The Defiant Ones

Flucht in Ketten
Stanley Kramer
USA 1958
96 min

THE DEFIANT ONES is an unlikely buddy film. Sidney Poitier stars as Noah Cullen, an educated black convict in a chain gang whose “other half” is John “Joker” Johnson, a white, Southern bigot played by Tony Curtis. The two men, shackled together with chains, decide to escape when their prison truck crashes on the highway, providing them with a chance for freedom.
“THE DEFIANT ONES, only his third film as a director, was made a full decade after he had become a producer. The film’s statement of racial equality was fairly shocking for a Hollywood release at the height of the Civil Rights movement, and it must have entailed some degree of chutzpah and courage on Kramer’s part. This film was a significant milestone in Hollywood’s painfully slow efforts to transcend the legacy of D. W. Griffith’s THE BIRTH OF A NATION. Sidney Poitier (along with his great buddy, Harry Belafonte) had already opened up new opportunities for African American actors in films like EDGE OF THE CITY — opportunities that had been denied to great performers like Bill Robinson and Paul Robeson.” (Charles Silver)

  • Tony Curtis - John Jackson
  • Sidney Poitier - Noah Cullen
  • Theodore Bikel - Sheriff Max Muller
  • Charles McGraw - Captain Frank Gibbons
  • Lon Chaney - Big Sam
  • Harold Jacob Smith
  • Nathan E. Douglas (Nedrick Young)
  • Sam Leavitt
  • James Speak
  • Frederic Knudtson
  • Ernest Gold
  • Rudolph Sternad
  • Joe King
Curtleigh Productions, Lomitas Productions

Park Circus

35 mm
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