6.8/10
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3 user 2 critic

My Six Convicts (1952)

A psychologist pioneers a research study at a prison. He seeks the help of six savvy inmates including a safe-cracker, a mobster, a pair of armed robber and psychopath. Could he trust them? What's in it for them?

Director:

Hugo Fregonese

Writers:

Michael Blankfort (screenplay), Donald Powell Wilson (book)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Millard Mitchell ... James T. Connie
Gilbert Roland ... Punch Pinero
John Beal ... Dr. Wilson aka Doc
Marshall Thompson ... Blivens Scott
Alf Kjellin ... Clem Randall
Harry Morgan ... Dawson
Jay Adler ... Steve Kopac
Regis Toomey ... Dr. Gordon
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Warden George Potter
Carleton Young ... Capt. Haggarty
John Marley ... Knotty Johnson
Russ Conway ... Dr. Hughes
Byron Foulger ... Dr. Brint - Dentist
Charles Bronson ... Jocko (as Charles Buchinsky)
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Storyline

A psychologist pioneers a research study at a prison. He seeks the help of six savvy inmates including a safe-cracker, a mobster, a pair of armed robber and psychopath. Could he trust them? What's in it for them?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | escape | based on novel | See All (3) »

Taglines:

The Warm Side of the Guys Inside the Cold Stone Walls! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

My 6 Convicts See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Val Lewton was involved with pre-production when he suddenly passed away. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Wilson aka Doc: I also remember how grateful I was that at least some of my men had learned to be loyal. Not to a gang or to power but to a job; in a small way to society and this gave me hope for their future.
See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia The Gem of the Ocean
(uncredited)
Written by David T. Shaw
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User Reviews

 
Unusual funny and human comedy-drama
5 March 2008 | by Crispin-3See all my reviews

A sleeper that evidently few have seen recently, this unpretentious comedy-drama can take an honorable mention in the long list of prison films. An early Stanley Kramer production, it received critical acclaim but was not a box-office success. Nevertheless, it has good character acting, some very amusing scenes, and enough dramatic tension to hold the attention and set off the comic moments.

Don't be put off by the overly earnest opening, as the new, wet-behind-the-ears psychiatrist arrives at the prison hoping to reform the penitentiary system single-handed. Although Kramer reportedly had prison reform in mind in making the film, this movie is not about psychological theories, which are lightly passed over with buzz-word gobbledygook. It's not even about the good doctor himself or his research so much as it's about the six cons of the title, as they become human beings to us.

Speaking of buzz-words, the genial Connie's psycho-babble malapropisms are among the best of the running gags. The many funny scenes stand out against the grim realism of the penitentiary, shot on location at San Quentin. The comedy also contrasts sharply with the dramatic dilemma the "doc" must face between gaining (and keeping) the confidence of his six cons and learning too much to be healthy in the deadly reality of prison life. But overall this is a human comedy more than an edge-of-your seat drama.

There are excellent photographic moments using long wide-angle shots to dramatize the starkness of the prison environment, which contrast well with the friendly intimacy gradually established in the psychiatrist's office. And the movie gets an extra star for the fine score by Dimitri Tiomkin, famous for many much better-known movies from "It's a Wonderful Life" to "The Guns of Navarone".

It's well worth watching for this to come around on television, as you are unlikely to find it at your corner video store -- not available on DVD or VHS at the time of writing.


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