5.8/10
115
6 user 2 critic

Alcatraz Island (1937)

A man who has been railroaded into prison is framed for the murder of a fellow inmate and must prove his innocence.

Director:

William C. McGann (as William McGann)

Writer:

Crane Wilbur (original screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Litel ... Garrett Sloane aka 'Gat' Brady
Ann Sheridan ... Flo Allen
Mary Maguire ... Annabel Sloane aka Ann Brady
Gordon Oliver ... George Drake
Dick Purcell ... 'Harp' Santell
Ben Welden ... 'Red' Carroll
Addison Richards ... Fred MacLane
George E. Stone ... 'Tough Tony' Burke
Vladimir Sokoloff ... The Flying Dutchman
Peggy Bates ... Miss Tolliver
Doris Lloyd ... Miss Marquand
Charles Trowbridge ... Warden Jackson
Janet Shaw ... Sally Carruthers (as Ellen Clancy)
Veda Ann Borg ... The Red Head (scenes deleted)
Matty Fain Matty Fain ... Butch - Gat's Henchman
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Storyline

A man who has been railroaded into prison is framed for the murder of a fellow inmate and must prove his innocence.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE ROCK...for killers too tough for steel walls to cage! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'île du diable See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film set in the prison on Alcatraz Island, which had opened in 1934. See more »

Quotes

Tough Tony Burke: Wait till you get in your bunk tonight. The fog settles in over the bay and the siren in the lighthouse begins to moan. It's just the same in here as being in your grave - only you miss the fun of being dead.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing for Sale
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Saul Chaplin
Played as dance music at Gat's party
See more »

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User Reviews

Lesser Warner Pic
2 February 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Alcatraz Island (1937)

** (out of 4)

This Warner "B" picture isn't well known today and it's not really any good but I guess you can give it credit for being the first film to take place on Alcatraz (which was built three years earlier). The story has a racketeer (John Litel) being railroaded into prison where he eventually catches up with the man who tried to kidnap his daughter. After being him he's sent to Alcatraz where they eventually meet again and this time the kidnapper is killed but the racketeer must try and prove his innocence even though everyone knows he hated the guy. Like the gangster drama, the prison film was usually a very good one for Warner but that's not the case here as the film, even at 64-minutes, is just too dull to be that entertaining. McGann's direction really drags things down as there's never any energy in the film and things remain pretty slow from start to finish. The screenplay by Crane Wilbur also doesn't do much as we get a pretty familiar story of a criminal wanting to do good for his new relationship with his daughter yet he keeps getting into trouble all of which is due to either someone else or someone trying to frame him. The movie follows the typical guidelines of a prison drama but the screenplay just doesn't have any edge, soul or even any real surprises. The final five minutes takes place in a courtroom and how everything ends is among the worst endings I've ever seen and something that I'm sure Ed Wood would laugh at. I wasn't too impressed with Litel in his role but at least Ann Sheridan makes a good impression in her supporting bit. Mary Maguire, Gordon Oliver and George E. Stone round out the cast.


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