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The Defiant Ones (1958)

Cast: Tony Curtis, Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, more...
Director: Stanley Kramer, Stanley Kramer
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Classics, Drama, Classic Drama, Chase, Classic Drama, Quest, Chase
Running Time: 96 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Synopsis
Convicts Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier escape from a chain gang. Curtis' character, John "Joker" Jackson, hates blacks, while Poitier's character, Noah Cullen, hates whites. However, the men are manacled together, forced to rely on each other to survive. Captured at one point by a lynch-happy mob, the convicts are rescued by Big Sam (Lon Chaney Jr.), himself a former convict. The men are later sheltered by a lonely, love-hungry widow played by Cara Williams, who offers to turn in Cullen if Joker will stay with her. By the time the two men are within hailing distance of a train that might take them to freedom, they have become friends. The script for The Defiant Ones is credited to Harold Jacob Smith and Nathan E. Douglas. The latter was really Nedrick Young, a blacklisted writer, whom producer Stanley Kramer hired knowing full well that Young was using an alias (when "Douglas"' credit appears onscreen, it is superimposed over a close-up of a truck driver -- played by Nedrick Young). Both the script and the photography by Sam Leavitt won Academy Awards. If you look closely, you'll notice that the actor playing Angus is former Little Rascal Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, making his last screen appearance. The Defiant Ones was remade for TV in 1986, with Robert Urich and Carl Weathers in the leads. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide



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© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.