I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
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Top Customer Reviews
James Allen (Paul Muni) is a World War I veteran returning home with high hopes of putting the engineering skills he learned in the Army to civilian use. He takes a factory job, but is reluctant to replace the routine of the military with that of the factory. So he travels the country in search of construction work but has trouble making ends meet. One evening, he accompanies an acquaintance to a lunch wagon for a hamburger.Read more ›
The Cinematography was especially compelling, it was so incredible to look it that I could care less if they reused the chain gang sets and guards. I loved the passage of time, with the calenders falling away to the beat of sledgehammers. And the final shot elevated the film to an even higher plane of achievment. Extremely gutsy to end the film on the line it ends on as Paul Muni backs into shadow, beautifully done, a perfect ending.
The man, whose real name was Burns, lived quite awhile in New Jersey, wrote the book with this same title, even smuggled himself into Los Angeles for two weeks to help with the movie, using an assumed name and acting very skittish. He then went back to New Jersey. The state of Georgia, home of these chain gangs, tried to extradite him but New Jersey wouldn't give him up.
Regarding the film........
"Powerful" was a word describing this movie when it came out over 70 years ago, and it still holds true today. It was based on a true story and if injustice bothers you, this film will be disturbing. It certainly was to me, at least the first time I saw it.
I've seen it several times and am always mesmerized by Paul Muni's performance. Just the expressions on his face alone are fascinating. The other members of the cast are so-so, but it's Muni's movie anyway. Great to have it on DVD, too!
I AM A FUGITIVE is the story of James Allen, a character closely modeled on the real individual named Robert Burns, who, along with two other men, in 1922 robbed an Atlanta grocer of $5.80 Burns was tried, convicted, and sentenced to serve six to ten years of hard labor on a Georgia chain gang. After only a couple of months into his sentence Burns escaped and fled to Chicago, where he found a good measure of success. Burns married into some money and, within a few years, was a respected and somewhat influential member of society. During this time Burns founded and edited the real estate trade magazine, Greater Chicago Magazine.
Then, fate decreed, his life was to change again. Burns fell in love with another woman and asked his wife for a divorce. At this point his wife, who had some knowledge of Burns' troubled past, reported him to authorities. Georgia sued for extradition and, after some negotiations which, according to Burns, included a promise of an early parole, Burns returned to Georgia and her notorious chain gang in July, 1929. Slowly realizing that an early release was unlikely, 14 months into his internment Burns escaped the chain gang for a second time. Fugitive Burns sold his story to True Detective magazine, where it ran as a serial and was soon published as a book, a best-seller, entitled I am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang.
The movie is based on Burns' best-selling book, although in the movie Burns is named James Allen and he's a decorated vet with dreams of becoming an engineer. At every turn the character is buffed, burnished, and elevated by the filmmakers. The guy can't do no wrong in the movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The service was excellent, and the movie was interesting to watch. It is a real classic. Again, the seller was excellent.Published 4 days ago by Joe Weaver
This one is an oldie but goodie, it goes by fast and is an easy watch. The ending is particularly beautifully done and clever. Give it a shot!Published 28 days ago by D. S. Howes
What makes me want to read this before bedtime is its ability to cloud my mind easily.. to the point that I'm too stressed out to stay awake. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Do not let the title or the rather foolish poster of this movie fool you. This is listed in Farrs top movies and he was right! This is a true story and so ahead of its time! Read morePublished 10 months ago by Maria P. Mason
One of my all time favorite movies. Story of a man sent to prison unjustly and how his life plays out as a result. Very powerful story with a shattering ending.Published 11 months ago by David D. Kennett
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