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20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 24 December 1932 (USA)
Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Lewis E. Lawes (book) (as Warden Lewis E. Lawes), Wilson Mizner (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Tommy Connors
Bette Davis ... Fay Wilson
Arthur Byron ... Warden Paul Long
Lyle Talbot ... Bud Saunders
Warren Hymer ... Hype
Louis Calhern ... Joe Finn
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Storyline

Tom Connors is sentenced to Sing Sing believing his influential friends will soon have him out on parole. A trouble maker, he gets ninety days in solitary and no parole. His girlfriend Fay is injured and Warden Long lets Tom visit her on his honor to return. During a fight with mobster Joe Finn Fay shoots Finn, Tom jumps out the window and is blamed for the death. He gives himself up but is sentenced to the electric chair. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MEN without WOMEN...MEN without HOPE! smash their lives to pieces against their STEEL CHAINS! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film took thirty days to shoot and was made for a total cost of $215,000. See more »

Goofs

When the warden's letter of resignation is shown, it's addressed to "The Honorable Governor Strang" in Albany. The letter is dated June 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt (soon to be elected President) was Governor from 1929-1933. See more »

Quotes

The Warden - Paul Long: Listen, Finn, I'm running this prison, and while I'm running it, I'll run it without politicians and without bribes. People on the outside are supposed to be created free and equal, but they aren't. Here they really are. One inmate's as good as another inmate, but no better. Now clear out and don't come back! When you get back to yur ward, tell those boys you were talking to about that. I don't want any of them around here any more than I want a flock of maggots! And if Connors's got any ideas ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Castle on the Hudson (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit of Independence
(1912) (uncredited)
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played during the baseball and marching montage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
very early Tracy and Davis
21 August 2011 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Spencer Tracy is on death row in "20,000 Years in Sing Sing," a 1932 film from Warner Brothers. Tracy here plays Tom Connors, basically a Cagney role, an arrogant tough guy who plans on taking over the prison. He soon finds that he can't. When he finds out that his girlfriend (Davis) is in critical condition after a car accident, the warden risks his reputation by letting Tom out to see her. The warden is sure that he'll return. But will he? The studio didn't know what to do with Tracy when he first started there - he looked like a character actor, so he was put into Wallace Beery parts and roles like this until they figured him out. His authoritative acting made him suitable for dramatic leads.

Nevertheless, Tracy pulls off this role, and Bette Davis is adorable as his girlfriend Fay. Lyle Talbot is on hand as a fellow prisoner, and Arthur Byron has a good turn as the warden, whom he makes decent and sympathetic.

This is no "I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang," but it's pretty good.


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