Dust Be My Destiny (1939) - full transcript

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading to the older man's death due to a weak heart. Joe and Mabel go on the run as he thinks no-one would believe a nobody like him.

foodval.com - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Joe Bell, you have served here 16 months.

Thirteen days,

four hours and twenty-three minutes.

I've been keeping a record.

I can't say you've been a model prisoner.

You've been rebellious and unruly.

I've disciplined you.

But I want you to know now

that I acted in the line of duty.

I am a warden, not a judge.

It wasn't my business
to determine your guilt

or innocence.

What are you getting at?

Bell, you're free.



I have a court order here for your release.

The real criminal responsible
for the burglary

for which you have been serving time

was caught in a stick up,

and he has made a full confession.

I'm sorry.

You're sorry?

You didn't serve time, I did.

I'm sorry I was chump enough to think

that cops would believe a nobody like me

when I told them I was
only trying to help a guy

who was shot.

I should have kept my nose out of trouble.

Don't worry, warden.

I'm wised up now

because no matter
what happens or who gets hurt,

from now on, Joe Bell runs the other way.

( train horn blowing )

( coughing )

Cut it out, somebody will hear us.

I can't help it, Hank.

Ah, please, will you?

We have to get on the train
that goes through here.

Here, put this on.

No, I'll be all right.

Go on, put it on.

( train horn blowing )

Thanks, Joe.

If it slows down, we'll hop it.

It's slowing down.

Hiya, Pop.

What's the matter?

I think I'm taking on some passengers.



Listen, mister, you got to
let us stay on this train.

There's jobs up north.

If we don't get there in time,

means another three months
till... comes in out West.

Please, mister, you got
to let us stay on this train.

Stop wasting your breath.

Come on.

I'm warning you right now,
if you start swinging that club,

I'll take it away from you
and wrap it around your skull.

Just kids.

( horn honking )

He' s a nice guy.

Don't kid me.
He's going to get the dicks.

Come on, let's get out of here.

Don't be that way, Joe.

He's a nice guy.

He's going to give us a break.

Nobody gives guys like us a break.

Come on.

We are gonna go!

What do you say now, wise guy?

We ain't there yet.

( whistle blowing )

Tough weather, eh, Pop?

Yeah, I'll be glad to get home.

Any stiffs riding?

I ain't seen none.

You'd never see none.

Yeah, I get paid for being a brakeman,

not for turning in stiffs.

( laughs )

You guys look like you're being chased.

Shut the door.

And you look like a guy
who ain't got sense enough

to mind his own business.

You don't have to worry about us.

( banging noise )

( knocking )

( coughing )

Can't help it, he's got a bad cold.

I don't care what he's got.
Shut him up.


Can't help it.

I'll keep him quiet.

Stop it, mister, you're choking him.

Get your hands off that kid.

I said keep your hands off that kid.

No, Joe, take it easy!

Joe, look out!

All right, you stiffs.

Come on down, all of you.

Come on, hurry it up.

Get out of there.

Get me the police.

I told you we weren't there yet.

Hello, Mac.

We picked up the two guys
you were looking for

and three others with 'em.

I don't know, I'll find out.


I'll hold 'em, hurry up.

That was a nice job
you guys pulled back in town.

The man you held up
would probably kick off.

You know these fellows?

Yeah, sure I know 'em.

They helped us pull the job.

That's a crummy lie.

We never seen him before in our lives.

When we got back down here

they started to fight over the split.

They're trying to frame us.

I tell you, we never
seen them before in our lives.

We have been on that train
ever since it left Sayville.

The boy is right.

I thought you said before
there wasn't any stiffs

riding this train.

Well, I was lying.

I saw 'em getting on the train in Sayville,

and I let 'em alone

because I saw they were only kids

going someplace to look for a job.

Do you know the company rules on that?

Yes, I know the company's rules.

One of these days

you're going to get big-hearted
once too often

and you are going to be fired
right out on your ear.

Well, we can wait for the wagon.

Take it easy, will you?

You, come here.

What's your name?

Jimmy, Jimmy Glenn.

I asked him.

Yeah, but he's my brother.
He's only 15, judge.

His name is all I wanted.

Where do you live?

I said where do you live?

No place.

Oh, tramps, eh?

Yeah, if traveling all over the country

looking for work means
being tramps, that's us.

Joe, don't lose your head.

What's the difference?
I've been in courts before.

I know the answer for guys like us.

Yeah, but Joe, he might let us go...

You don't think he is going to give us

a home and a job, do you?

Listen, if you're one of those kids

who thinks the world owes you a living...

And let me tell you something...


Come here, you.

Have you ever been arrested before?

Sure, lots.

What for?

For not being smart enough
to run the other way.

Oh, I see.

Well, you are charged
with disturbing the peace,

vagrancy, trespassing,

breaking and entering a railroad car

and interstate commerce,
and resisting arrest.

Guilty or not guilty?

Yeah, but, judge, we didn't start nothing.

The other guy picked up a club...

Do you have money
to prove you are not vagrants?

No, we ain't got any money.

Well, there is a law
in this state against vagrancy.

There is a law in this state
against everything.

As justice of the peace of this county,

I am forced to sentence
all three of you to 30 days

on the county work farm.

Look, judge, I don't care about me,

but my brother, he's just a kid.

Thirty days.

But, judge, you got to listen.

Don't beg him.

Ninety days for you, contempt of court.

What's the matter, buddy?

I don't get it, I tell the screw

I don't know anything about farming,

so he puts me in this outfit

and tells I'm a farmer, he must be nuts.

You think he is,

wait until you see the foreman.

There is a first class screwball.

When he gets drunk, he gives the cow liquor

and they go off in the back together.

You're kidding.

Instead of milk, gin comes out.

Wait till you start milking
that cow, you'll see.

Who, me milk a cow?

( blowing whistle )

All right, Charlie.

There's the screwball.

Before you go to work,

I want to say a few words to the new men.

I'm a nice guy.

I'm a bad guy.

He's nuts.

I'm just showing you
both sides to my nature.

Make your choice.

You can have either one of them.

He can have both of them.

Most of you are here because you're tramps.

And you're tramps

because you were too dumb to learn

when you were kids.

Well, you are going
to learn here, the hard way.

And you are going to learn

one of the most wonderful things

in the world: farming.

( hiccups )

Think he's stewed,

wait till you see the cow.

You new fellows, step out in front.

Young and skinny, eh?

Well, you won't get old and fat here.

Go to planting.

A strong guy, huh?

Hay pitching for you.

Well, what do you want to do?

Anything but farming.

And just to straighten you out,

I wasn't too dumb to learn
when I was a kid.

The first thing you learn here

is to keep your mouth shut.

The barn for you.

Get back in line.

All right, get going.

Remember, I have got
two sides to my nature.

( blowing whistle )

Mabel, you're late.

I had a lot of work to do.

I've told you a thousand times

to get the eggs before
these tramps come in here.

I'm sorry, Dad, it won't happen again.

Well, see that it don't.

Now, get out of here.

( cow mooing )

( clattering )

Now, listen, cow...

I got two sides to my nature, too.

I'm a good guy,

I'm a bad guy.

Now be a good cow,
and don't try any more tricks

and we'll get along swell.

If you get nasty then I'll take this bucket

and I'll shove it right down your throat.

You got that?

( laughing )

What's so funny?

Gosh, you're dumb.

If you're going to milk this cow,

well, you're on the wrong side.

What is the difference?

To me, one side is as good as another.

( mooing )

( clattering )

( laughing )

All right, all right.

That's between the cow and me.

Will you stop that cackling?

I can't help it.

It's the first time I ever saw
a mule trying to milk a cow.

You're smart, aren't you?

Now go flap your wings
and show me how to lay an egg.

Well, I was only trying to help you.

You don't have to be so fresh.

All right, go on,
beat it. Go away.

You annoy me, go on.

Just a minute.

Slapping people on the mouth

seems to be a habit around here.

You're too free with your tongue.

You're too free with your hands,

and I don't like people laughing at me.

What's going on in here?

I said, what's going on in here?


Why was he holding on to your arm?

Answer me!

We had a little argument, that's all.

It was my fault.


I thought I told you to stay away

from these tramps.

You come along with me.

I got other kind of work for guys like you.

Pretty burned by the sun.

I like getting tanned up.

Makes people think
I have been on a vacation

at the seashore.

Back must hurt, huh?

Tonight it will be worse.

That sunburn ain't gonna
do you any good either.

You will probably be pretty sick.

Well, that's always
the way it is the first day.

I bossed a chain gang once

where the men
who used to do work like this.

Some of them would be laid up
for a couple of days.

Too bad.

Yeah, I bet you felt pretty sorry for them.

Believe it or not, I did.

Just the same as I feel sorry for you.

That's the nice side of my nature.

Now, here's the bad side.

What you've been
through today will seem to you

tomorrow like a Sunday
school strawberry festival

if you don't stay away from the girl.

Understand me?

Mister, it will be a pleasure.

Tell her to stay away from me.

If it ain't a couple of tramps,
it's a railroad dig.

If it ain't a railroad dig, it's a judge.

If it ain't a judge, it's a screwy foreman.

If it ain't a screwy foreman, it's a dame.

But whatever it is,
it's got to happen to me.

( train horn blowing )

It's your move.

I am getting out of here tomorrow.

It's a cinch.

No walls, no fence or anything.

You fellows want to come with me?

Look, Joe, it ain't so bad here.

At least they feed you
and give you a place to sleep.

That's more than you're
gonna get if you run away.

Sure, Joe, supposing
you do get away with it,

what are you going to do then?

I'll be free.

That's enough.

What's that mean to guys like us?

It just means being
on the road all over again.

Don't make a break, Joe.



Superintendent wants to see you.

I hope the boy deserves
what you're doing for him.

Oh, I'm sure he does.

It wasn't his fault,
and it's not fair to punish him.

You see, my stepfather...

Was drunk as usual.

Oh, no.
No, he wasn't, really.

He gets those spells.

He's a very sick man.

I know.

I have his medical report
right here on my desk.

He has a bad heart,
due to excessive drinking.

Now you tell him

if he doesn't straighten himself out,

I'll have to let him go.

I'll tell him.

And thanks for helping Joe Bell.

Joe Bell is here.

All right, gentlemen.

I want to tell you that...

Stay away from me.

You're poison.

I thought you were going to make a break.

Go away, slave, you bother me.

What a racket, what a racket!

What do you mean, racket?

I wreck this kind of a job.

Get your hand off or I'll chop it off.

I just got through polishing this jalopy.

Polish that.

Yeah, sure.

( laughing )

Hey, Joe, what have you got on the warden?

The warden, fellows, happens to be

a very good judge of human nature.

The minute I walked into his office,

he said, "My boy,
you are the executive type.

"Making little ones out of big ones

"is not up your alley.

What would you like to do?"

He asked me.
Get that, he asked me.

No kidding.

Yeah. "What have you got?"
I says.

Well, we run down a list of things

and we finally decided on this.

I can't run the place

because I am only doing a short stretch

and he needs my executive ability,

so we compromised,

and he puts me on the steering committee

and here I am driving a truck.


What a joke!

Excuse me.

Just a minute.

Where do you think you're going?

In town.

Not with me, you're not.

You're a jinx.

I told you before, stay away from me.

All right, all right.

What are you hanging around for?

Get on that truck.

And remember you're going
to town to pick up supplies

and nothing else.

Wait a minute.

I want to tell you something.

You got a pretty lucky break
when she went to the warden

and got you off that rock pile.

If you want to keep
that break, stay in line,

because this is the last time
she is going over my head.

Isn't it?

Well, answer me, isn't it?

Yes, Dad.


Get going.

They sent me up here to help you.


I know I'm taking a chance talking to you,

but I want to tell you
what a right thing you did

to get me off that rock pile.

I didn't expect you to do that for me.

Why not?

I figured you would enjoy my being paid off

for being such a wise guy.

Enjoy it?

Most people like to watch
other people get rapped around

even if they don't deserve it.

You've met the wrong people, son.

Hello, Pop.

Hello, Mabel.

Say, what are you doing here?

I live here.

I couldn't help overhearing.

You know, I like listening to you.

You have everything so wrong.

Now, don't get mad.

Remember, I am an old man,

and the one wonderful thing
about being old is

you can say what you think
and get away with it.

He looks almost human when he smiles,

doesn't he, Mabel?

Yes, he has a nice smile.

Yeah, and he is a nice boy too.

All he needs is someone to believe in him.

Joe, stop chewing on that hay.

I can't help it.
I'm happy.

When I'm happy, I like to chew on hay.

I've been adding and subtracting.

You know you have
only got 22 days left here.

Is that all?

I think I'll sock Charlie
and get 90 days more.

I like it here.

Joe, I'm going to ask you
to do me a big favor.


Say you love me.

I mean,
say "I love you."

You sound so ashamed when you say it.

Now, listen, you've been
asking me that for the six weeks

and I've been saying it for six weeks.

But that was just rehearsing.

Now I want a real good performance.

Come on.

All women are definitely nuts.

Sure, we are, but go on, say it anyway.

All right.

I love you, Mabel.

Now say it
without the "all right."

I love you, Mabel.

You may not know it, Joe,
but we're engaged.

I know.

Can't you just see the papers tomorrow?

"Rosedale County Work Farm

"takes pleasure in announcing

"the engagement of its leading citizen

"Joe Bell to Mabel Alden.

Please omit the flowers."

Twenty-two days more.

We'd better start making plans.

I got plans.

They're different than
any I've ever had before.

You know, ever since I've been a kid,

I've been on the move looking,
looking, always looking.

For what?
I never knew.

Got so I kind of talked
myself into thinking that

that's the way I'd finally wind up,

that even after I die,

my corpse would still be
hopping freight trains.

Oh, Joe, don't talk like that.

Not anymore, I won't.

I feel different now.

I feel like I've finally
found what I wanted.

A place to hang my hat.

It's that simple.

I guess that's all I ever wanted anyway.

And now that it looks like I got it,

from now on, Mabel, we stay put.


Gosh, that sounds swell.

I'll start a bank, I'll write a book.

I read a book once.

Writing don't look so tough to me.

What are you laughing about?

There's lots of things I haven't tried yet.

Maybe I can be an engineer
or a radio announcer,

or a congressman.

And boy, will we have a place
to hang our hats.

A 15 room house, with a special wing

built like a box car
for all the bindlestiffs,



what are you crying for?

I can't help it, Joe.

I want to laugh,
but tears come out instead.

All these years I have been praying

for something like this to happen.

To have someone to talk to and hold on to.

Now that it's happened,

instead of laughing, I'm crying.

I can't figure it out.
Can you?




If I say it without the "all right,"

can I kiss you again?


I love you, Mabel.


Come here.

I've been looking all over for you.

Oh, Dad.


Listen, Charlie,

you got to understand.

Sure, sure, I understand.

Wait a minute, I don't
want to make any trouble.

If you'd just give me
a chance to explain...

Sure, sure.

I'll give you a chance to explain.


Don't do it, Joe!


Joe! Stop.

Don't, Joe.


I told him I didn't want any trouble.

Come on.



Let's get out of here.

What are you going to do?

What do you think I'm going to do?

Start running like I always do.

I'm going with you.

You don't know what it's like going

from one place to another.

I don't care what I've got to go through.

Please don't leave me here.

You will have to take
an awful lot of chances.

I'll take them.

I'll love you.

Well, this is as far as I go.

It's far enough.

Well, here we are.


The name of the town
don't make any difference.

It's over the state line,
that means we're free.

Let's start picking 'em up
and laying 'em down.

Tired, huh?

Riding in a truck all night is no picnic.

I told you it wasn't going to be any cinch.

I'm not complaining.

Say, doesn't it give you a swell feeling

to see milk in bottles instead of cows?


Hey, now what is the market quotation

on milk this morning?

Fourteen grade A, twelve for B.

What is the difference between A and B?

Well, they both came from the same cow,

but grade B is where the cow
started to lose interest.

We'll take a bottle of B.

Yes, ma'am.

We got to eat.

Broke, huh?

Not broke but not flush.

This is on the company.

Will it get you in trouble?

Well, they'll pass the dividend.

Thanks very much.


It's too bad they don't make donuts, too.

Yeah, I'll take that up at the
next Board of Directors meeting.

He's a swell guy, isn't he?

Anybody that has to get up
this early in the morning

usually is a swell guy.

This is one fine way to have breakfast.

Well, drink hearty.

Well, in Paris it's swanky
to eat on the sidewalk.

I could go for a nice cool shower.

How about you?
I'd love it.

And then have a real
breakfast and go to sleep

for a couple of hours.

That would be swell, wouldn't it?

That would be wonderful.

You can get all those things at a hotel.

A hotel?

Oh, we couldn't, we couldn't do that.

Don't get me wrong, Mabel.

My name is Joe, not Romeo.

Here, hold this.

I'll fix everything.

What's the matter?
Has something happened?


Where can two doves get married?

City Hall.

Where is that?

Four blocks that way.


Hey, wait a minute.

And three blocks that way.


Hey, you're too early.

They don't open until 9 o'clock.

We can wait.

I hope so.

Twenty minutes more.

Will you stop watching that clock?

You got me nervous, too.

Well, how do you think I feel?



You can still back out if you want to.

I don't want to back out,

but let's get one thing straight
before we start.

If either one of us ever wants to quit,

we quit... like that.

That's the way I want it, too.

I don't want us to stay together

just because somebody
mumbles a couple of words

and says we've got to.

I want us to be together

because we feel like being together.

And any time we want to quit,
we quit like that.

( knocking on door )



Why is that locked?
When is it going to open?

In about 20 minutes.

Are you two going to get married?

No, we are just here for a license

to keep a canary.

You're making a big mistake.

Marriage is a great thing.

Everybody ought to try it at least once.

No fooling, you kids ought to get married.

Well, to tell you the truth,
we are going to get married.

Oh, yeah, I am saved.

Have you got a license?

You got a ring?
I thought not.

Furniture, a place to live?

Say, what business is it of yours?

Mister, all we've got is each other.

Ain't enough.

Listen, I can get you all these things.

I got a proposition to make.

You be Cinderella

and I'll be the Fairy Godmother.

Come on, let's get out of here.

I'm not going to hurt it.

No, come on, what the...

You too, lady, come on, give me that bag.

What's the matter?

Don't be... like that.

( crowd singing "Here Comes the Bride" )

( cheers and applause )

We are assembled here this evening

to join this man and woman
in holy marriage,

to be held in honor among all men.

Hold it, just a minute, will you, judge?

I want to get another.
( crowd laughing )

Go right ahead.

Do you take this man to be
your lawful wedded husband?

I do.

Do you take this woman to be
your lawful wedded wife?

MAN: Louder!

He ain't in love.
He's just stage struck.

( all laughing )

Come on, let's get this thing
over with before I...

Joe, it will be over in a minute.

Do you take this woman to be
your lawful wedded wife?

I do!

( cheering )

Place this ring upon her finger.

Now repeat after me,

"This ring signifies my constant faith

and abiding love."

This ring signifies my constant faith...

and abiding love.

As justice of the peace of this county,

I now pronounce you man and wife.

Kiss her, you dope!

If you won't, I will!

( cheers and applause )

I can't find the place.

( laughter )

That was fine.

Now here is the cash prize
the theater gives.

The rest you will get later after the show.

Meet me in my office and good luck.

Hold it.

This is a swell picture from this angle.

I am sorry, but there is a formal dinner

and this suit goes on
somebody else at 10:00.

And please, when you take my pants off,

be careful with them and fold them neatly

like they were when you got them.

I'm sorry it had to be this way, Mabel.

It doesn't matter, we're married now.

Wish that manager would get here.

I want to get out of this place
as quickly as I can.

Joe, you know this solid gold
14 carat wedding ring?


Well, it's turning black
around the edges already.

What's the difference?

As soon as I get a job,
and save some dough,

I'll buy you one with a real
diamond in the center.

A wedding ring is not like that.

So we'll start something new.

Gosh, I wouldn't have felt so bad

if there had been one single orange blossom

around the stage someplace.

Yeah, but look at it this way.

We got furniture, a month's rent free,

and think of it,

a whole set of dishes without having to sit

through the picture.

Say, can you cook?


Can you sew?


Can you keep house?

Well, what did we get married for?

Because we're crazy.

MAN: ( on radio )
Good evening,

ladies and gentlemen,
this is your WBVN newscaster

bringing you the 317th edition
of the 10:00 news.

Tragedy came to the Rosedale Work Farm

where Joe Bell,
a young convict, struck down

and murdered the foreman Charles Garrett.

Bell then fled with Mabel Alden,

stepdaughter of the murdered man.

The entire town is aroused,

and posses have been organized
to scour the country.

Come on.


We'll figure that out later.

We'll have to wait a while.

I should've known
this was too good to last,

and that Caruthers
got all those pictures of us.

Joe, why don't we give ourselves up?

Are you out of your mind?

But you didn't do it.
Joe, you know you didn't.

Who is going to believe me?

Everyone, when you tell them what happened.

Yes, that's what I got to do,
just tell them what happened.

Didn't you hear
what that radio announcer said?

They've got posses out looking for us.

I've seen those guys on a hunt before.

They won't listen.

As far as they're concerned,

I'm hanging by the neck already.

Mabel, I'm a nobody.
You know what that means?

It means... Never mind.

You'll find out soon enough yourself.

What are we going to do?

What do you think I'm going to do?

What I've always done when I'm in a spot.


I told you in the beginning,
Mabel, it's going to be tough.

Now with a murder wrapped in on me,

it's going to be tougher.

They will be watching
every road, every train.

We'll have to sleep during
the day, travel at night.

Mabel, that kind of life isn't for you.

I told you once before,

whatever chances you take, I'll take.

I'll never leave you.

Come on.

( car honking )

I don't blame him

for not stopping, the way we look.

How do you expect to be dressed?

In evening clothes?
We're picking up rides,

not hors d'oeuvres.

Let's keep walking.

Joe, I'm tired, I want to rest.

The next town is only six miles away.

We can make it in two hours.

Come on, let's keep picking
'em up and laying 'em down.

What does it matter
if it's two or four hours?

The same thing is going to happen.

We'll just be sneaking
around alleys and see a cop,

think he recognizes us,

and then we'll be running away.

Getting fed up, huh?


I told you what it was going to be like.

You had your choice.

Sometimes people make mistakes.

Like when you married me?

I didn't say that.

Well, you meant it.

I did not, Joe, it's getting so

I can't say a word anymore

without you twisting everything I say.

Well, then don't say anything.

We can't go on like this.

We're at each other's throats all the time.

We are not human beings anymore.

We're like wild animals.

Joe, if this is what's
going to happen to us...


I'm going to leave you.

I was waiting for that.
The going is getting too tough.

You are like the rest of them.

Long on talk and short on heart.

Oh, it isn't that. It's just that
we are going around in circles.

We don't know one day

what we're going to do the next.

Joe, be reasonable, wouldn't it be better...

Now don't start giving me
that business about going back.

I'm sick of hearing it.

Well, I'm sick of telling it to you.

Goodbye, Joe.


I still got a couple of bucks left.

You can have it for bus fare
if you want it.

Thanks, I don't need it.

I can hop a freight or thumb
a ride as well as you can.

That's one thing you taught me to do well.

Climb in, sister.





I'm glad that's out of our system.

Oh, Joe.

Well, come on, let's start, as you say,

picking 'em up and laying 'em down.

Joe, look.

( both laughing )

( singing )

Very good hamburger today, Nick.

Thank you.

Yes, well, we'll be seeing you.

You bet.

You go to the door and hold it open

in case we have to run.

I'll do the rest.

Don't worry.

I'll, uh, toss you for the check.

Hey, I met ya smart boys before.

Look, please, with the butcher,

I no toss.

With the bakery, I no toss.

With income tax collector, I no toss.

Why should I toss with you?

You pay me $1.25,

and we no toss, please.

Supposing I told you
I haven't got $1.25?

Suppose I tell you,
you and your girlfriend,

you got to work out
for that $1.25?

Supposing I told you
it would be a pleasure?

And suppose I tell you that...
What did you say?

I said it would be a pleasure.

Honey, roll up your sleeves, we go to work.

Where do we hang our hats?

Uh... in... in there.

Good, you whistle while we work.

Hey, you two are good workers.

Oh, you bet your life we're good workers.

How about a job steady?

We'll work cheap...
for room and board.

you two... hooked up?

I mean, you married?

No, he's my brother.

Yeah, yeah, that's right.

Hey, ma that's not so good.

That makes for two rooms and board.

Well, you won't be sorry.
I am a handy guy.

I can fix things.

What do you say?
Give me a break.

I'll toss you for it.

Toss, toss.

What's the matter?
You all the time want to toss.

You toss when you sleep?

Come on, be a good guy.

Okay, I toss.

You say.


It's a head.

You win!


We hang up our hats.

Hurry up, hurry up, I am the boss.

Hurry up.
( giggles )

That's very, very nice.

I like to see young kids save money.

Maybe now you and your husband...

You can't fool me.

Not this Nick, you can't fool.

You make too much...

Nick, you won't tell anyone?

Look, Mabel, this Nick only know one thing.

You two are good kids.

You work hard,
you are honest, and I like you.

What you did before, that's your business.

If somebody ask me, I don't know nothing.

I am too busy with my hamburgers.

Oh, gee, you are swell.

That's all right.

( singing )

Here, Mabel, here is your wages.

Take a day off and have a good time.

Thanks, Nick.

We'll open up in the morning.

Now, you sleep late.

Hey, you two kids are going to spoil me.

But I like it.

So long, Nick.

Goodbye, Mabel.

Hello, Nick.

Hello, boys.

Hey, I got something
very special that I eat myself.

It will make you strong.

Where's the two kids
that work for you, Nick?

Ma, which kids you mean?

Come on, Nick, you know the kids we mean.

We've seen them around here a dozen times.

Stop playing foxy.


Ma, that's crazy.

Where are they?

They don't work here no more.

Since when?

Since last week before.

They come here one day and they quit.

Where do they live?

I no got no interest where they live.

They used to come here early in the morning

and go home late at night.

That's all I know.

All right, Nick.

We'll find out.

If you want something special,

you drop me a telephone, huh?

Where is he?

I told you once before, he's left town.

We'll wait around a little while anyway.

How many times do I have to tell you

to get away from that window?

I can't stand it.
It's hot in here.

I'm going to faint
unless I have some fresh air.

Joe, don't come up!
Run! Police!

Oh, Joe, no.

Oh, Joe.

What's the matter, Nick?

You're looking kind of low tonight.

Yeah, I don't feel so good.

Eating your own hamburger again, huh?

Please, don't get so smart.

That's all right.
I was only kidding.

Give me a hunk of cheese.

( knocking quietly )

I've got 70 bucks in the bank.

Here's a withdrawal slip made out to you.

I'll get them for you tomorrow.

No, I need it now.

What are you going to do?

I'm gonna get Mabel out of jail.

Joe, are you crazy?

They catch you, too.

No, they won't, I've got a good idea.

Will you help me?

Sure, I'll help you, I'll help you.

Don't start the motor till we come out.

If we don't, beat it.

Joe, be careful, please.


What do you want?

I came to get some pictures
of the Alden dame.

At this hour?

I would have gotten here sooner,
but my car broke down.

That's too bad.

You should have been here
with the other fellows.

I wanted to get some pictures

with you and the Alden dame together.

They would have landed you
on the front page.

Front page?

Yeah... goodnight.

Hey, wait a minute.

Just a minute, young fella.

Are you on the level with that?


Haven't I got an honest face?

All right, come in.

Now, remember, you said front page.

Yeah, yeah, front page.

Buddy, got a match?

What's the matter?
What's the matter?

I only asked you for a match.

I no got a match.
I no chew, I no chew.

Kate, there's a fellow here from the...

National Press.
National Press.

He is going to take a picture
of me with the Alden dame.

Going to put it on the front page.

Maybe he'll take a picture of you too.

How about it?

Oh, sure, that'll be a cinch.

All right, Kate, open up.

I'll get her for you.

Come out, dear,

you're going to have
your picture taken again.

I'll... take you
and the Alden dame first.


Yeah, now.

Freeze, both of you.

You can't get away with this, young fellow.


Inside, go on, go on inside.

KATE: This will put you
on the front page, you fool.

Mabel, take it easy.

Don't run.

Nick's waiting around the corner.

( siren wailing )

Step on it.

Well, we got here.

Thanks, Nick.

Maybe you need some money, I give you.

No, no, you've done too much already.

The important thing
was to get her out of jail.

Ma how are you going to live?

I got two hands and a camera.

It brought me luck already.

Maybe it will bring me some more.

All this time, they look for you, I worry.

You're a good egg.
( train whistles )

Sometime let me know where you are.


You take care of Mabel, eh?

Goodbye, Mabel.

Goodbye, Nick.

Gee, I'm going to miss you.

I'll never forget what you have done.

That's all right.

Come on. Come on.
We'll see you again soon.

I hope so.



Goodbye, Nick.

Buona fortuna.

( music playing on radio )

♪♪ Not memories of
dreams with you ♪♪

♪♪ This love must last
eternally ♪♪

( knocking on door )

♪♪ How could a past
that haunted me ♪♪

Hello, Joe.

Any luck?


I've been to every newspaper in town.

They got all the cameramen they need,

they got all the pictures they want.

I haven't got enough experience.

"No, come back Tuesday.

You can't see the editor."

I'm beginning to like that tune.

It's the way I feel.

♪♪ If I should lose
the one I love ♪♪


♪♪ You, my love,
thus here I dare stay here ♪♪

Joe, did you ever stop to figure

that we have got a long time ahead?


We're young.

You get old pretty fast
when you're on the lam.

Look, Joe, I'm 19, you're 25.

Why don't we go back?

Forget it.

If we got 20 years,
we wouldn't be so old then.

I said forget it.

We could get life, too, or death.

But they wouldn't do that.

I don't believe it.

I do.

But we can't go on like this.

It isn't right.

We're married.

We've got a right to have a home and kids.

What did you say about kids?

I said we have a right to have them.

Well, we haven't.

And don't forget it.

Imagine us with a kid.

It's all we need to make the setup perfect.

I'm not going to have any kids born

with two strikes
against them from the start.

I know how you feel, Joe.

Where are you going?

Huh? Uh, for a walk.
I need some fresh air.

I'll go with you.



I want to go alone.

You've got the gun.
That's right.

You are going to... That's right.

I won't let you do it, you don't know...

I know we're down to our last few dimes.

I won't let you go out and steal.

Then what would you rather have me do, beg?


Not me.

The least I can have left
is my self-respect.

It takes courage to steal.
It don't to beg.

Joe, listen, I don't care
what we go through.

If we have to starve, anything,
I'll stick, Joe.

I'll stick as long as you're right,

as long as you're honest.

But if you do this...


You don't ever have to come back.

You mean that?


And you don't want me, huh?

I want you decent and honest.

You can starve if you want to.

But there's a little habit
I've gotten myself into, eating.

All right, Joe.

So long, Mabel.

Oh, I'm just closing up.

But as my husband used to say,

it's never too late
to earn an honest dollar.

Well, what can I do for you?

Yeah, I need...

Oh, speak up, speak up.

Don't be ashamed.

I've lots of boys,
young boys like you, come here.

They all act the same way.

They stand there and they shiver

and they stammer and...

Oh, but it's... it's no shame

to have no money to pay for your food.

Who... who said I...

Oh, sure, sure, I know,

but this is no charity.

I'm going to just trust you with it.

You'll pay me back.

You look like the kind of a boy who would.

Now sit down over there

and make yourself comfortable.

I'm going to make you
some nice cup of coffee

and some sandwiches,

and I have some fine jam here.

Poor kid, he was so ashamed.

It's a nice night for a walk.

It's a wonderful night.

Joe, you couldn't do it, Joe.

I just knew you couldn't.




Look, I'm not broke.

Fifteen cents, broke?

We're rich, Joe, we're rich.

The dime's led.

Oh, Joe.

This camera cost me 60 bucks.

You can have it for 50.

Not interested.


I'll take 25.

Say, take a look at that window.

Cameras, cameras, cameras.

If somebody would only
bring in a washing machine,

a bicycle or even a kiddy car...

But I'll tell you what I'll do.

I don't want your camera,

but I'll give you five bucks for it.

Okay, I'll take 5,

but, uh, let me take
your picture first, huh?

What for?

Don't worry, it won't cost you any money.

I might be able to sell it
to the newspapers.

Come on outside.

Stand right there.

What do I get out of it?

Huh? Publicity,
I'll get you on the front page.

The only pawnbroker
in the city with a big heart.

Now come on, smile.

Come on, give me a big smile,
it won't cost you anything.

( alarm ringing )

( screaming )

Look, look, the bank.
It's a robbery.

( gunshots )

Here, deal's off.

( gunshots )

Come on.

( siren wailing )

Can you imagine
the pictures a guy could get

if he was here when
a thing like this happened?

I can just imagine.

I want to see the editor.

Just a moment please.

You back again? I told
you, I want to see the editor.

Can't you take no for an answer?

No. Hey, come back here, you can't do that.

Hey, you can't go in there,
he's busy! I told you before...

You can't go in there.
I tell you, he's busy.

You got to wait outside here.
Come on...

Quiet! Shut up!
Where was I?

Oh, yes, tell that cameraman
to get some action shots.

I can buy picture postcards of the city

for a penny a piece. What
do you want? I'm busy.

I tried to stop him,
but he rushed right past me.

Weren't you in here about
a week ago looking for a job?

Yeah, yeah, you told me
I didn't have enough experience.

But I have got something
better than experience.

In this camera, I got pictures.

What would you expect
in a camera, hot coffee?

The kind of pictures you like to
know about. I'm not interested.

I got the pictures of the bank robbery.

I think I said...

You got pictures of what?

I got pictures of the robbers
running out of the bank.

I got them shooting at the cop.
I got the cop falling.

I even got their license number.

If you've got what you say you've
got, you can have my insurance policy.

Come on, let's get in that developing room.

Come on.

All right, go to the ball game.

Who cares?

Kick the World's Fair onto page 3.

If these pictures come out,
they go onto page 1.

Give the layout one column of type,

get the engraver,

and tell that boy to stand by up there.

Now how much longer are you going to be?

Few more seconds.

Did you boys ever think
of inventing something

that would develop films fast?

Mr. Leonard...

Close that door!

Anybody else opens
that door, I'll kill 'em.

Who left the door unlocked?

You did, Mr. Leonard.

Oh, but it didn't
hurt the pictures, did it?

No, they're in the hypo.

They should be ready now.

Here they are.

Bank robbers, huh?

Are you trying to horse me around?

There's a silly guy standing
in front of a pawn shop.

No, no, look at the rest of them.

It's all here, all right.

You have done it.
There is the cop falling.

Yeah, here is another one.


Oh, those faces.

You can identify those birds with that.

Here's another one.

And the license number.

Listen, get those on the enlarger.

Send a set to me. Take
good care of those negatives.

They're worth their weight in gold.

Come on, you.

Now who locked that door?

I did.

All right.

So this is the newspaper business, huh?

It's a one way ticket to the
nuthouse. Robbery follow up, sir.

So you never worked
on a newspaper before, huh?

That's right. Well, you're
working on one now.

You're the journal's star photographer,

Thirty bucks a week.

I thought I told you
to go to the ball game.

They're not playing today, sir.

Then sweep up.

I'll try to do a good job of it.

This means a lot to my wife, too.

Well, you keep on taking
pictures like those

and we'll have every crook
in the state in jail.

Oh, and remember, Joe,

we got to have those
bank pictures exclusive.

I can get you a nice
big bonus from the journal.

I think I can get you
a couple of thousand bucks

from the other news services.

Can I get a couple of bucks in advance?

Yeah... huh?

Well, we haven't eaten in 24 hours.

Why didn't you say something about it?

Send the cashier in, will you please?

You take the rest of the day off

and you and your wife go
and get some good food

and get settled.

And I'm sure you're going
to be around here a long time.


Aren't you going to wait for the cashier?

Huh? Oh.

( both laugh )

MAN: Extra! Extra!
Bank robbery!

Exclusive pictures.
Bank holdup!

Extra! Cashier and policeman
killed here.

Extra! How about it?
Exclusive pictures.

Doreville State Bank held up!
Two men killed!

Mabel, your steak is getting cold.

I can't eat.
I'm too excited.

Those are your pictures
they're yelling about.

It gives you a funny feeling.

I'm going out and buy a paper.

You bought six already.

Well, those were just to look at.

I need one for that scrapbook
I'm going to start.

You know all famous people have scrapbooks.

Say, Joe, do you suppose those
people know you're famous?

Nah, how could they?

It's more than just a job.

You found a place for yourself.

You know at last that you belong,

and that's more wonderful
than anything, belonging.

I guess you're right.

Only, we belong, Mabel.

I couldn't do a thing without you.

You get this to Casey.

Yes, Mr. Leonard.

There's a ball game today, but
you're not going to be there.

Go to Haywood and tell him
to give me 200 prints

of each one of those, will you? Okay, sir.

Good morning,
Mr. Leonard.

Good? Why, it's great.

Say, do you know that
the cops have identified

part of that gang in those
pictures you took?

Yeah, who were they?

The Barcus mob.


They were trying to nail
that outfit for over a year.

The dragnet's out for them.

The cops have raided Rierton's Saloon

and all the other front
joints but no successes yet.

( telephone ringing )



I know you are talking
over the long distance phone,

and I haven't changed my mind.

You are getting the same answers

as all the other papers.

No exclusive stories.

You print the journal's copyrighted story,

or you don't print anything at all.

You sound busy.

Why, we're sitting
right on top of the world.

Every news service in the country

is clamoring for those pictures.

Look, you're going to be famous.

( telephone ringing )

Yeah? Who?

The cameraman?

The cameraman that took
the bank robbery pictures?

Sure, wait.
What did I tell you?

It's the Southern Press association.

They want a picture of you,
and a brief resume of your life.

Now, how soon can you get 'em ready?

Come on, come on.
You can't stand there all day.

How soon?

Tell them to wait.
Uh, tell them to call you back.

Please, I'm serious.

Listen, call me back, will you?

What the devil's the matter with you?

I'm sorry, Mike.
I can't do it.

Are you nuts?

Why, this is the chance of a lifetime.

Every New York paper will want
you to cover for 'em down there.

All the other big news services
will want you too.

Why, you'll have more money

and a better job than you ever dreamed of.

It's no use, Mike.
I-I can't do it.

Come on now, Joe.
What is it? You can tell me.

I'm hot, the law is after me.

If they print my picture, I'm sunk.

What did you do?

I'm wanted for murder.


But I didn't do it.

Does your wife know about this?

She was there when it happened.

Go ahead.

I'd rather have her there
when I tell you about it.

If you don't want me
around after you hear it,

all we ask is a 24-hour start.

( telephone ringing )


Oh, yes, say, you know,

you were asking about
the picture of the fellow

who took the bank robbery pictures?

Well, it was me, Mike Leonard.

Yeah, no kidding.

It was the cameraman's day off.

So what?

I started in the newspaper
business as a cameraman.

As soon as the papers are out,

we'll go over to your place.

I want to meet your wife.

So he used a gun to break you out, huh?

Yes, and that's the only time
he ever used it.

They can accuse him of that,
and of running away,

but those are the only two wrong things

Joe has ever done.

He didn't kill my stepfather.

You've got to believe me,
Mr. Leonard.

It's true, every word of it.

I've believe you all the way.

Why, I'd have believed Joe if he told me.

That story is too patented goofy to be

anything but the truth.

What I can't understand is

why didn't you come back
and give yourself up?

Because I know they wouldn't
believe me, that's why.

Mr. Leonard,

you're one of the few people
that have ever given us a break.

You see, this is the first time

we've ever had a place of our own.

Well, it made us feel that

maybe we could live like everybody else.

But I guess we were just kidding ourselves.

No, you weren't.

You are going on living
just like everybody else.

But they'll find out.

Well, they won't if I don't tell them.


Here, listen, no tears, I can't stand 'em.

They do things to me.

( telephone ringing )

Wait a minute, I'll get it,
it's probably for me.

This is Mike Leonard speaking.

Huh? Oh, say, that's fine.

Well, tell them to hold
everything till I get there.


Well, the office just got a flash.

Three of the bandits have been captured

and the DA wants me to go
right down to the police line up

and identify them with those pictures.

But you didn't take those pictures.

You can't afford to get mixed up in this.

But supposing they don't believe you?

Who's going to ask any questions?

You don't suppose that during the shooting

somebody is going to take
time out to find out

who is taking pictures, do you?

I said I took them, didn't I?
I took them.

That's what I'm going to follow.

So long, Mabel.
So long, Joe.

Mr. Leonard,
you didn't eat your pie.

Oh, didn't I?

Do you still want me to work for you?

If you're not there
at 8:00 in the morning,

you're fired.


What are you thinking about, Joe?

I can't get over it.

Me, a nobody, getting all those breaks.

Joe Bell, former tramp.

You were never a tramp.

I wasn't, eh?

I still got cinders in my hair
and train whistles in my ears.

Me, getting a break.

Got a match?

Mabel, look.

You're a pretty handy guy
with a camera, aren't you?

I won't waste your time.

You are on your way down to identify

a couple of my friends.

Well, you sure get your information fast.

Yes, yes, sure.
I... I work fast too.

I got ten grand here,

and it's yours if you don't identify them.

I can make more money than that

writing a book about guys like you.

I'll give you 15 grand.

You're wasting your money.

What difference does it make
whether I testify or not?

Don't you realize the pictures

we published have sunk
your boyfriends already?

Well, sometimes a camera lies.
We can prove it.

Now all you got to do is
to turn over the negatives.

What do you say?
Fifteen grand?

Not interested.

Where are you going?

To the office.

I can walk.

Yes, but you can... ride.

Come on.

Something is up.
I got to go down there.


Take it easy please, there's
nothing to get excited about.

Certainly had a lot of nerve
taking a chance like that.

( indistinct chatter )

You can't go in there.

My husband, Joe Carson.

Oh, Mrs. Carson.

Sit up, please.


Oh, Joe.

I saw the whole thing from the window.

I thought...

Take it easy, Mabel.
I'm all right.

Your husband is a very lucky man.

Well, there you are,
you are as good as new.

You can go now.

Thanks, doc.
You're welcome.

How's Mike?

Just shaken up, that's all.

Come on, get ready, here they come.

Hold it.

( reporters clamoring )

Come on, Mabel.

Hey, where are you going?

What's the matter, Joe?

Those pictures,

the news services will pick 'em up.

By tomorrow they'll be
in every paper in the country.

Venetti just couldn't
be a smaller time racketeer.

He had to be the kind of a guy

that makes the front pages.

We can get out of town in a half hour.

What good is that going to do?

You want to stay here and wait
until they take us?

Are you crazy?

No, but you are

if you think there's
any place left for us to go.

You don't know what you're talking about.

You just said yourself that

every newspaper in the country
will have our pictures.

Then we'll stay in hiding for a while.

And then what? Then
we'll find a million bucks

and buy a boat and take a trip
around the world.

Mabel, you're wasting time.

Joe, we can't go on like this.

First it was just getting
across the state line,

then it was attempted robbery,

and now you were almost killed.

And on top of all that,

we're dragging other people with us.

Come on, we'll talk about that
later on our way out of town.

We haven't got much time.

Joe, you're wrong.

We've got a whole lifetime ahead of us.

And I'm not going to spend it running away.

We're human beings.

We've got a right to
live like human beings.

Are you coming with me?

Let's stand up for once and face it.

All you got to do is tell them the truth.

They've got to believe you, Joe.

Are you coming with me?

All right.

If that's the way you feel, stay here.

I'll go alone.

You are not to leave here.

I'm getting out of here.

Joe, please.
Get out of my way.

No, Joe.
I said I'm getting out of here.

Joe, don't make me do it.

Joe, please, don't make me do it.

Stop him! Stop him!


What's going on here?

This is Joe Bell.

He's wanted for the murder at Rosedale.

Oh, loving wife
turns husband in for murder.

Detective Bureau.

You'll see, Joe.

It'll be the best thing, you'll see.

Get away from me.

Tell the chief we got Joe Bell down here,

wanted for the murder in Rosedale.

And the State will prove that this boy,

who drifted into this town
a vicious criminal,

with a record of ten arrests
for vagrancy and other charges,

who, when arrested,
was wielding a deadly weapon,

and who, when he escaped from this town,

had reached the pinnacle
of his career of crime

by committing a cold blooded murder,

deserves a supreme penalty,

to be hanged by the neck until death.

Go on, Mr. Grady.

You heard the sounds of fighting,

you opened the door, and...

He was swinging a club.

Who was?

That boy there, Joe Bell. I see.

When you arrested Joe Bell,
he was swinging a club.

And when they saw me, they started to run.

Then I saw Charlie.
I got out of the car.

When I turned him over, he was dead.

Funny thing though, it didn't look to me

as if he had been hurt badly.

I just asked you to describe what you saw,

not to interpret it.

That will be all.

I had warned Charlie about drinking.

He had a bad heart.

His heart was strong enough
for you to permit him

to remain on duty, wasn't it?

Yes, I suppose it was.

You are testifying as a character witness?

That's right.

How long have you known him?

Ever since he first come to town.

How many times did you see him after that?


The first time you met him,

he was riding the box car
with two other boys.

Despite the rules of the company,

you permitted him to ride.

Is that right?

That's right.

I meet a lot of kids like him.

And whenever I get a chance,
I give them a break.

I think they need it.

Just answer the questions.

According then to your own testimony,

you violated the rules of the company

to help him break the law.

You met him only once
after that for a few minutes

and yet you are testifying
as a character witness.

That's all.

Yes, but you don't understand...

That's all.

You're his friend.
Yes, sir.

And you came here all the way
from California

to testify for him?

Yes, sir.

Who paid your fare?

They don't sell tickets on freight trains.

( people murmuring )
JUDGE: Order.

How long have you known him?

Couple of years.

And Joe never did
a wrong thing in all that time.

I know.
We've been through a lot.

We served time together.

Oh, you served time together?

You have no home.
You steal rides on box cars.

And you come here to ask us to believe

that your friend Joe Bell

never did a wrong thing in all his life.

That's all.

What did you say your name was?

Nicky Baldazzo Despelucci.

I got a restaurant business

at 24 Front Street, open all night.

I just asked you your name.

Excuse me, please.

You gave the defendant a job?

Yes, sir.

Because I remember when
I come from the old country,

I was nobody, too...
just like Joe.

I want a job, somebody help me,

so I help somebody else.

Many people come to me,

and nobody is more honest
than these two kids.

You never saw them before
they came into your place?


You're an American citizen?

You bet your life.

You obey the laws? Ma sure.

Yet by aiding and abetting this boy

in effecting a jail break
at the point of a gun,

you broke the law.
Do you expect us to believe

that you'd do that
for someone you didn't know?

Well, I could not help.

You know sometimes
what is in the man's heart,

it's stronger than the law.

All that kid needed to straighten him up

was a job and some friends.

And you gave him the job.

I certainly did.

He had a natural ability as a cameraman.

All he ever needed was a break.

I guess there are a lot of boys
like Joe Bell running around

desperately groping for a chance.

And it seems to me that
there are those of us

who could help them who never even stop

and take time out to think about them.

I would suggest,
Mr. Leonard,

that you save your editorials
for your paper.

Not a bad idea.

This is a court of law.

I presume that you have nothing to offer

in the way of direct testimony
that he didn't kill this man.

Well, all I have to offer is
what I have told you about

his courage, his loyalty, and his devotion.

He saved my life at the risk of his own,

and you have my word for that.

That is the truth.

Your word?

And you expect this jury
to take the word of a man

who knew this boy was wanted for murder,

and yet, deliberately
withheld that information

from the authorities,

which is, Mr. Leonard,
criminal offense in itself?

If you're in a hurry, mister,
I can save you a lot of time.

I didn't kill him.

Why didn't you come back and clear yourself

when you found out
you were accused of murder?

I once served time
for something I didn't do.

I told them the truth
and they threw me in jail.

They wouldn't believe me then,

why should I expect them to believe me now?

Young man, this is an American court.

Under our laws a man is considered innocent

until he is proven guilty.

Are you under the impression
that you are not being tried

by a representative
American jury of your equals?


They don't think I am their equal.

Why should they?

I am not a responsible
member of their society.

I'm a bindlestiff, a tramp.

What I do, what I think, what I feel,

what happens to me
don't bother them that much.

They read about guys like me
and then forget them.

As far as they are concerned,
I don't exist.

I am a nobody with a capital N.

And if I do butt into their lives,

they got one answer:
go back where you came from.

This case isn't going to be
decided on whether or not

I committed this murder, but on who I am.

( gavel pounding )

This jury will base its verdict
on only one factor,

what they consider to be the truth.

Yeah, I've been watching him
for a whole week twist

the truth into a rope around my neck.

Then you admit that everything that's been

brought out in this trial is the truth?

Sure, as far as you let them take...

Is it or isn't it?

Yeah, it is!

Let's get this thing over with.


LAWYER: That's all.

Your honor,

and ladies and gentlemen of the jury,

Joe Bell has summed up
the issue in this case

far better than I ever could.

And he went right to the heart of things

when he said this trial is being judged

not on whether or not
Joe Bell killed this man,

but on who Joe Bell is.

And he answered that for you, too.

He's nobody.
Just nobody.

Well, there are an awful lot
of nobodies in this world,

a great many more than
there are somebodies,

and if they were all to be
judged only on that basis,

then you'll have to say

that the whole system of American democracy

that we believe in is wrong.

And that's why this trial is so important.

Now the prosecuting attorney
has tried to make you believe

that this boy was already
a hardened criminal

when he first got into this town.

If he was,

by the light of the testimony
that's been introduced here,

then you've got to say
that thousands of boys like him,

wandering over the face of this country

looking for their little spot
in the sun are criminals, too.

And I don't think you believe that.

And that's another reason
why this trial is so important.

Because it means an awful lot
not only to Joe Bell,

but to those thousands of other boys

who are like Joe Bell
and who are watching this trial

because they feel that what happens to him

here in this courtroom
will happen to them, too.

And you can't let them believe that.

Ladies and gentlemen,

you cannot brand them as criminals

and kill them all off.

A criminal's grave must
not be their destination.

And it must not be their share
of the earth we call America.

Now I think all you need is
not a lot of legal testimony,

but just to understand this boy,

to feel what's really inside his heart.

And I guess the only way
you can ever feel that

is to have the person
who's closest to his heart

tell you about it.

Mabel Bell.

And when he got back that night,
he threw the gun away.

I knew he couldn't go through with it.

That kind of boy couldn't commit a murder.

If I thought so, I...

I never could have lived with him.

Then, for a while, things looked as if

they were going to break all right for us.

Joe got a job.
He got it by himself.

He belonged.

If I could only make you understand

what that meant to him... he belonged.

For the first time in his life,

Joe got what he wanted:
a place to hang his hat.

He wasn't at all like the boy
that got up on the stand today.

He was happy.
Now he's bitter.

He thinks that the world is against him,

that he hasn't got a chance,

but he's wrong.

You've got to prove to him that he's wrong.

I believe you will.

I believed it so much

that I took a chance on turning him in.

He hates me for it.

But I had to take that chance.

We just couldn't go on
running away any longer.

I'm asking you to believe me
when I tell you

that my stepfather was a sick man.

Joe didn't kill him.
He hit him, yes.

When Dad started to hit me,
Joe couldn't stand it.

He loved me.

I'm telling you the truth.
You've got to believe me.

If you don't, then don't convict Joe alone.

Convict me too,

because then I'll have to
believe the way he does,

that there is no hope for people like us.

And I... I don't want to believe
that and go on living.

The defense rests.

( indistinct chatter )

( gavel pounding )

JUDGE: Order.

Order in the court.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,

have you reached a verdict?

We have, your honor.

The defendant will rise and face the jury.

What is your verdict?

We find the defendant Joe Bell not guilty.

JUDGE: The defendant is
discharged from custody.

Congratulations, Joe.


Oh, he's free. Joe!


Joe, you are free!

Oh, Joe.

You're free. Oh, Joe.


You come to my place sometime.

I'll fix you something very special.

You just drop me a telephone.

Thanks, Nick.


I just thought of something funny.

This is the first time
we've been on a train together

and paid our fare.

This is the first time
we've been on a train together

and knew where we were going.

That's right.
We're going home.

We finally...

I know what you're going to say, Joe.

We found a place to hang our hats.

Yeah, a place to hang our hats.