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20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang (1933)

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Four convicts escape from a chain gang. Shortly thereafter, changes are made at the prison, because a blue ribbon commission will be investigating conditions there. The changes include ... See full summary »


Roy Mack


Cyrus Wood (story), A. Dorian Otvos (story)


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Complete credited cast:
Jerry Bergen Jerry Bergen ... Jerry
The Rollickers The Rollickers ... The Rollickers
Novia Novia ... Jerry's Wife
The Pickens Sisters ... The Pickens Sisters
Helen Pickens Helen Pickens ... One of the Pickens Sisters
Jane Pickens Jane Pickens ... One of the Pickens Sisters
Patti Pickens Patti Pickens ... One of the Pickens Sisters
The Vitaphone Boys and Girls The Vitaphone Boys and Girls ... Picnickers
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Shannon ... Warden


Four convicts escape from a chain gang. Shortly thereafter, changes are made at the prison, because a blue ribbon commission will be investigating conditions there. The changes include steak every day for dinner and stage shows for entertainment. After reading about this, the four escapees plead with the warden to take them back in. Or was this all a dream? Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@verizon.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Musical | Comedy







Release Date:

12 August 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1932-1933 season) #25: 20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At one point the escaped prisoners come upon a group of picnickers in the forest. Initially the picnickers are sitting in pairs, young man / young woman. If you look closely, one of them looks very much like a young Bette Davis. She had just started her Warner Bros. contract that year, and had not yet done a Warner feature film, so it is not unlikely that they would have used her in shorts until they found something bigger for her to do. She started out in show business as a dancer, and the picnickers later break out into dance, so it would be natural to call upon Bette to play a role in this short. See more »


Inmate Sing Singer: [singing] Each afternoon at three, they coma and served us tea, it's really gay. We're taught piano lessons, just how it should be played. You bet we never cease and we learn that piece, on the Sing Sing Serenade.
See more »


References 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932) See more »


Going to Shout All Over God's Heaven
Sung by The Pickens Sisters
Interpolated into the "Darkness on the Delta" number
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Enough Here for Cheers
3 November 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang (1933)

** (out of 4)

During the 1930s Warner was known for their hard-hitting social dramas and I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG was one of their greatest. This two-reeler is a spoof of that film and centers on a group of chain gang workers who grow tired of the horrid conditions so they decide to escape. Soon afterwards they get word that the prison has made some terrific changes so the men decided they want to break back in. 20,000 CHEERS FROM A CHAIN GANG has a pretty good title but that's about the only good thing going for it. It wasn't rare for Warner to spoof their features in their short films so this here certainly isn't anything new but at the same time very little is done with it. There are a few funny moments scattered throughout the film including one bit where the men are being chased by the dogs but the dogs turn out to be poodles and other non-threatening breeds. Another funny moment happens when the men try to break their chains but have a few issues. With that said, there are several moments that simply aren't funny and at times the film just comes across very boring and flat. This includes the entire second half of the picture where we see all the "changes" that were made but I assure you none of them will add any entertainment value.

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