A composite of three re-edited episodes of the 1952 television series of the same name, and released theatrically in 1954 as a feature film. Guns Don't Argue (1960) was a similar effort. See more »
In the version I saw on television in the late-1970s, Pinson, after being captured, explains to Walsh (via flashback) that he returned to consciousness after having been buried by Bennett and dug himself out of the shallow grave with his hands. See more »
A low-down grungy B movie that gets under the skin.
At first glance this mid-fifties prison potboiler (itself a spin off of a syndicated television series and, prior to that a long-running radio series) seems like just another sub-par crime melodrama replete with every conventional cliché the genre has to offer. But look again. There's a musty, gritty quality to this film that gets under the skin, offering up a raft of disturbingly unique images and plot strands. At the center of it all is John Omar Pinson, Public Enemy #4 (!) slimily played by B-movie veteran Myron Healy. Pinson is in and out of Oregon prisons, escaping and being caught and sent back a number of times. Along the way he acquires a band of prison cronies who either assist or hinder his progress. Among them is Sam Edwards, a dreary B-actor who plays loser Wayne Long, a two-bit con who worships Pinson and eventually sacrifices his own life in order to make an impression on him. Long's demise in the prison's electric chair (shown in silhouette) is an eerily haunting image. Much of the acting is marginal and the overall production is pretty shoddy, but it contributes to that woozy, middle of the night dream-like quality that only a bona fide B movie can provide. If you're a fan of grungy B- films, and in particular grungy prison films, then Gangbusters just might fill your bill. Me, I'm a big fan of it.
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