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State Penitentiary (1950)

Passed | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 8 June 1950 (USA)
Roger Manners (Warner Baxter), a former aircraft manufacturer is wrongly accused and convicted of embezzlement of $400,000 and is given a long prison sentence. There he must decide rather ... See full summary »


Lew Landers


Henry Edward Helseth (story) (as Henry E. Helseth), Howard J. Green (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Warner Baxter ... Rodger Manners
Onslow Stevens ... Richard Evans
Karin Booth ... Shirley Manners
Robert Shayne ... Stanley Brown
Richard Benedict ... Mike Gavin
Brett King Brett King ... Al 'Kid' Beaumont
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Jailbreak Jimmy
Leo Cleary Leo Cleary ... Warden-Narrator (as Leo T. Cleary)
Rick Vallin ... Tom - Prison Guard


Roger Manners (Warner Baxter), a former aircraft manufacturer is wrongly accused and convicted of embezzlement of $400,000 and is given a long prison sentence. There he must decide rather or not to get involved in a prison break, or stay there while his wife, Shirley (Karin Booth), can prove his innocence by playing at romance with the real culprit. More stock footage and narration than dialogue. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SAVAGE REALISM FILMED BEHIND PRISON WALLS ! (original poster - all caps)


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Carson City, Nevada, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final film of Warner Baxter. See more »


Early in the movie where Roger Manners (Warner Baxter) meets his new cell mate his cell mate Al 'Kid' Beaumont (Brett King) tells Manners that he was convicted of shooting someone in Des Moines, Iowa. This makes no sense considering that he is in the state prison in Nevada. See more »

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User Reviews

Rather Bland Prison Drama
29 May 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

State Penitentiary (1950)

** (out of 4)

Aircraft manufacturer Rodger Manners (Warner Baxter) is convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to prison but when he learns that his wife is seeking a divorce and marrying a man he knows, he decides to break free and prove that he was convicted of a crime he didn't commit. STATE PENITENTIARY comes from producer Sam Katzman so that there should pretty much tell you what to expect. This low-budget movie has pretty much been forgotten over the years except to fans of Baxter because this here would sadly be his final film. It's always fun seeing Baxter at work but you can tell that he doesn't appear to be himself here. It seems pretty clear throughout the picture that he's walking very slowly and it just appears as if he hasn't any energy. This also effects his performance as the character just seems like it would have been better served with someone a tad bit younger and a bit more energetic. The supporting cast includes Onslow Stevens, Karin Booth and Robert Shayne but no one is really given much to work with. As with many films from this period, this one here features non-stop narration that pretty much tells us everything that's happening on the screen. The Manners character might be upset about something so we see him in his cell, mad of course, and then we have the narrator explaining to us that he's made. The film was obviously made on a very low-budget and this hurts things because we don't even get the escape sequence until the 60-minute mark, which isn't good considering the picture lasts just five-minutes more. The climax of the film happens way too fast to say the least. A note at the start of the picture tells us that the film was shot at a real prison, which I don't doubt but for some reason there's still a lot of stock footage used. STATE PENITERNIARY isn't a horrible movie but there's just not any energy, drama or tension to keep the viewer fully entertained.

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