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Convicts 4 (1962)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 7 February 1963 (Mexico)
After his death sentence is commuted to life in prison, John Resko is transferred from Sing-Sing to Dannemora where, with the help of a humane prison guard, he becomes a rehabilitated man and a successful painter.

Director:

Millard Kaufman

Writers:

Millard Kaufman (screenplay), John Resko (autobiography "Reprieve")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Gazzara ... John Resko
Stuart Whitman ... Principal Keeper
Ray Walston ... Iggy
Vincent Price ... Carl Carmer
Rod Steiger ... Tiptoes
Broderick Crawford ... Warden
Dodie Stevens ... Resko's Sister
Jack Kruschen ... Resko's Father
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Wino
Naomi Stevens ... Resko's Mother
Adam Williams ... Guard
Jack Albertson ... Teach
John Kellogg ... Guard
Robert H. Harris ... Commissioner
Carmen Phillips ... Connie Resko
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Storyline

A semi-fictionalized version of John Resko's incarceration is presented. John is on death row at Sing Sing for murder. In December 1930, he killed a toy store shopkeeper over a teddy bear he wanted to get as a Christmas present for his two year old daughter, Cathy, but for which he could not pay. Twenty minutes before John's scheduled execution, he is given a reprieve, his sentence commuted to life, and he transferred to Dannemora. He initially has a difficult time adjusting to life at Dannemora, from the uncaring direction of the prison administration including they not dealing with the issue of bed bugs, to altercations with fellow prisoners who seem to want their two pounds of literal and figurative flesh from John, to news that he receives from the outside about goings-on within his family. However, he does eventually befriend many of his fellow prisoners, especially Nick, Iggy and Wino. John dreams of escaping from Dannemora, so that he can be at least an economically generating ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They'll Blow Every Fuse in the Big House! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1963 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Convicts Four See more »

Filming Locations:

San Quentin, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (Todd-AO)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Rod Steiger, Broderick Crawford and Jack Albertson; and two Oscar nominees: Stuart Whitman and Jack Kruschen. See more »

Goofs

In last art class sequence, blackboard behind Teach is alternately clean or has writing on it from shot to shot. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The acting is what saves it
19 January 2013 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

And it was the cast in that interested me into watching Convicts 4 in the first place. And while the film is well made with a realistic prison setting, it was the acting that helped to make the film more than it actually was for me. Ben Gazzara is terrific as is Sammy Davis Jnr. Stuart Whitman is also very good and well-meaning, and Ray Walston looks as though he is having a whale of a time. Rod Steiger and Vincent Price's performances are more like cameos, but they are memorable, particularly Price in a role that had shades of the sort of roles he excelled in. Timothy Carey is the only one who didn't really register with me, doesn't help that here his role is there but little is done with it to make it stand out. Aside from the production values and the acting, I was left unengaged on the whole. Convicts 4(not sure if I know the significance of the title) is not a terrible film, but at the same time it isn't something I recommend. The film as a whole is rather stagy with a fair bit of talk in the dialogue(at times it felt like too much), at the same time it is rather ordinary and slow-moving, and I don't think there was a moment despite the actors that I fully invested in any of the characters. The direction is competent, but doesn't have anything that stands out as particularly unique or memorable. Overall, has interest value and I cannot deny that the acting is very good but it didn't really engage me in other areas and as an overall film. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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