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  • TBC
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1932
  • 93 mins

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang


A war veteran wrongly convicted of murder is placed at the mercy of the sadisitic guards in a Georgia chain gang. A moving indictment of the US justice system's inhumanity and the legal system's worst failings


The aching agony of this true story is heightened by the continued existence of such barbarity.

Based on Robert E Burns' autobiography from the 1920s, it follows the tragedy of a World War One veteran, James Allen (Muni) who gets mixed up in a robbery and ends up on a Southern chain gang. He escapes the stinking, brutal conditions and later marries, but the woman betrays him. He is returned to prison but escapes again, a pathetic ruin of the man he was.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Paul Muni, Edward Ellis, Glenda Farrell, Preston Foster, Helen Vinson, Allen Jenkins
  • Director: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writer: Howard J Green, Brown Holmes, Sheridan Gibney
  • Producer: Hal B Wallis
  • Photographer: Sol Polito
  • Composer: Leo F Forbstein

In a nutshell

A searing Oscar-nominated performance from Paul Muni as the desperate James Allen and powerful uncompromising direction ensure that this film is as harrowing and vital today as it ever was.

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