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Edward G. Robinson,
Although innocent, reporter Frank Ross is found guilty of murder and is sent to jail. While his friends at the newspaper try to find out who framed him, Frank gets hardened by prison life and his optimism turns into bitterness. He meets fellow-inmate Stacey and they decide to help each other.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
This is a great prison film--with lots of unusual twists, a great story and stellar actors. While many of the usual 1930s prison film clichés are definitely present, the overall package is so enjoyable that many will forgive its excesses. I must point out, though, that many modern audiences might laugh a bit at the dialog, but fans of Warner films of the age have come to expect and love these type films.
The movie begins with crusading reporter, Jimmy Cagney, being set up for a crime to stop him from investigating crooked public officials. On this trumped up charge, he is given a hefty prison sentence and is sent to a tough prison. On the way, he meets habitual criminal, George Raft, and they strike up a very bizarre friendship.
At first, Cagney is sure his conviction will be overturned and he's practically a model prisoner. However, after years in jail and no breaks in sight, he agrees to help Raft with a breakout and Cagney's life behind bars gets significantly worse.
Where it all goes from there you'll just need to see for yourself. However, considering that two exceptional tough guy actors head the cast (Cagney and Raft), you know this will be an exciting film--which it certainly is. Now being a Warner product, you know that the prison lingo and action will be a bit hard to believe and you know that, given a chance, Cagney will chew the scenery (he definitely does overact a bit here and there). But considering how entertaining it all is, I can certainly forgive all this. A great film for fans of old time films.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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