San Quentin (1946)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Prison Film  |   Run Time - 66 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This prison reform-minded melodrama from B-movie director Gordon Douglas opens with an introduction from Lewis F. Lawes, the real-life prison warden turned author of 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932). Lawrence Tierney stars as Jim Roland, one of the founding members of the Inmate's Welfare League, a prisoners' rehabilitation group operating inside the California state prison San Quentin. The League keeps internal peace at the prison and helps career criminals go straight, training them for a law-abiding life on the outside. Upon his parole, Jim became one of the program's first success stories, but the same can't be said for Nick Taylor (Barton McLane). Once a model prisoner, Taylor has broken out of the facility and gone on a violent crime spree. When San Quentin officials, including Warden Kelly (Harry T. Shannon), consider shutting down the program, the membership feels responsible and appeals to Jim for help. The ex-con, now a responsible citizen, sets out to bring Taylor to justice and save the League, putting his own life at risk. Douglas employs a brisk pace in San Quentin (1946), which is also the feature film debut of actor Raymond Burr, who appears in the supporting role of Jeff Torrance.



criminal, prison, reform [improve], inmate