Convicts Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier escape from a chain gang. Curtis' character, John "Joker" Jackson, hates blacks, while Poitier's character, Noah Cullen, hates whites. However, the men are manacled together, forced to rely on each other to survive. Captured at one point by a lynch-happy mob, the convicts are rescued by Big Sam (Lon Chaney ...
Convicts Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier escape from a chain gang. Curtis' character, John "Joker" Jackson, hates blacks, while Poitier's character, Noah Cullen, hates whites. However, the men are manacled together, forced to rely on each other to survive. Captured at one point by a lynch-happy mob, the convicts are rescued by Big Sam (Lon Chaney Jr.), himself a former convict. The men are later sheltered by a lonely, love-hungry widow played by Cara Williams, who offers to turn in Cullen if Joker will stay with her. By the time the two men are within hailing distance of a train that might take them to freedom, they have become friends. The script for The Defiant Ones is credited to Harold Jacob Smith and Nathan E. Douglas. The latter was really Nedrick Young, a blacklisted writer, whom producer Stanley Kramer hired knowing full well that Young was using an alias (when "Douglas"' credit appears onscreen, it is superimposed over a close-up of a truck driver -- played by Nedrick Young). Both the script and the photography by Sam Leavitt won Academy Awards. If you look closely, you'll notice that the actor playing Angus is former Little Rascal Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, making his last screen appearance. The Defiant Ones was remade for TV in 1986, with Robert Urich and Carl Weathers in the leads. Hal Erickson, Rovi
Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel, Charles McGraw, Cara Williams, Lon Chaney, Jr. New in new packaging. Language: English. Run time: 97 mins. Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1. Originally released: 1958. BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED! ! ! Nominated* for nine Academy Awards(r), including Best Picture, The Defiant Ones broke new ground by delivering its message of racial tolerance through a fast-moving blend of action and suspense. It remains "a raw, powerful film that is as exciting as it is moving, real and literate"(Variety). Joker Jackson (Tony Curtis) and Noah Cullen (Sidney Poitier) are two convicts on the run. Escaping from a Southern work gang, the two men are bound together by an unbreakable iron chain and separated by an unbridled hatred towards each other. Relentlessly pursued by a posse and bloodhounds, they put aside their differences to survive. But when a lonely woman (Cara Williams) breaks their chain and deliberately sends Cullen to certain death, Jackson must decide what's more important: saving Cullen...or saving himself. *1958: Best Picture, Actor (Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier), Supporting Actor (Theodore Bikel), Supporting Actress (Cara Williams), Director, Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (won), Cinematography (won), Film Editing