Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a ...
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John Drew Barrymore
Fed up with the raising crime in Miami, the police chief and the leading members of the city council hire a former Miami gangster, gone straight, to help eliminate the biggest crime syndicate in the city.
Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a sensational best-seller. As a boy, the young Whit stole groceries to help feed his impoverished family, later moving on into major crime to impress a young gang moll, Jo-Anne, and turns into a cold-blooded thug when he is repudiated by the girl he loves, Doll. And by his own lawyer when he is arrested and tried as the infamous Lover's Lane Bandit. In cell 2455, he studies law to the point where he wins stay after stay, twice within minutes of his scheduled execution.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Whit and his associates steal the police car, authorities are notified in real time and a car chase begins, but how would the cops whose car was stolen be able to report it if their car was stolen? See more »
What stage does a wayward boy turn into a delinquent? I guess you don't suddenly 'turn' - you 'curve' in.
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True story of Caryl Chessman, here under the name "Whit" Whittier (Whittier being Chessman's real middle name), played by William Campbell, a juvenile delinquent who got worse and worse and worse... He eventually ends up in death row, where we are introduced to him, and his life up to that point is recounted.
Campbell does a nice job here, if not a little hammy at times. (but that's just the way he is naturally, it seems) There are other familiar faces and everyone does well, but this is really Campbell's time to shine. Knowing the events were real, the movie being based on Chessman's book of the same name, it was interesting to follow, especially knowing his became his own lawyer and basically added years to his life by studying law books.
Interestingly, this movie came out while he was on death row and is based on the first of four books he'd write, so things were still very much up in the air in the end! His wiki article is worth a look if you want to know how things turned out for him.
Overall, this was pretty good. Definitely engaging. Certainly not one of those movies where you kinda secretly cheer for the fictional bad guy inside (know what I mean?), though, as he was a real, really bad guy.
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