20,000 Years in Sing Sing

MEN without WOMEN...MEN without HOPE! smash their lives to pieces against their STEEL CHAINS!

Crime Drama
78 min     6.5     1932     USA


Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.


John Chard wrote:
Warden, I never broke my word, see - not even to a rat, and I won't break it now to a square guy. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing is directed by Michael Curtiz and adapted to screenplay by Wilson Mizner, Brown Holmes, Courtney Terrett and Robert Lord from the book written by Warden Lewis E. Lawes. It stars Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Lyle Talbot, Arthur Byron, Grant Mitchell and Warren Hymer. Music is by Bernhard Kaun and cinematography by Barney McGill. Cocksure hoodlum Tom Connors (Tracy) enters Sing Sing and is instantly disrespectful towards those in authority. Could it be that the tough - but compassionate for reform - warden can put Connors on the right road?. Out of Warner Brothers, this crime/prison melodrama manages to rise above its social conscience heart to become gutsy entertainment. This is due in most part to a committed turn from Tracy, the real location photography, the use of real prisoners for key prison scenes and the sense of realism brought about by the adaption from real life Sing Sing Warden Lawes' literature source. Curtiz manages to keep it from being a torrid "message" movie, even keeping a grim feel to proceedings, though his one failing is not to rein in the sometimes over the top perf from Davis as Tom's love interest moll. 7/10