CINEMA _ Instant classic. Great political film, at times a thriller or a film noir. Mervyn Leroy is not just a fantastic storyteller but he pays a strong attention to details. Look at those transitions, at the secondary characters, it could be a Ford movie. The very last shot amazed me.
A beautiful existential adventure of a man constantly in bad luck striving for the American Dream, who finds himself wronged by the legal system time after time. He takes matters into own hands and escapes from prison, turning him into a lovable hero. He then resumes his ambitions and becomes an honorable citizen, but his goodwill turns against him again. Great acting, wonderfully filmed and very depressing. Classic.
Distancing yourself from the film and analyzing it from a historical standpoint, it undoubtedly deserves a place amongst the stepping stones in our mediums past. It exemplified the notable style that Warner Bros films would become known for, while at the same time encouraging other studios to do the same. The birth of social realism, enocmpassed in a fresh and vibrant film that predates the likes of "Cool Hand Luke."
Almost brilliant, some dated aspects of this outsanding picture draw it back a little: over the top acting, two or three unnecessary shots and some discoursive moments of the script. Nevertheless, Paul Muni is magnificent and the criticism of the American way of life that is put together in this movie is so daring that it hypnotizes you from beggining to end. A must-see.
Historically important, and incredibly well put together while exemplifying the tight and gritty early Warner Bros. style. This does not feel like a 1932 film. And the Pre-Code production makes some scenes a bit...riskier. In every sense of the word: flawless. Especially the noir-esque closing shot in darkness.