Solid performances, reflecting small town America
5 August 2014
John "Joker" Jackson (Tony Curtis), and Noah Cullen (excellent portrayal by Sidney Poitier), have escaped from prison and are shackled together. The story, well directed by message film director Stanley Kramer (see also the excellent "Ship of Fools", as well as his masterpiece "On The Beach" with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner).

At any rate, the film has some good scenes, they are in the brush and swamps of Georgia, trying to escape a pack of bloodhounds, and the Sheriff well portrayed by Theodore Bikel The fact that the way Poitier is treated , simply because he is black, is a time warp as when a woman offers the refugees food, but first asks Curtis if she "should give the other guy some as well". Tony Curtis is good in the role of a desperate malcontent, his accent a bit too NY but his acting usually overcomes this. He is angry at society, that he wants to be a "success". The dated phrase "Charlie Potatoes", humorously shows us the society of 1950's America and its values of what success means. Money, at any cost.

The sheriff;s bounty hunter assistant has several bloodhounds and Dobermans "I hope you treat them dogs as go as your grandma" cracks Bikel. The dogs and how they are cared for (better than minorities and the poor) is a point of reference.

Bikel as sheriff has a run in with Lon Chaney Jr., a man who lets the prisoners free from a town lynch mob. The seething anger and hypocrisies of small town America are well manifested here. Racism, ignorance, bigotry.

This film was made in 1958, an important message. 10/0
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