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Penitentiary (1938)

A District Attorney becomes a Prison Warden, and finds himself overseeing the sentence of a meek man who he'd once prosecuted as the D.A.. He discovers his new job is more complex than he'd thought, especially with this meek prisoner.

Director:

John Brahm
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Cast

Credited cast:
Walter Connolly ... Dist. Atty. Thomas Mathews
John Howard ... William Jordan
Jean Parker ... Elizabeth Mathews
Robert Barrat ... Prison Yard Capt. Grady
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bess Flowers ... Minor Role (scenes deleted)
John Gallaudet ... State's Attorney (scenes deleted)
Louise Stanley ... Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Eric Wilton Eric Wilton ... Butler (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A District Attorney becomes a Prison Warden, and finds himself overseeing the sentence of a meek man who he'd once prosecuted as the D.A.. He discovers his new job is more complex than he'd thought, especially with this meek prisoner.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agapi piso ap' ta sidera See more »

Filming Locations:

Anamosa, Iowa, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Feb. 1938, this film was being shown on a double bill with Wise Girl (1937). See more »

Connections

Remade as Convicted (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

decent remake of THE CRIMINAL CODE
28 March 2008 | by Howard_B_EaleSee all my reviews

Not as stylish or sharp as the Howard Hawks version, this very theatrical drama stars Walter Connolly as a D.A. who becomes a prison warden, and winds up overseeing the sentence of a man he prosecuted (a meek, repressed John Howard).

What it lacks in realism (it's amazing how many times the prisoners are allowed to use knives, for instance) it makes up for in tough dialogue; a sequence where Connolly tries as hard as he can to wear Howard down, using increasingly cruel language, is classic. Scarred-face Marc Lawrence isn't Boris Karloff, but he makes a strong heavy, nonetheless, and it's great to see Connolly in a serious role; he's perhaps best known as the long-suffering lawyer to John Barrymore's unstoppable ham actor in TWENTIETH CENTURY.


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