Fantastic drama/film noir based on Robert E.Burns’ autobiographical story about an innocent man (a fantastic Paul Muni) who accidentally gets mixed up in a robbery that lands him ten years on a chain gang where they treat prisoners like dirt. The story is so powerful and well told that you find yourself rooting for the poor bastard and actually hoping he’d find a way to get out of this hellish place. Not to mention Muni’s terrific Oscar nominated performance. Quite possibly one of the best films of the 30’s. It definitely packs a big punch.
Now here’s a fun fact: The film caused a lot of controversy, actually leading to the pardon of its main character, Robert Elliot Burns, who was still on the lam when the film first hit theaters.