This is the story of David Marshall 'Marsh' Williams, the real life inventor of the world famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in WWII. It all started when Marsh, who was one to do things his way, was caught distilling moonshine, and was accused and convicted of shooting a federal officer in the process. This at first placed him in the chain gang which labeled him as a hard case. Later, to make room for those more deserving, he was moved to a prison farm, where he came under the direction of Captain H.T. Peoples. The Captain was a mild mannered warden, who did not shy from discipline when necessary, but also believed that given the opportunity, most men will respond to good. Believing that Marsh was just such a person, the Captain gave him every opportunity to reform, so much so, that he eventually allowed Marsh to work in the tool shop on his spare time to develop and build by hand, a working rifle, inside the prison farm itself.Written by
Bill Walch <TheWalchs@aol.com>
The real David Marshall Williams was convicted of killing a Deputy Sheriff, not a Federal Agent. Also, differing from the film's depiction, the murder was an ambush by Williams and his still workers as the police attempted to transport evidence from the crime scene. See more »
At the end of the film - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the North Carolina prison authorities and wishes to state that the penal system existing in North Carolina today has been improved immeasurably over conditions depicted in this picture. See more »
I saw this movie when I was 15 and just saw it again tonight on TV. In the Army I used the M-1 Carbine, won a rapid fire competition with 7 our of 8 bulls eyes at 200 yards, and was given the Expert Marksman medal. I was so impressed with the Carbine I own one now with a 30 round clip.
James Stewart is one of my favorite movie stars and did a great job in this movie. Marsh Williams made a significant contributions to our war efforts and probably was responsible for helping to save thousands of American soldiers. He surely earned his forgiveness for the situation that put him in prison. This was a true American story and I am happy I got to see it again after 56 years.
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