6.9/10
437
15 user 6 critic

Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »

Director:

Lewis Seiler

Writers:

Robert Rossen (screenplay), Jerome Odlum (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Garfield ... Joe Bell
Priscilla Lane ... Mabel Alden
Alan Hale ... Mike Leonard
Frank McHugh ... Caruthers
Billy Halop ... Hank Glenn
Bobby Jordan ... Jimmy Glenn
Charley Grapewin ... Pop
Henry Armetta ... Nick
Stanley Ridges ... Charlie Garrett
John Litel ... Prosecutor
Moroni Olsen ... Slim Jones - Defense Attorney
Victor Kilian Victor Kilian ... Doc Saunders
Frank Jaquet ... Abe Connors
Ferike Boros Ferike Boros ... Delicatessen Proprietress
Marc Lawrence ... Venetti
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Storyline

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading to the older man's death due to a weak heart. Joe and Mabel go on the run as he thinks no-one would believe a nobody like him. Written by Ian Harries <ih@doc.ic.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cruel é o Meu Destino See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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

The original ending of the film called for Joe and Mabel to be shot to death, but the commercial failure of You Only Live Once (1937), which had a tragic ending, compelled the Warner Bros. studio heads to demand a happy ending. When writer Robert Rossen refused to write the new ending, Seton I. Miller was brought in to write it. See more »

Connections

Remade as I Was Framed (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Dust Be My Destiny
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner and M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Played on the radio in the hotel room
See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Garfield's excellent performance raises this often used theme, that of an innocent fugitive, a notch or two above average.
14 December 1998 | by Art-22See all my reviews

You can see why John Garfield rocketed to stardom just from watching this film: he has a tough but charismatic demeanor and is a natural born actor. He plays an embittered, cynical and distrustful youth, who is released from prison at the start, being told he was wrongly convicted when the real culprit was caught and confessed. He vows that he will never again trust authorities. He lands in a state work farm because of vagrancy and meets Priscilla Lane, the stepdaughter of the yard boss (Stanley Ridges) and they fall in love. But they are caught in an embrace by Ridges, who slaps Lane, incensing Garfield enough to hit Ridges, who dies of a heart attack due to his poor health caused by alcoholism. They flee and feel safe over the border but are almost penniless, so they take advantage of a promotion at a movie theater and get married on stage free of charge with lots of bonuses, despite it being a humiliating experience for both. Then they hear Ridges' death is considered a murder and they are wanted fugitives. Lane wants to turn themselves in, but Garfield will have none of that, and she sticks by him. Eluding police, they are given a job by kindly diner owner, Henry Armetta, who even helps them escape when Lane is caught and Garfield breaks her out of jail. This was an exciting nail-biting sequence. Garfield then lucks out when he is at the right place at the right time: he photographs details of a bank robbery in progress and gets a job as photographer with a newspaper. Because of these sensational photos and the fame it was sure to bring, Garfield was again threatened with being exposed as the wanted fugititve. This film is worth seeing for Garfield's performance, but Henry Armetta and Alan Hale are both excellent, and there's an enjoyable Max Steiner score. For those who are interested in credit abberations, Victor Kilian and Frank Jaquet are both in the onscreen cast credits but were edited out of the film. I've seen this happen occasionally for one performer in movies of the 1930's, but this is the only time I can remember it occurred for two.


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