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The Defiant Ones Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Convicts [[Performer~P86429~Tony Curtis~tonycurtis]] and [[Performer~P106725~Sidney Poitier~sidneypoitier]] escape from a chain gang. [[Performer~P86429~Curtis~tonycurtis]]' 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 ([[Performer~P12217~Lon Chaney Jr.~lonchaneyjr]]), himself a former convict. The men are later sheltered by a lonely, love-hungry widow played by [[Performer~P76395~Cara Williams~carawilliams]], 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 [[Performer~P165034~Harold Jacob Smith~haroldjacobsmith]] and [[Performer~P159837~Nathan E. Douglas~nathanedouglas]]. The latter was really [[Performer~P78198~Nedrick Young~nedyoung]], a blacklisted writer, whom producer [[Performer~P98064~Stanley Kramer~stanleykramer]] hired knowing full well that [[Performer~P78198~Young~nedyoung]] was using an alias (when "[[Performer~P159837~Douglas~nathanedouglas]]"' credit appears onscreen, it is superimposed over a close-up of a truck driver -- played by [[Performer~P78198~Nedrick Young~nedyoung]]). Both the script and the photography by [[Performer~P99080~Sam Leavitt~samleavitt]] won Academy Awards. If you look closely, you'll notice that the actor playing Angus is former [[Performer~P42698~Little Rascal~littlerascals]] [[Performer~P2~Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer~carlalfalfaswitzer]], making his last screen appearance. The Defiant Ones was remade for TV in 1986, with [[Performer~P72493~Robert Urich~roberturich]] and [[Performer~P75121~Carl Weathers~carlweathers]] in the leads. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:September 27, 1958

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
New York Film Critics Circle Ned Young Best Screenplay 1958 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Stanley Kramer United Nations Award 1958 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Stanley Kramer Best Director 1958 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Stanley Kramer Best Film - Any Source 1958 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Stanley Kramer Best Director 1958 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Stanley Kramer Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Stanley Kramer Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Stanley Kramer Best Picture 1958 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Cara Williams Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cara Williams Best Supporting Actress 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Theodore Bikel Best Supporting Actor 1958 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Tony Curtis Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tony Curtis Best Actor 1958 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Sidney Poitier Best Foreign Actor 1958 Winner
Berlin International Film Festival Sidney Poitier Silver Bear for Best Actor 1958 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Sidney Poitier Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sidney Poitier Best Actor 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Frederic Knudtson Best Editing 1958 Nominee

Cast

Tony Curtis
as John "Joker" Jackson
Sidney Poitier
as Noah Cullen
Theodore Bikel
as Sheriff Man Muller
Charles McGraw
as Captain Frank Gibbons
Cara Williams
as The Woman
Lon Chaney, Jr.
as Big Sam
King Donovan
as Solly
Claude Akins
as Mac
Lawrence Dobkin
as Editor
Whit Bissell
as Lou Gans
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
as Angus
Kevin Coughlin
as Billy

Crew

Stanley Kramer
Director
Stanley Kramer
Producer
Ernest Gold
Composer (Music Score)
Frederic Knudtson
Editor
Rudolph Sternad
Production Designer
Fernando Carrere
Art Director
Joe Kish
Set Designer
Clem Beauchamp
Production Manager
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