A caustically witty look at the American South and its still-surviving chain gangs, with Newman in fine sardonic form as the boss-baiter who refuses to submit and becomes a hero to his fellow-prisoners. Underlying the hard-bitten surface is a slightly uncomfortable allegory which identifies Newman as a Christ figure (and reminds one that Rosenberg once directed the awful, Moral Rearmament-ish Question 7). But this scarcely detracts from the brilliantly idiosyncratic script (by Donn Pearce from his own novel) or from Conrad Hall's glittering camerawork (which survives Rosenberg's penchant for the zoom lens and shots reflected in sun-glasses).
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Donn Pearce, Frank R Pierson|
Jo Van Fleet
Harry Dean Stanton