Film, Thrillers

Time Out says

Robinson is excellent as a fugitive from a chain gang, convicted of a crime he didn't commit, who nine years later has become a pillar of society with wife, child and enviable reputation as an oil-well troubleshooter. Lockhart is even better as the blackmailer, oozing sleazy, scalp-crawling bonhomie, who confesses that he committed the crime, plausibly claims to be anxious to set the record straight, and engineers a scam which puts Robinson back on the chain gang. Potter handles the sharply shifting moods very well: the authentic excitement of the oil-rig fire at the beginning; the ordinariness of the family background and the blackmailer's scenes; the dark, brooding brutality (mental as much as physical) of the chain gang sequences. Much of the film's edge is guaranteed by a fine script from David Hertz and William Ludwig, which cleverly paces its action to a parabola between two oil fires (the first a blaze of glory for Robinson, the second his season in hell). Pity about the totally duff upbeat ending.


Release details

81 mins

Cast and crew

HC Potter
David Hertz, William Ludwig
Edward G Robinson
Ruth Hussey
Gene Lockhart
Guinn Williams
John Wray
Arthur Hohl
Bobs Watson
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