I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is a picture with guts. It grips with its stark realism and packs lots of punch.

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is a picture with guts. It grips with its stark realism and packs lots of punch.

It’s a sympathetic, unbiased cinematic transposition of the Robert E. Burns autobiography.

Paul Muni breaks away from the chain gang twice. In between he achieves success in his preferred field of engineering until a romantic angle prompts him voluntarily to surrender as the wanted fugitive, on the promise and belief he will be pardoned in 90 days. The prison board stalls that, despite influential appeals, leading into the second break away from the chain gang. The finale is stark in its realism.

Muni turns in a pip performance. Glenda Farrell and Helen Vinson, the only two femmes of any prominence, are oke in their parts. Hale Hamilton as an overly benign and saccharine rev, the brother of the escaped convict, is an especial click in the characterization.

1932/33: Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Paul Muni), Sound

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

Production

Warner. Director Mervyn LeRoy; Producer [Hal B. Wallis]; Screenplay Howard J. Green, Brown Holmes; Camera Sol Polito; Editor William Holmes; Music Leo Forbstein (dir.); Art Director Jack Okey

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1932. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Paul Muni Glenda Farrell Helen Vinson Noel Francis Preston Foster Allen Jenkins
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