We Who Are About to Die (1937)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama, Prison Film  |   Release Date - Jan 8, 1937 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Its title notwithstanding, We Who Are About to Die has nothing to do with Roman Gladiators. Rather, the film is based on the true story of San Quentin inmate David Lamson, who spent 13 agonizing months on Death Row before the Supreme Court reversed his conviction. Renamed John (and played by John Beal), the Lamson character knows he's innocent but also knows that the date of his execution is drawing ever nearer. Meanwhile, his sweetheart Connie (Ann Dvorak), in collaboration with private eye Matthews (Preston S. Foster), races against time to unearth new evidence and expose the guilty party. Rather pokey for the most part, We Who Are About to Die turns into a real nail-biter during the final 15 minutes.

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Keywords

killing, death-penalty, death-row, detective, evidence, execution, false-accusation, friendship, inmate, innocence, investigation, investigator, mill, murder, prison, private-detective, release, sentence [penal system], worker