Muni gives a brilliant performance as a regular guy wrongly convicted of murder and subjected to the hardships and beatings of a dehumanising chain gang regime. Later, Muni escapes and makes a successful career as a civil engineer, only to be dragged back to jail some years after when his real identity is discovered. Some of the social commentary now seems a little heavy-handed, but the film still packs a hefty punch. The details of chain gang life are tough and harrowing; the scene in which the governor cites Muni's outstanding contribution to society as evidence of the character-building benefits of the chain gang system defies belief; and the downbeat ending is a killer.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Howard Green, Brown Holmes|