This is another in the extended series of Warners features based on Warden Lewis E. Lawes’ 20,000 Years in Sing Sing. It’s a routine prison melodrama.
John Garfield is a tough, smart-alec gangster who draws a 25 – 30 year stretch in Sing Sing for knocking over a jewelry store. While he combats the discipline inside the ‘castle’, his loyal girl friend (Ann Sheridan) tries to effect his release. She is seriously injured in an auto crackup, which gives the parole-minded and humane warden (Pat O’Brien) a chance to let Garfield loose on honor system to see the girl.
Nothing unusual about Anatole Litvak’s direction, except that he keeps the yarn moving at a speedy pace. Garfield reads his lines with over-emphasis, and is grooved in a routine portrayal. O’Brien is okay as the warden, while Sheridan provides a strong characterization as the gangster’s girl. Burgess Meredith is fine in the prison scenes, but is bumped off after piloting a daring break.