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The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (1987)

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

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1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Elliot Burns / Elliot Roberts
...
Warden Hardy
...
Emily Del Pino Pacheco
...
Lillian Salo
...
Father Vincent Godfrey Burns
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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
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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

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Details

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Release Date:

31 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der 1000 Ketten sprengte  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

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

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User Reviews

Heartbreaking Drama
1 May 2016 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

This was one of the first HBO productions I ever saw, in spite of having HBO for several years. I was spell bound by it.

A man wrongfully convicted for a crime he did not commit, and subjected to the absolute worst period in American penitentiary history.

The kangaroo court, the false testimony, the trumped up charge, the brutalization of an honest man "doing time" shackled to other convicts, and the brutality of the labor itself of "making small rocks out of big rocks."

Based on a true story of how a tragic miscarriage of justice absolutely destroyed an honest man's life. A man who fought for us, for Uncle Sam, for the nation, and was rewarded with misery for most of his life.

You will shake your head, and perhaps shed a tear at Val Kilmer's depiction of an individual who fought back the only way he could.

It is almost a crime that this film is not available to view again. In time I'm sure it will be made available to the public once more.

Rarely do I recommend films about men who have gotten a rotten lot in life, but this is a must see.

The tragic truth is that we still have some miscarriages of justice today, but the US and friendly nations are a bit more methodical in both investigation and meting out appropriate punishments. Even so, there are those who still fall through the cracks. This films looks at a day and age when lots of people fell through the cracks, and tragic consequences thereof.

It is a film about strength of character, and the will to survive with hope that it will all work out in the end.

I won't say "enjoy it", because it's a tough watch. But in my book it is a must see.


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