7.7/10
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The Defiant Ones (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 27 September 1958 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer

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Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director:

Stanley Kramer
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tony Curtis ... John 'Joker' Jackson
Sidney Poitier ... Noah Cullen
Theodore Bikel ... Sheriff Max Muller
Charles McGraw ... Capt. Frank Gibbons
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Big Sam (as Lon Chaney)
King Donovan ... Solly
Claude Akins ... Mack
Lawrence Dobkin ... Editor
Whit Bissell ... Lou Gans
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Angus (as Carl Switzer)
Kevin Coughlin ... Billy
Cara Williams ... Billy's Mother
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Storyline

When the truck that is transporting convicts has an accident on the road, the inmates John "Joker" Jackson and Noah Cullen that are chained to each other escape. They hate each other but they need to help each other to succeed in their intent of going north to jump in a train and reach freedom. Meanwhile the humane Sheriff Max Muller organizes a posse to track them down in a civilized manner and respecting justice. Joker and Cullen reach a small farm where a lonely woman helps them to get rid of their chains. She offers to drive her car with Joker and her son Billy while Cullen would escape through the swamp to the railroad. But when Joker learns that she sent Cullen to a trap, he leaves her and is shot in the shoulder by Billy. Joker seeks out Cullen to save him and when they meet each other, their former hatred has changed to friendship and respect. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They couldn't like each other less. They couldn't need each other more. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flucht in Ketten See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$778,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the four hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

Billy's hair style changes twice after he is pulled up from the ground: down in his face then neatly combed and parted to one side. See more »

Quotes

Noah Cullen: [to John] Go on, tell me all that big talk about Charlie Potatoes, when the chains off and nobody chasing you. Come on. You can't, can you? You can't because you're nothing. You're not even a man! You're a monkey on a stick. That cracker mob back there, they pull the string and you jump.
[John punches him]
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Soundtracks

Long Gone
Adapted from "Long Gone (From Bowlin' Green)" (1920)
Music by W.C. Handy (as William C. Handy)
Words by Chris Smith
Sung a cappella by Sidney Poitier (uncredited) several times
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two chained convicts tried to escape
15 August 2002 | by esteban1747See all my reviews

I have seen this film several times and each time I am feeling that this is one of the best drama I've ever seen. There are new remakes of this film, but the original is the best. Acting of Sidney Poitier is without any doubt superb, while Tony Curtis did also his best. The director, Stanley Kramer, chose a very good and interesting plot, how two different persons can have better relationship and interests when they fight together for their lives. No matter if one is black and the other white, or no matter if one is atheist and the other Christian, at the end they will understand each other because their cause is only one and is the same, to become free.


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