Stanley Kramer was a Hollywood producer who turned into a director. He shows he had a promise when he undertook the direction of this production that involved race relations in the America of the 1950s, where segregation was still in place. To even set the story in the Deep South, as he did here, shows that Kramer was clearly not afraid of whatever repercussions the movie would get, or the problems associated for showing this situation to wide audiences.
Basically, this is the story of two men who are shackled together, one white, one black, as they are being transported to a forced labor camp. When their bus suffers an accident, Joker, the white man, and Noah, the black one, see it as their opportunity to escape. There is one problems though, they can't get the chain that binds their wrists to be cut, however much they try.
The sheriff of the place where the accident happens, quickly organizes a manhunt throughout the area. It will be only a matter of time when these two convicts will be caught. What starts as two men trying to avoid being captured, turns out into a sort of friendship between Joker and Noah. Joker, will never accept Noah, and vice versa, but they must stick together if they want to survive.
Tony Curtis, who up to this point in his career, had only been given light roles to play, is the unexpected surprise of the film. In fact, this is one of the best roles he ever played in the movies, bar none. Sidney Poitier, on the other hand, plays against type in the movies. We always saw him as the decent black man who was a noble creature and wasn't appreciated. In this film, none of those qualities are shown by his character, who must deal with the burden of having to drag Joker along at the same time he is trying to save his own skin.
The supporting cast made an excellent contribution to Mr. Kramer's direction. The excellent Theodore Bikel played Sheriff Max Muller with conviction. Charles McGraw, Leon Chaney Jr., Claude Akins, and Cora Williams contribute to make this film better than it could have been.
The brilliant black and white photography by Sam Leavitt enhanced the film. Stanley Kramer deserved credit for bringing this story into the screen at a time when no one was doing anything as daring as what he did.
The Defiant Ones
Crime / Drama
The Defiant Ones
Crime / Drama
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.
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February 26, 2018 at 12:05 PM