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Over the Wall (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 April 1938 (USA)
Jerry Davis is a street tough and troublemaker who winds up in Sing Sing framed for murder. There he discovers he has a great singing voice, and with the help of prison chaplain Father ... See full summary »


Frank McDonald


Lewis E. Lawes (by) (as Warden Lewis E. Lawes), Crane Wilbur (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Dick Foran ... Jerry Davis
June Travis ... Kay Norton
John Litel ... Father Neil Connor
Dick Purcell ... Ace Scanlon
Veda Ann Borg ... Maxine
George E. Stone ... Gyp
Ward Bond ... Eddie Edwards
John Hamilton ... Warden
Jonathan Hale ... Governor
Tommy Bupp ... Jimmy Davis
Robert Homans ... John Davis
Mabel Hart Mabel Hart ... Mrs. Davis
Raymond Hatton ... Convict
Alan Davis Alan Davis ... Joe - Policeman
Eddy Chandler Eddy Chandler ... Prison Keeper (as Eddie Chandler)


Jerry Davis is a street tough and troublemaker who winds up in Sing Sing framed for murder. There he discovers he has a great singing voice, and with the help of prison chaplain Father Connor, Jerry begins to rehabilitate himself. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | chaplain | prison | trial | singer | See All (33) »


HE FIGHTS HIS WAY INTO PRISON! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Evidence 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?


Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Jack Mower (Clerk), Bruce Mitchell (Detective) and Hal Craig (Detective). See more »


One More Tomorrow
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Sung by Dick Foran and chorus on Father Connor's radio broadcast
Reprised by Dick Foran in the broadcast from the governor's statehouse
See more »

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User Reviews

Crooning Your Way Out Of the Slam
11 September 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Over the Wall is a great example of some of the nonsense that came from the B picture unit of some of our major studios back in the day. Funny thing is that if the part called for a dancer rather than a singer, Jack Warner probably could have gotten James Cagney for the lead as Cagney pined for opportunities to dance that rarely came his way during his entire career.

Instead Dick Foran was cast in the lead that normally would have gone to someone like John Garfield. Foran at this time was Warner Brothers singing cowboy and occasionally was given some non-westerns to do, like Black Legion. This film ain't no Black Legion.

Foran is a truckdriver who's handy with his dukes and doubles as a fighter. His manager Ward Bond gets him a fight, but doublecrosses him and Foran's opponent knocks him out in the first round using some loaded gloves.

Foran settles with Bond by coldcocking him. But gangster Dick Purcell sees an opportunity to get rid of Bond who he doesn't like and kills him and lays the blame on Foran. Of course Foran goes to prison, protesting his innocence all the way.

Just like James Cagney in Each Dawn I Die, Foran is one mean and nasty prisoner until prison chaplain John Litel, doubling for Pat O'Brien takes him in hand. Turns out Foran has a nice singing voice and he starts broadcasting from prison.

So help the Deity, this is the story so far. I think you can carry it the rest of the way if you've seen a lot of B films from the thirties and forties. The miracle is that the cast of fine Warner Brothers stock company players was able to keep a straight face through out.

I'm sure that Over the Wall would be better remembered if Dick Foran had a hit song come out of it. Sadly he didn't.

If you want to see an example of some of the unbelievable nonsense that was inflicted on the public, Over the Wall is the film to see.

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