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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
When a down on his luck man gets caught up in a robbery, he's sentenced to toil on the chain-gangs. At the mercy of the cruel bosses, he reckons he'll rot in there forever and so a plot to escape is hatched...

This film may be very old but it's not one that you have to make allowances for to enjoy. Originally made to highlight the cruelty of the chain gang...
Published on 23 Mar 2009 by Blackhorse47

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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straw
More of a bit of trivia as it made me want to watch it, but if anyone's listened to the album 'Shoplifting' by 'Straw' then the sample at the end of 'Moving to California' is from this film. Really rather good!
Published on 5 Feb 2006 by James Ward


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 23 Mar 2009
This review is from: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
When a down on his luck man gets caught up in a robbery, he's sentenced to toil on the chain-gangs. At the mercy of the cruel bosses, he reckons he'll rot in there forever and so a plot to escape is hatched...

This film may be very old but it's not one that you have to make allowances for to enjoy. Originally made to highlight the cruelty of the chain gang penal system it succeeds by never flinching away from the hardship. It's helped that this movie predates the Hays code, which put stringent rules on what could be shown, so that the life of a prisoner is no less harrowing than you'd expect if you're a fan of Cool Hand Luke.

The moralising perhaps gets a little too obvious and cloying in the way the film develops in the second half, but bearing in mind there's a certain expectation of how plots should develop in the tale of a decent man trying to escape from a cruel prison regime, the fact that it does take an original slant makes this film worth seeking out. The ending is quite rightly acclaimed as being one of cinema's greatest.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars??, 18 Mar 2007
By 
This review is from: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Did you actually watch this film or just turn it off after you got to your precious little sample?

This is a magnificent early example of the social conscience picture, with a startlingly modern performance from Paul Muni and vigorously directed by Mervyn LeRoy. If you like some of Lang's early impassioned Hollywood efforts like 'Fury' or 'You Only Live Once', as well as later classics like Dassin's 'Brute Force', then you'll like this a lot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece that keeps influencing as much as it enthrals., 5 Nov 2012
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Being a man who has a very unhealthy penchant for any film that deals with incarceration, it is with great elation that I can proudly proclaim this to be one of the greatest films of the genre. I had to finally give way and import the film on Region 1 to see what I was missing, boy it was joyous to see how this film has influenced some of my favourite film's of all time.

This is one tough movie, it pulls no punches and the only surprise is that it was made in 1932, that the film is a grizzled masterpiece is down to the astute direction of Mervyn LeRoy and a quite brilliant performance from Paul Muni in the lead role of James Allen. Based on the real life writings of Robert Elliot Burns, the film is a harsh kick in the guts about the brutal penal system that existed when most of us were mere glints in our Father's eyes. It is part of a Warner Brothers controversial classic's box set that is available on Region 1, and its place on any controversial classic list is worthy.

The film had major impact on reviews of the penal system, it caused uproar in Georgia (the film never mentions Georgia, but they knew it was about them), law suits followed and Robert Elliot Burns himself was constantly pursued by the authorities despite the state being privy to the actual facts of his case. I wont be boorish with the details as it is well documented across the net and those who haven't seen the film really need to address that issue! I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang strips it down to a primal story that begs a viewing from anyone interested in the genre-or actually for those interested in brilliant cinema from a golden era. 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Prison Drama, 20 April 2011
By 
Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice "RR" (sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Althougth this classic is almost 80 years old, it's still great even today and it's also quite violent for it's year, especially the flogging scene. The story is about a World War One veteran named James Allen (Paul Muni) who is wrongly convicted for attempting to rob a diner. He is then sentenced to a chain gang, which he plans to escape. This has a powerful story and it's similiar and btter than "Cool hand Luke" with Paul Newman. Paul Muni, who is a forgotten actor today, does a fantastic performance as the troubled James Allen and he was also nominated for an Oscar. But English actor Charles Laughton won the Oscar instead, for his performance as Henry VIII in "The private life of Henry VIII". If you like prison movies, I guarantee that you will like this.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straw, 5 Feb 2006
By 
James Ward "underscore" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
More of a bit of trivia as it made me want to watch it, but if anyone's listened to the album 'Shoplifting' by 'Straw' then the sample at the end of 'Moving to California' is from this film. Really rather good!
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