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Men of San Quentin (1942)

Passed | | Action, Crime, Drama | 15 May 1942 (USA)
A crooked deputy warden at San Quentin Penitentiary tries to frame a sergeant of the guards, Jack Holden, for the killing of a guard and a prisoner during a jailbreak.


William Beaudine


Martin Mooney (story), Ernest Booth (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
J. Anthony Hughes ... Jack Holden
Eleanor Stewart ... Anne Holden
Dick Curtis ... Butch Mason
Charles Middleton ... Saunderson
Jeffrey Sayre ... Jimmy
George P. Breakston ... Louie Howard (as George Breakston)
Art Mills Art Mills ... Big Al
Michael Mark Michael Mark ... Mike, Convict in Ravine
John Ince ... Board Chairman
Joe Whitehead Joe Whitehead ... Joe Williams
John 'Skins' Miller John 'Skins' Miller ... Convict Skins Miller
John Shay John Shay ... Phone Guard
Jack Cheatham ... Court Gate Guard
Drew Demorest ... Guard Gaines (as Drew Demarest)
Nancy Evans Nancy Evans ... Mrs. Doakes


A crooked deputy warden at San Quentin Penitentiary tries to frame a sergeant of the guards, Jack Holden, for the killing of a guard and a prisoner during a jailbreak. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A JAIL-BREAK in the BIG HOUSE! A hidden gun,,,and it came out smoking! (original poster) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 May 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hombres olvidados See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecast of this film in New York City occurred Saturday 26 January 1946 on pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). In Dayton it first aired Tuesday 15 March 1949 on WHIO (Channel 13), in Detroit Tuesday 12 April 1949 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Albuquerque Saturday 18 June 1949 on KOB (Channel 4), and in Los Angeles Thursday 2 March 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »


Saunderson: What are you doing?
Convict Skins Miller: Just keeping my hand in, I mean my feet in. I used to be an actor, Deputy.
Saunderson: An actor? You're friend's been a pickpocket all of his life.
Convict Skins Miller: Can't a guy have a hobby?
Saunderson: And he was no good as a dip either. Why, you couldn't stick your hand in the bay without knocking over the 'Frisco bridge.
See more »

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User Reviews

Low-budgeted and at times silly, but still worth seeing.
13 July 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is one of the strangest prison films I have ever seen. According to another reviewer, this story was written by an ex-con who was writing about prison reform. In some ways this is like the very famous Paul Muni film "I Was a Prisoner on a Chain Gang"--but still quite different. The result is an incredibly idealistic film that takes a con's complaints about the system and implements them with a model warden. This makes for a movie that is hard to believe but very interesting. It also isn't helped by the occasionally bad dialog and acting--something very typical of a PRC film.

The film is set at California's infamous San Quentin prison. How truthful the portrayal the prison is at the film's beginning I am uncertain--though I found at least some of it pretty believable. The Warden is a spineless cypher who pretty much lets the guards run the place. The guards are, for the most part, as bad as the prisoners--and routinely beat and mistreat the prisoners. However, after some very well-publicized incidents, the Warden is forced out and on of the guards, a very decent man, is made the new leader of the prison--and allows him to make whatever reforms he wants. The place is very, very different after he takes over--with the men being treated like men and rehabilitation being the theme. Some of the reforms made a lot of sense--some seemed ridiculously idealistic.

What bothered me was not the extreme idealism. It had a point to make and went way overboard to make it (especially the radio talent show)--but you expect that in a reform-oriented film. No, what bothered me was some of the dialog and one of the characters. As for the dialog, it was from the 'aw, shucks' school of acting--and the prisoners, for the most part, were about as scary as munchkins. And, as for the character, the new Warden's wife was just silly--as she seemed to have ESP. She would meet a prisoner and 'just know' that he was good and would make INSANE gestures to help them. To me, she came off as a flake...or a bit of a nut. It's too bad, as if the film had just been written and acted a good bit better, it would have been able to make its point much, much better. Worth a look but very flawed.

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