6.8/10
504
11 user 8 critic

Castle on the Hudson (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 17 February 1940 (USA)
An arrogant mobster, sentenced to a long prison term in Sing Sing, becomes a changed man when given a chance by the fair and progressive warden.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Seton I. Miller (screen play), Brown Holmes (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Garfield ... Tommy Gordon
Ann Sheridan ... Kay
Pat O'Brien ... Warden Long
Burgess Meredith ... Steven Rockford
Henry O'Neill ... District Attorney
Jerome Cowan ... Ed Crowley
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Mike Cagle
John Litel ... Chaplain
Margot Stevenson ... Ann Rockford
Willard Robertson ... Ragan
Edward Pawley ... Black Jack
Billy Wayne Billy Wayne ... Pete
Nedda Harrigan ... Mrs. Long
Wade Boteler ... Principal Keeper
Barbara Pepper ... Goldie
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Storyline

Mobster Tommy Gordon isn't worried about being sentenced to Sing Sing prison because his political pals have promised him a quick parole. A troublesome prisoner, he finally concedes that his friends have deserted him, and he makes an effort to reform. When his girlfriend Kay is injured in an accident, Warden Long gives Tommy a pass to go see her. But trouble erupts when Tommy encounters the man responsible for his imprisonment. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big John Garfield thrill !

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Años sin días See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

A partially obscured theater marquee in an opening scene of MGM's Tenth Avenue Angel (1948) is for this film. "Castle" was originally released in 1940 by Warner Bros. but re-released in 1949, so it kind of receives an advance re-release plug, albeit a quick one, in a rival studio's film. See more »

Goofs

When bail is denied, Tommy Gordon's name is misspelled "Gordan" in the newspaper, both in the headline and in the body of the article. See more »

Quotes

Kay: You can't leave me Tommy. You've got to stay with me.
See more »


Soundtracks

Begin the Beguine
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played as dance music at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

Garfield Showcase
23 October 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Cocky gangster (Garfield) goes to prison where he gradually reforms until given a break by the prison warden (O'Brien). Then problems ensue.

Typically gritty Warner Bros. fare from the pre-war era. Garfield shows he's in the same gangster class as Cagney and Robinson. Watch him spit out dialog faster than a machine gun burst while doing a tough-guy routine. And who better to double-cross him than that slippery lounge lizard Jerome Cowan who could machine gun his own dialog as a reporter in dozens of period films.

But the real scene stealer is scrawny, athletic Burgess Meredith, a brainy con who outwits the prison head-doctor (Grant Mitchell) in the movie's best scene. He may be the least-likely looking con I've seen; still, he and Garfield make a dynamic leadership team (as long as it's not Saturday!). On the other hand, goofy Big Boy Williams strikes me as a matter of taste.

It's a compelling, if not original, plot that redeems Garfield without whitewashing him. Still, I'm not sure what his actual capital crime is when they lead him away, especially when the all-powerful Production Code insisted that justice be served on this side of the pearly gates. Nonetheless, his scenes with the warden (O'Brien) are nicely shaded gems of growing respect, while a lovely Sheridan is affecting as the luckless girlfriend.

As this gutsy little programmer shows, star-studded MGM may have had the gloss, but plebeian Warner's had the grit.


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