Customer Review

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "That's a hell of a way to live- you keep quiet all your life and the only time you open your mouth is when you're dying.", September 8, 2005
This review is from: The Defiant Ones (DVD)
The Defiant Ones is one of the great American films. Released in 1958, this starkly filmed story of two convicts on the run for their freedom evokes powerful emotions for the viewer. Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier are wonderful in their roles and display a level of screen chemistry that has been sadly lacking in contemporary films. It is hard to say which one is better due to their very different but equally powerful performance. As one might expect, the two cons start out hating each other, but slowly develop a grudging respect for one another as they learn about the others life and eventually a kind of friendship is formed. The secondary story concerns the posse on their trail and the friction that develops amongst them as the chase goes on. Cara Williams is memorable as the woman that Curtis cares for while on the run and is the character that causes a change in his attitude that leads directly to the bittersweet ending. Theodore Bikel is also very accomplished as the beleagered Sheriff and Lon Chaney Jr. is very good as a townsman who has a special reason for aiding the 2 cons in their escape. The Defiant Ones is a great film that almost 50 years later still prods us with the reminder that YES, WE CAN learn to overcome our differences over race and live with and care for each other. Both Curtis and Poitier are at the top of their game here and each received an Academy Award nomination deservedly. A final note: watch the last scene and decide for yourself- was it an accident or did one friend make a sacrifice for another?
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Review Details

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4.6 out of 5 stars (60 customer reviews)
5 star:
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Location: Fair Lawn, N.J. USA

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