right under the nose of a ... See full summary »

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Eric Stoltz, John Corbett, Josh Hamilton
Kill Me Again (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young detective becomes involved with a beautiful woman on the run from the mob and her psychopath boyfriend.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Pat Mulligan
Summer Love (2006)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A small peaceful village suddenly becomes a very dangerous place when a foreigner appears with a wanted man.

Director: Piotr Uklanski
Stars: Boguslaw Linda, Karel Roden, Katarzyna Figura
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

While flying mail across the Andean mountains, Henri Guillaumet's plane has to crash-land, he must trek back to civilizatin on foot.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Craig Sheffer, Elizabeth McGovern, Tom Hulce
Short | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Twenty-five years after commiting a double murder, Karl Childers is going to be released from an institution for the criminally insane. A local reporter comes to talk to him, and after some... See full summary »

Director: George Hickenlooper
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Molly Ringwald, J.T. Walsh
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A devious sexpot steals her husband's drug money and hides out in a small town where she meets the perfect dupe for her next scheme.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, Bill Pullman
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A woman is released from prison, an expert bank robber who wants to settle down and go straight, but her parole officer and her former employer try to get her to pull one more heist.

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Kim Basinger, Val Kilmer, Terence Stamp
The Big Boss (1971)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man sworn to an oath of non-violence works with his cousins in an ice factory where they mysteriously begin to disappear.

Directors: Wei Lo, Chia-Hsiang Wu
Stars: Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, James Tien
Joe the King (1999)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A disadvantaged, abused, neglected, exploited but basically decent kid slips into criminality while trying to cope with his harsh, inescapable reality.

Director: Frank Whaley
Stars: Noah Fleiss, Karen Young, Camryn Manheim
Dead Girl (1996)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: Adam Coleman Howard
Stars: Anne Parillaud, Adam Coleman Howard, Amanda Plummer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Eliot Burns / Eliot Roberts
...
Warden Hardy
...
Emily Del Pino Pacheco
...
Lillian Salo
...
Father Vincent Godfrey Burns
...
Pappy Glue
...
Flagg
...
Trump
...
Bones
Taylor Presnell ...
George Seales
Paul Benjamin ...
Big Sam
Bill Bolender ...
Rayford
Esther Benson ...
Mother Burns
Burt Conway ...
Father Burns
...
Hobo #1
Edit

Storyline

A veteran of World War I returns to the United States but cannot find his place in the society. For a small robbery he is condemned to ten years of prison... Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der 1000 Ketten sprengte  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film directed by Daniel Mann. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Robert Eliot Burns: I fought for you!
See more »

Connections

Features I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Harrowing but brilliantly done
21 December 2005 | by (Bloomington, Indiana) – See all my reviews

This is a film based on a true story, the story of Robert Burns, a World War I veteran who fell upon hard times, turned to petty crime in a point of desperation, and then went through the harrowing experience of the Southern prison system, with all the inhumanities that are attendant to that. Deprivations and cruel punishments abounded, as prisoners were literally whipped to death and set to work at back-breaking labour on chain gangs. At a certain point, Burns escaped, and finding a new life in a Northern state, became a prosperous businessman, still ever mindful of his escapee status. Burns, being assured of the justice of the system and that such inhumanities would not happen again, was led to seek to clarify his status by returning to the South, only to be absorbed once more into the inhuman system. However, this time his public profile was known around the country, and his cause became a cause célèbre. It forced a change in the prison system that remains a turning point in the humane treatment of prisoners to this day.

This film is based upon Robert Burns' own book, 'I am Fugitive from the Georgia Chain Gang'. Directed by Daniel Mann, the story stars Val Kilmer in a remarkably full role, with powerful performances by Charles Durning, Kyra Sedgwick and Elisha Cook Jr. (a veteran actor whose credits include 'The Maltese Falcon' and 'Sergeant York', in this his final role). The scenes are often breathtaking for their brutality and realism, and the overall tone is very true to life, albeit a reality we often want to hide from.

This is a rare film, not yet available on DVD, but one well worth watching, particularly for those who are interested in American history of a different sort.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Availability myhouseofhorrors
BrandNew Message Board for Val Kilmer is up! ByAllMeans_Move
Discuss The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?