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Cell 2455, Death Row (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 19 April 1955 (USA)
Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a ... See full summary »

Director:

Fred F. Sears

Writers:

Jack DeWitt (screenplay), Caryl Chessman (based upon the book by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Campbell ... Whit Whittier
R. Wright Campbell ... Whit as a Boy (as Robert Campbell)
Marian Carr ... Doll
Kathryn Grant ... Jo-Anne
Harvey Stephens ... Prison Warden
Vince Edwards ... Hamilton
Allen Nourse Allen Nourse ... Serl Whittier
Diane DeLaire Diane DeLaire ... Hallie Whittier
Bart Braverman ... Whit, as a Young Boy (as Bart Bradley)
Paul Dubov ... Al
Tyler MacDuff ... Nugent
Buck Kartalian ... Monk
Eleanor Audley ... Blanche
Thom Carney Thom Carney ... Hatcheck Charlie
Joseph Forte Joseph Forte ... Lawyer (as Joe Forte)
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Storyline

Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a sensational best-seller. As a boy, the young Whit stole groceries to help feed his impoverished family, later moving on into major crime to impress a young gang moll, Jo-Anne, and turns into a cold-blooded thug when he is repudiated by the girl he loves, Doll. And by his own lawyer when he is arrested and tried as the infamous Lover's Lane Bandit. In cell 2455, he studies law to the point where he wins stay after stay, twice within minutes of his scheduled execution. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE BEST-SELLER ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN THE DEATH CELL! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cell Block See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being promoted as the true story of Caryl Chessman, on whose book it was based, 'Cell 2455 Death Row' names its lead character 'Whit Whittier' and carries the usual disclaimer during the title credits: "The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional". See more »

Goofs

After the impact of the automobile accident, a wire pulls the car over on its side. See more »

Quotes

Whit Whittier: [narrating] What stage does a wayward boy turn into a delinquent? I guess you don't suddenly 'turn' - you 'curve' in.
See more »

Connections

Version of Cela da Morte (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Just Plain Grim
10 November 2012 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Lurid account of Caryl Chessman's criminal career at a time when his book was big on newstands. One thing for sure—there's no attempt in the film to glamorize or soft-peddle what appears to be a thoroughly nasty personality. Rarely, in fact, has any movie of the period made its leading man so dislikable. Campbell is quite good as the cocky young punk who goes from thievery to penny-ante stick-ups to ripping off organized crime to lover's lane rapist.

The movie itself is so uncompromisingly grim as to be off-putting. There's no effort at relieving the cheap criminality with character development or snatches of humor. The screenplay does have more fast car chases and shenanigans than a NASCAR rally, while some are darn near hair-raising. Look early on for a young Kathryn Grant and before she started up the Hollywood ladder. All in all, the movie's little more than a cheap exploitation flick with few redeeming features outside of being fast-paced.

(In passing-- Chessman's appeals luck finally ran out in May, 1960, but not before attracting support from a number of celebrities ,e.g. Steve Allen, impressed by Chessman's literary talents. Then too as incorrigible as he was, he hadn't killed anyone. Nonetheless, I don't recall much public concern when he finally got a whiff of San Quentin's lethal fumes.)


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