Road Gang (1936) - full transcript

Jim Larrabie and Bob Gordon, two reporters, are sent to prison on bogus charges after exposing the corrupt practices of J.W. Moett and Dudley. The two suffer extreme cruelty due to the sadistic behavior of the warden and guards.

Now, that's what I mean
when I talk about a good story.

Well written, compact
and, most important,

the author has taking the trouble
to verify his material.

Who wrote it?

A young fellow by the name of Larrabie.
He was visiting down South.

He's had the nerve to write the truth
about the whole Moett organization.

I'm going to use it.

What our readers care of the activities
of a little southern politician?

What they want is news!

Give me a blonde bandit every time.

The landlady.
Do your stuff.


Oh, yes, Mrs. O'Malley, we expect to have
everything straightened out by tomorrow.

Tell it to her!

Oh, yes, Mrs. O'Malley, we expect to have
everything straightened out by tomorrow.

As a matter of fact, I'm expecting an
important message from Chicago right now.

- You see, it's a... a...
- Uncle.

A rich uncle who hasn't been feeling
at all well lately.

Oh, we're going to do handsomely
by you, Mrs. O'Malley,

because you are the sweetest.

Telegram for James Larrabie.


I wouldn't know, mister.
This is for James Larrabie.

Well, that's me.

- Give.
- Sign.

- Change a ten?
- Sure.

- Congratulations!
- Huh?

You're practically a rich man.

Well, open it!

Boy, oh boy!

Say, that rich uncle must be
feeling a lot worse.

From now on, my rich
uncle is the Chicago Sun.

It's a job, boy, and what a job!

And what a relief! You, know,
I was getting to think

maybe we'd have to marry Mrs.
O'Malley to get out of this place.

Look, they're using that stuff I sent
them on Moett and they want more.

And they're wiring transportation money
to come North.

That means we can pay Mrs. O'Malley
and the hash house.

And get a new tire for the jalopy.

Say, that won't leave much
to get to Chicago on!

- We don't need much.
- We!

Sure, I'm taking you with me,
and your jalopy.

- Huh?
- We're leaving tonight.

And, listen, when I get you
in my own territory,

I'll show you a thing or two.

Swell, all I want to see
is them stockyards.

I get it.

Hey, where are you going
in such a scamper?

To tell Barbara the news.

Well, how are you, Mr. Larrabie?
Miss Barbara is in the garden.

- Thanks, Lucinda.
- You're welcome.

Oh, good afternoon, Mr. Larrabie.

And a good afternoon to you,
miss Winston.

Oh, I...

- I trust I didn't frighten you.
- Sorry, you didn't.

But if you're so sold on
Mid-Victorian womanhood,

perhaps I could pretend
to be frightened.


Then, If I told you something
very exciting,

you could probably swoon for me,
couldn't you?

Well, that's going a bit far,
Mr. Larrabie, but I might try.

All right.
Now, brace yourself.

I have the honor to announce that
your favorite fianc?

is no longer among the unemployed.

Go on, now tell me all about it.

Well, I'm leaving tonight.

I've got a job doing special work
for the Chicago Sun.

- You're going to Chicago?
- Uh-huh.

And the whole thing's based on that
little tin dictator you've got down here.

- You mean Mr. Moett?
- None other.


Oh, I know.
You think he's just a politician,

but I got enough on that guy to smear him
across every front page in the country.

And the Sun syndicate
will do the work too.

But Mr. Moett is one of
dad's very best friends.

Yes, I know, but your stepfather
has been taken in, Barbara.

Moett is a crook, and with all
the political power he's getting,

a darned dangerous crook.

Well, speak of the devil.

Jim, I hope your information about Mr.
Moett is accurate, because if it isn't...

- No, wait a minute.

Good newspapermen
are always accurate.

You mean you don't think
I'll be a good one?

Oh, of course you will, dear,
but I'm just worried about dad.

Well, you can stop worrying
about him right now.

When your dad reads the Chicago Sun,
he'll be off Moett for life.

- Hello, J.W.
- What is that, Winston?

Some of your prospective
son-in-law's work.

That's bad!
That's bad!

We've got to put the brakes
on that fellow and put them on quick.

Much more of that sort of stuff and the
people on here will start to think.

And when they do, I begin to sink.

And don't forget you go with me.

All right, J. W., I'll... I'll see Larry,

but it's... it's rather
a difficult situation to handle.

Sit down, and I'll tell you
how to handle it.

- You want me to go in with you?
- Sure, why not?

Oh, hello, Jim.
Glad you dropped in.

I'd like to speak to you a moment.

- You'll excuse us, Barbara, won't you?
- Of course.

- See you later.
- Right.

Come in, son.
We were just talking about you.


- You know Mr. Moett?
- Yes, we've met.

Oh, yeah.

Since you're going to be a member
of my family one of these days,

I'm naturally interested
in your welfare.

Mr. Moett has a proposition I thought
you might like to hear.

Oh, it's that so?

Yes, I think you can help me.

Now in my line of business,
there's a constant demand

for fresh blood, new ideas,
pep, enthusiasm...

Yes, I... I can understand that.

I was just saying that very thing
to George here.

He tells me you're interested
in journalism. Is that so?

Uh... yes, yes it is.

Just what branch of journalism?

Oh, politics mainly.

Well, that's fine. You know the movement
I'm organizing here.

It'll sweep the country
once it's started.

Big chance for a young fella.

Beginning tomorrow, you'll take complete
charge of my campaign publicity.

Well, well, there must be some reason
for such a flattering offer, Mr. Moett.

Sure there is. I'm a man that recognizes
ability when I see it,

That's how I built up
my whole organization.

You know what I mean, Moett.

There's a reason quite aside
from my ability.

Yes, there is, Larrabie.
Here's the reason.

I see. Didn't take long for this
to get here, did it?

My Chicago representative air-mailed it.

Well, the cards are on the table.
Looks like your lead.

In that event, I'll play my ace.


Meaning "no".

I'm leaving for Chicago tonight
to continue this series.

Now, wait a minute, Jim.
Hadn't you better think this matter over?

This is between Moett and me,
Mr. Winston.

I have no intention of mentioning you
in my stuff.

I'm not thinking of myself,
but I've got Barbara to consider.

I can't have her tied up
to a professional scandalmonger.

There's nothing more to be said,

I may sell out when I'm so old
I can't make a living any other way.

In the meantime, I've at least got to
keep clean enough to live with myself...

and Barbara.

Do I hear my name being bandied about?

You do.

Your friend Larrabie has turned out
to be nothing but a political racketeer.

I'll have to ask you never
to see him again.

Why, dad you sound like something
out of East Lynne.

I know what I'm doing
and as long as...

And I know what I'm doing, Mr. Winston.

Will you walk out to the car
with me, Barbara?

Of course!

I'll probably see you again, Larrabie,

Don't think I don't understand, Barbara.

I realize what a spot
this puts you in,

but I wouldn't be half the man
you think I am

if I... If I turned yellow
and backed up, would I?

No, Jim.

I guess we all come to a point,
some time or other, when...

when we just got to have faith
and believe.

Without proof of any kind.
Just believe.

- Right?
- Right.

You've got your step-father on one side
and... and me on the other.

It's not going to be easy
to stand in the middle.

No, it won't be easy, Jim,

but I'll never stop believing.

- Good-bye, Jim.
- Good-bye. dear.

Three more miles to a sandwich.

And about four cups of coffee
if we're gonna drive all night.

Hey, Bob, does this thing always
make so much noise?

Only when the engine is running.


- Tara, tarata, tara, ra...
- Tara, raram, pam, pam, pam.

You, boys, seem to be in a hurry.

As a matter of fact, we are.

You see, I just got word
of a job in Chicago.

- Oh, a job in Chicago, eh?
- Yeah.

Maybe you left a little job
behind you, too.

What do you mean by that?

- What's your name?
- James Larrabie.

- Who are you?
- I was branded Bob Gordon.

Friend of Larrabie's?

One of the best.

I'm afraid I'll have to detain you,
boys, in Boone City tonight.

Now, wait a minute.

Why can't we pay you
the fine and be on our way?

The charges I've got against you
can't be squared with a fine.

Meaning what?

Meaning you're charged
with suspicion of grand larceny.

Grand larceny!

Listen, partner, you're mixing
your brands this time.

Something around here begins
to smell like J. W. Moett to me.

Well, let's go.

I'll call Chicago as soon
as we get to a phone.

Okay. Only I don't like the idea of going
the hoosegow on somebody's hunch.

Lead on, general.

I'll have to ask you to lead on.
Go straight ahead.

I'll signal you when to stop.

And no monkey business.

Yes, sir.

Right inside.

I think we'd better take
our bags, huh?


Hey, Pop.
That's some company for you.

Hello, Jake. What you're doing here
breaking up my sleep?

A couple of boys to be held for
the night on a down-state tip-off.

James Larrabie and Bob...
Gordon the name?

Bob Gordon.

Can I use that phone?

Take it easy, son.

You, boys, don't look like crooks.
Now, do they, Jake?

I don't know. I quit guessing
a long time ago.

My orders were to pick them up
and I did.

Notify Chief Benson you got them.

Don't forget to tell him
who brought them in.

Good night, Pop.

Good night, Jake.
Uh, uh, uh, uh...

Sakes alive!

You seem to be in a powerful lot of
trouble for a couple of young fellows.

Got any friends in this part
of the country?

No, but we got plenty of them
in Chicago.

If you don't mind, I'd like to put a call
through to my paper there right away.

All right, all right, son.

But I'll have to lock you up
and make my report first.

Them's regulations.

Now, come on, boys.

Never mind them.
You won't need them.

Come on.

Straight ahead there, boys.

If you don't mind I'll put you
in the tank tonight.

And tomorrow if you're still here, I'll
fix you up a nice clean cell of your own.

Don't look so low-down, boy.
Think what a break we get.

Clean cell!

Now, where in tarnation
does that critter hide?

Keep on going boys.
Don't make any breaks.

We're on our way out.

Listen, we don't wanna get
in an any jam.

- If you wanna go, beat it.
- Shut up!

I might have finished that guy in there
and I don't want no witnesses.

Now turn around and march.
Go on! Beat it!

Go on!

Get for that car!

Now drive for the state border
and drive fast.

Here comes our break.

First time in my life I was ever
really glad to see a cop!

Go! Step on it!

I'll take care of this guy.
Give it all you got!

Come on, step on it!

- Did he get him?
- Yeah.

Calling all cars north of Highway 22.

Pick up three men headed north
on green roadster.

license number 3 5 7 0 8.

Wanted for the murder of Bill Huber
and escaped from Boone city jail.

Names are James Larrabie,
Robert Gordon and Hymie Seaball.

These men are armed.

Barricade all highways
and take no chances.

Go for 'em, boys.


Slow up one mile
and I'll kill you!

They got him, boy.

We're certainly glad to see you.

And we're glad to see you.
Get out of there!

Hey, wait a minute.
We can explain this.

Yeah? You'll do a lot of explaining
before you get out of this.

Take them away!

You, boys, bring that car.

Yes, sir?

You get George Winston yet?

Just got the connection.
Here he is, sir.

Hello, George.

Hello, J. W.
What's on your mind?

I just wondered if you noticed anything
unusual in the paper this morning.

Oh, yes, yes, I did.

Our friend Larrabie is in the soup
for a long... long while.

And I won't shed any tears
if they send him up for life.

Well, that's very nice of you to
call me, Mr. Smith.

Then we can close
the deal tomorrow.

Thank you.

Good morning, my dear.

I've just heard the news
over the radio.

Well, that spares me the job
of breaking it to you.

Believe me, Barbara, when I say
I'm sorry Jim turned out so badly.

Don't lie to me.
I heard what you said on the phone.

Well, after all, a murderer.

You know just as well as I do
that Jim isn't a murderer.

Now I'm going to prove it.

Oh, it's a pretty big order with
two dead men as evidence.

Just what do you propose to do?

I'm going to get Mr. Dudley
to defend him.

Now, look here, Barbara.

I won't have you making a public
fool of yourself over a...

I'll do exactly as I please
with my own money.

At least, what's left of it.

Oh, I'm sick of your lies
and pretenses.

If you had one spark of decency left,
you'd see Dudley yourself

and help those boys
get a clean break.

Maybe you're right, Barbara.

I will see Dudley myself.

I don't see how you can even
hesitate over such a proposition.

You're charged with murder.

And your chances for conviction
are 10 to 1.

But we weren't even connected
with the break.

- Much less the murder.
- I know, I know.

But you need proves, my dear boy.

Witnesses, and that's exactly
what you haven't got.

Why not let me arrange
a plea of guilty

on the simple little charge
of jail-breaking?

You can draw nothing worse than
a suspended sentence

or six months at the most.

How can you arrange a thing like that?

Son, I've been a lawyer down here
for 30 years.

And I haven't spent all those
years for nothing.

I'm not used to confessing to crimes
I haven't committed.

What do you think, Bob?

Well, I ain't anxious to play the lead
in a murder trial, either.

What did Barbara tell you to do?

She said to let Mr. Dudley
handle the whole thing.

Well, it's a cinch.
He wouldn't steer you wrong.

No, no, of course not.

All right, Mr. Dudley, we'll plead
guilty to a charge of breaking jail.

But I'll spend the rest of my life,
if I have to, clearing up this thing.

That's the spirit.
That's the spirit.

Oh, Mr. Dudley, I wrote out
a wire to my paper.

They're sure to come through
and see that I get a square deal.

I was afraid to trust it
to anybody else.

Will you send it for me?

Sure, boy, sure. I've got to get right
back to the city and send it from there.

I'm having lunch with a judge.

Well, keep your chins up, boys,
and don't worry.

You know, I feel better already, Jim.

Yeah. Yeah, he knows
what he's doing, all right.

Careful consideration has been given
to the fact

that neither of the defendants
is a habitual criminal,

but the court cannot overlook their
admission of guilty complicity

in a crime which jeopardized
the lives of innocent men.

I am therefore tempering
justice with leniency

when I sentence you,
James Larrabie

and you, Robert Gordon,

to terms of five years of hard labor
in the State Penitentiary.

This Court is adjourned.

Oh, Jim that is horrible!

Oh, don't you worry boys.
There's been a slight slip-up.

I've got another name for it.

The only slip-up
without falling for your promise

to get us off with only six months!

Do you think I'm gonna stand for such a
miscarriage of justice without a fight?

Well, I'll take it to the Supreme Court,
if necessary.

Sorry, Mr. Dudley.
Come on, boys.

Good-bye, dear.

Come, dear.

- Barbara, dear...
- Please!

Well, that takes care of our young
friend for the next five years.

Yes, but you might just
as well have made it life.

I know, but Moett wanted it
cleaned up fast with no publicity.

How did the judge feel about it?

Say, you couldn't reach that judge
with a 10-foot pole.

Of course, you don't have to
when your clients up and plead guilty.

Better drive faster, Joe.
I gotta get me some supper.

Won't hurt them none
to get shook up a little.


New fish from the city.

Yeah, here there's a big time
Chicago boy in that bunch.

- Hiya, Buck.
- Hello, Warden.

- What have you got today?
- A couple of jail breakers.

One of them's from Chicago.

Oh, yeah?
I've been waiting for that pair!

Break them out.

Hey, you got five in there.
How come?

We picked up that smart guy
that took a powder yesterday.

Oh, I'm glad to see you back.

Give him a hand, Ed.

Hey, let them in down there!
What's the matter with you?

Open that gate!


Come on, get out!

Come on!

Take it easy, boss.
I... I've got a game leg.

Is that so?
Well, don't hurry, mister.

You're just here to relax
and rest up.

Ha! Ain't that right, Warden?

Yeah, only we like them to relax
on their feet.

Don't pull anymore that
game leg stuff on me.

Not when I've got a good one!

- Bring him inside.
- Go ahead, keep moving, keep going.

Pile, let them on, boys.
Take that runaway inside.

Come on, keep moving there.

Get in a line there.

Take off those coats and shirts!

Snap out of it.

Got some news prisoners for you, doc.
Wanna take a look at them?


Might as well now as ever, I guess.

Ah, snap it up, snap it up there!

Nice white skins they got
in Chicago, eh?

Yeah, but I reckon we can fix that up.

You know, put a little color into them.

Take it easy, will ya?

How do you expect me
to hear these heartbeats

with you bleating away like that?

Oh, excuse us, doc.

Sure look all right to me, Warden.

Of course, they might have
a little trouble at first.

They'll get used to that
with the proper encouragement.

All right, boys. It wasn't me
that sent you here,

and ain't me to blame
for what you did to get here.

We all got our jobs on this farm.
Yours is to work.

Mine is to see that you work.

Now, I aim to understand my boys.

You can come straight to me

anytime you think you can get in
the right sort of treatment.

But you're here to be made
good citizens out of.

And if you won't change voluntary
in the honest folks,

why, I just naturally gotta
force you into it.

Now, some day you're gonna look back
on your stretch at this farm

as the beginning of a new life.

That's all. The guard will give you
your clothes, then you get your supper.

All right, get in that door
and change clothes.

- Come on, hurry up.
- Hurry up!

Come on, you gotta learn
to move fast around here.

Come on, move on there and get it.

Move along!

Codfish hash!

Well, come on, we ain't gonna
feed it to you.

Thanks, general, but we ate
just before we left.

Oh, you did, eh?

Well, I got me a hunch that
by this time tomorrow

that grub will taste like the
best stuff you ever had.

Now, get along in that door.

The bunk's for you.

Come on. Step out.

What are you gonna offer?

They'll do.

There you are, boys.
Nice and comfy.

If there's anything you want,
we got a chambermaid,

at each end,
just aching to be of service.

What's the matter with him?

Faking sunstroke.


Ah! He'll be all right.

Well, boys, I'm maybe the chambermaid,
but I don't make up the bunks.

Drop it.

Come on, move along.

Step on it.
Hey, make it fast.

First stretch?



- Now, where's that runaway?
- Right over there.

Come on, son. We're giving you
a little farewell party.

No, no, boss. Please, no.

- Come on.
- No!

Quit stalling. Quit stalling.
You've got it coming to you.

What's the idea?

They're gonna take him to Blackfoot
for trying to make a getaway yesterday.

What's Blackfoot?

The mines.

Is that pretty bad?

So bad they'd sooner have been
shot than be sent there.

You don't mind so much when you die
quick, but when you are in Blackfoot,

it takes a long time.

Is it... is it worse than this?

Compared to Blackfoot,
this place is okay.














I wish I could remember just one line,

some of those speeches they used
to give us in school

about honor, freedom and...
and justice.

You'll learn some new speeches here.

# Way down upon the Swanee River, #

# Far, far away, #

# That's where my heart
is yearning ever... #

I guess we'd been better off
if we had married our landlady.

Yeah, I guess so.

It's funny.

Darkies can always find something
to sing about.

# All the world is sad and dreary... #

Five AM.
Let them have it.

Come on!

All right.

Get those rags on.
Get up, come on!

Bring them out!

Come on, hurry up!

Getting over there!

Get them in two lines.

Quarry gang for you and you!

Come on, move along!

You know where you belong.
Get in there!

Fifty quarry gang ready.

What do you say?
Y'all set?

Fifty quarry gang ready!

Forty eight.
Road gang ready!

Go on!
What's keeping you idle?

Let's go!

Come on, get moving.
Hurry up!

Come on, hurry up.

Come on, move on.

Ah, get back in line in there.

Don't try that running wide
stuff, Pete.

The punchers on this range seem to sort
of forget themselves once in a while.

Stick to it, kid.

My stomach don't feel so good.

Wish I had some water.

Wait till it gets hot!

Hey, slug!

Let me tell you what I warned
you about loafing.

I ain't loafing, but I'm sure could do
better with a drink of water.

Well, now, ain't that accommodating?

You'll get water when you've done
your lick and no sooner.

Now, get going!

Stick with it, kid.
Fifteen minutes more for the grub... a couple of hours.

All right, come and get it.

All right, hurry along.

How do you feel, Bob?

If I was a cow, I'd say
I was bloated on green alfalfa.

Here I guess it's just codfish hash.

- Ain't you gonna eat that?
- No.

Mm, eat just a little bit then.

I'm gonna write a story
and expose this rotten camp

if it's the last thing I ever do.

Writing is one thing,
but getting it out is another.

You help me to get something
to write with and I'll get it out.

All right there.
Come along, back to work!

Move into it!

Come on!

Just a little longer, kid.

Hang on.

Don't touch him.
Keep working, keep working.

Guess you didn't make such a powerful
impression on that new boy.

Taking a nap, ain't he?

Bob, Bob...

Get out of this!

Well, he's sick, he can't stand this.

Play possum on me, eh?
Come on and get up!

I tell you he's sick!

Think you can teach me something
about handling cons, hey?

I might.

Anything else you can teach me?

Not that you'd understand.

- Then you're all through.
- Yes.

Now I'm gonna give you plenty of
time to think of some more suggestions.

All night on the barrel.

# Swing low, sweet chariot #

# Coming for to carry me home, #

# Swing low, sweet chariot, #

# Coming for to carry me home. #

# I looked over Jordan #

# and what did I see? #

# A band of angels... #
- Carry! Oh...

# Oh, a band of angels #

# coming after me #

# Coming for to carry me home. #

Come on kid, go to sleep.

I can't.
No with him out there like that.

There ain't anything you can
do about it, kid.

I've got to.

I gotta make a break out of here
and get help from the outside.

Listen, you saw what happened
to the guy who tried to do that.

There ain't one chance in a million.

I'll take it.

Listen, if you try it on the road,
you'll get shot,

if you try it here in the yards,
that fence will get you.

What time do they turn the juice off?

Only during the checkout in the morning
and the check in at night.

The rest of the time it's 11,000 volts
of chain lightning.

Fifteen feet high.

All right, step along there.

Men, hup!


Come on, get back in line!

Let's go!

- Hey, shake off there.
- Yeah.

Now hup!

Snap out of it, kid.

I'm going out!

Close the gate!

Pull the fence switch.

No wander and align!
Go on, form up!

# I've wandered far away from God, #

# Now I'm coming home. #

# The paths of sin too long I've trod, #

# Lord, I'm coming home. #

# Coming home, coming home, #

# Never more to roam #

# I now repent with bitter tears, #

# Lord, I'm coming home. #

And now let's bow our heads in prayer

O God, we consign to Thee all that
is good and clean and honest

in this young man
who has preceded us in death.

And the peace of God be with you.



All right, men,
assemble in the yard.

Hurry up, please.

Come on, Larrabie, outside in the yard.

All right.

Find yourself a chance. Sit down.

And, please, keep your hands away
from the wire screen.

Hi, Mike.

- Jim!
- Hello, Barbara.

I was never so glad to see
anyone in my life.

You knew I'd come.

I hoped you would.

You heard about Bob?

Yes, I know what it must
have meant to you.

Every time I close my eyes, I can see
that kid running for that fence.

He was trying to help me, Barbara.

Jim, I've been working to get you
a new trial, but it hasn't been easy,

because my former stepfather
has been appointed

director of the state prison board.

Former stepfather?

I've left home.

But Barbara...

I haven't any proof, but I know that
he and Moett and Dudley

deliberately planned to put you here
and keep you here.

So that's why Chicago
didn't answer my wire.

Gee, I have cost you
a lot of trouble, haven't I?

No. You've opened my eyes.

But now we've got to get you out of here
so you can finish what you've started.

I've got a bigger job now
than fighting Moett.

I'm going to expose the cruelty
in these prisons.

The men live like animals, Barbara.

Will you help me?

Of course.

Smuggle a story out to the Chicago Sun.

They'll pull down the whole
state prison system

and Moett and Winston
and all with them.

Will you do it?

You know I will.

All right.

I've got it here.

No, no. Don't look down.

Keep on talking to me.

All right.

I'll drop this on the floor.

When you leave, drop your purse
and pick them up together.

- When that's published...
- All right, time's up.

- Bye, Barbara. Thank you.
- Bye, Jim.

All right, come on.

I'm sorry lady.

I'm sorry, miss. You'll have to come
with me to the Warden's office.

But I don't want to see the Warden.

No, but he'll be wanting to see you.
If you please...

Thought you pulling a fast one,
hey, Larrabie?

Get going.

This is very embarrassing, miss Winston,

but rules are rules and I've got
to enforce them.

You've no right to interfere
with my personal affairs.

What you do with convicts is my affair.

Well, your friend seems to be
an inventor, too.

He's scratched this little note
with a pin.

Very nice little essay, miss Winston.
I'm sorry I can't give it back to you.

You're afraid to give it back to me.

Afraid because you know
what it says it's true.

I'm no fool. I've talked to men
who have come from here.

I know how you treat them.

You torture, beat and brutalize
until they're half mad.

I've seen it, seen it in their eyes!

My boys, you ever see
anything like that here?

Go on, speak up,
don't be afraid.

- No.
- Why, certainly not.

Of course, we're not exactly operating
a sanitarium here, miss Winston.

We've got to have discipline.

We understand someone like
your friend Larrabie.

He's excitable, high-strung, young,
but he'll get over that.

Why, in a month or so I expect
he'll be a model prisoner.

If anything happens to him
because of this,

I'll expose you and
your rotten prison,

if it takes me the rest of my life.

And I'd be the last to blame you.

But first, miss Winston,
you've got to have proof.

Now, you run on along home and
leave this whole thing in my hands.

And, miss Winston, I wouldn't
come back if I were you.

Not that you'd be
unwelcome, understand?

But it's just that I don't want
a private messenger system

operating out of my camp.


Give me long distance.


Hello, Mr. Winston, say, your daughter
Barbara came down here to visit Larrabie.

We caught her trying to sneak a story
out to the press.

The devil she did!

Yes, I'll read you his little yarn.

"This is to let the outer world know

that there are still places
in civilized America

where men can be framed
into prison,

where they can be beaten
and brutalized and tortured..."

Never mind reading anymore,

just mail it to me.

And listen, Warden.

Just that, Mr. Winston.
That's just what I'll do.


- Larrabie outside?
- Yeah.

Show him in.

All right, Frank.


there's a rumor going around
that you ain't exactly satisfied

with our little rest home here.

I've lived in places I like better.

That's just what I thought.

Well, I've got a surprise for you.
I've been talking to Mr. Winston.

It's his opinion that this camp is
no place for a nice boy like you.

Now, what do you think of that?

If Winston is in on the deal,
it's a bad one.

That so?

Well, that's where you're wrong.

He's decided that our working
ain't fitten for your talents at all.

So tomorrow you graduate from here.

You know, join all the other
smart boys at Blackfoot!


They're all set, Warden.

Well, then, you're now
residents of Blackfoot,

where the State keeps
its toughest prisoners.

If you're a two-time loser and the other
penal institutions can't handle you,

we get you.

Well, you'll learn the rules
as you go along.

Each man has so much coal
to get out every day.

Yes, 14 hours to do it in
and we see that he does it.

Oh, take care of them, Bull,
especially Mr. Larrabie.

He comes well recommended.

All right, this way, men.

Come on.

And don't get any crazy ideas
into your head,

for this is the only exit
from the mine.

Light your lights.

Come on, get out.

Just a little place, ain't it?

There's some more customers
for you, Sam.

This one here is Larrabie.

The Warden wants you to take
special good care of him.

Fine, you get loading,
you get digging.

You Larrabie, eh?
I've heard a lot about you.

You must have a powerful lot
of good connections on the outside.

Come, I've got a special job for you.


It's a private little coal mine
all of your own.

All you gotta do is to go in there,
be nice and comfortable.

And nobody's gonna know whether
you've been working hard or not.


All right, go ahead.

No, no, no, no, no.

That's been done.
Up higher.

Hey, what are you trying to do?
Cave that mine on us?

No, looks like you're trying
to cave it in on me.


Now you get back with the rest
of 'em and go to work.

You're a very remarkable
young woman, miss Winston.

If you could only talk to Jim,
I mean, Mr. Larrabie...

We're going to talk to a lot of people
before we're through, miss Winston,

including Jim.

By the way, are you fond of airplanes?

I've never been in one.

Oh, you're going to be in one
in just 31 minutes.

Where are we going?

I'm going back with you.

I have some important business
with your Attorney General.

Yes, sir?

Make a reservation for two
on the 9:30 plane south.

Mr. Attorney General,
one young man lost his life,

another as innocent as yourself
is serving a five-year term

in the unspeakable conditions
of Blackfoot prison

for trying to bring to light
the story that I just told you.

I want you to remember this:

Moett owns the governor
and the legislature, body and soul.

I'm one of the few anti-Moett men
left in the State.

I'm willing to act,
but I've got to have proof.

And this cancelled check is the key

that would open the gates of the
penitentiary to Moett and Winston.

I dare say.

Mr. Winston hired Dudley to defend
young Larrabie.

Yet thanks to the cleverness
of this young woman,

we find that Moett paid him that $1500
fee on the day Larrabie was convicted.

Oh, taking money from both sides, huh?

I would say that Mr. Dudley was
in line for immediate disbarment.

If you could see Jim,

he'd tell you a great deal more
and'll back it up with proof.

Larrabie in his outline of the Moett
biography made direct accusations:

dummy corporations
owned by Moett

and selling to the State
with enormous profit,

He also hinted a prison system graft.

That should be interesting
to your office.

But they won't let anybody see him.

My dear young woman, the legislature
in its infinite wisdom has ordained

that any prisoner who has proof of
his innocence shall be heard.

Mr. Shields, when I was practicing law,
they used to call me

"Habeas Corpus" Marsden.

Yes, sir.

Waller, have a writ of
'habeas corpus' drawn up,

demanding the immediate appearance of
James Larrabie before the Grand Jury.

He's confined at Blackfoot prison mine.

Send it here.
I'll serve it myself.

You see, Mr. Shields? We don't move as
slowly as you might think down here.

So I see.

You can call it a day, Al.

Thanks, Warden.
Good night.

Good night.

The Attorney General
to see you, Warden.

Why, how are you Mr. Marsden?
This is a pleasant surprise.

Yeah, this is miss Winston, Mr. Shields.

How do you do?

I have a writ of habeas corpus
for the release of James Larrabie.

Young Larrabie, eh?
He's a mighty fine boy, Mr. Marsden.

And, believe me, I'm glad if
he'd go to have another hearing.

Where is he?

Why, he's down on the mine, miss.

See, it's almost quitting time now.

If you all will excuse me,

why, I'll have him brought in
just the minute the men come up.

Now sit down and make yourself at home.

Hey, Bull!

They've got a writ of habeas corpus
up there for Larrabie.

That means they'll take him to court
and make him talk.

Now, I don't want him to go to court.

Say, don't habeas corpus mean
to produce the body?

- Yes, that's right.
- That's what I thought.

I'll take care of that.

Yeah, Bull?

Oh, sure!

We'll take care of him.
You bet.

They got a writ upstairs for Larrabie.

What do you mean?
They gotta spring him?

That's what they think, but we're gonna
hold him down here

while the gang goes up.
He rates special care.

I got you.
Come on that cart. Get it in!


Listen, kid. They got a writ
upstairs for you.

Yeah? How do you know?

I heard a couple of the screws talking.
Watch your step.

They'll gonna pull you out of line
and give you the works.

Sure. They know if I ever got out,
I'd blow the lid off this place.

- You mean the newspapers?
- Yeah.

They won't get away with it.

You go up with us
or we all stay down.

Pass it along.



All right, break it up.
Get in line.

Come on, step up.
Step up!

All right, come on.


00:52:56,087 --> 00:52:58,832
When Larrabie comes along,
you'll take him out of the line.

We'll hoodwink him.

- 5220, 33226, 3824...
- 5220.

All right, let's go.

Let's go.

Are you a stool pigeon?

Boss, there's a riot in below.
You'd better get over here quick!

I'll be right with you.

Hello, this is the Warden.

Listen, Warden, this is Larrabie.

I'm talking for a mine full of crazy
men who'll stop at nothing.

We've got all your guards tied up
and we mean business.

You've got an order to produce me in
court, but you're afraid to let me talk.

We know all about your plan to keep me
down here and here's our answer.

We all come up together
or we don't come up at all.

So they all come up together
or they don't come up at all, eh?

- Break out the tear gas.
- Right.


I guess the time's up.

Where is that powderman key?

Right here!

- Break out that dynamite.
- Right.

Get the key, Chuck!


This is the Warden.
Reverse the main shaft ventilators.

That gas is gonna be pretty tough on our
own men down there, ain't it, Warden?

They can't keep the men in line,

they'll have to suffer
while I do the job for them.

Come on, gas them out!

Tear gas!

Come on!
Everybody'd better run out!

We can't leave the guards there!

Leave them down there!
Let them stay!

This is I've got a break for you,
guys, ain't luck?

Better don't try anything.

Boys, this is as far as we can go!
We are trapped!

Look at that stuff coming!

Let's hold up a barricade.

Bet it'll keep it out for a while.
Come on!

We can't last much longer.
We gotta have air!

I'm for giving up!

Listen men, the west tube
to the old Two-Star mine

ought to be about there,
where that fissure is timbered in.

If we can pull our way out,
we'll get fresh air.

Maybe he's wrong.
We might blow the mining alleys.

What do you wanna do, men?

Come on, let's go!

All right, get your shirts
in that water over there

and wrap 'em around your faces.

Then, we'll pull down the barricade.

Hello, Marsden.

What are you doing here?

Well, you should know
or you wouldn't be here.

This is Mr. Shields, of the
Chicago Sun, Mr. Moett.

Mr. Moett, I've heard a lot about you.

Yeah, so I read in your paper.

This is Mr. Winston, the head
of the Prison Board.

How do you do, Mr. Shields?
Welcome to our State.


Why, Barbara, dear.
I didn't expect to find you here.

Bull, get gas masks and go down there
and see what's all about.

Okay, boss.

What's the trouble, Warden?
What's going on here?

I'll tell you what's going on.

The men are rioting down there
and your friend Larrabie started it.

I don't believe it. You're putting the
blame on him, so you can keep him here.

- Bull, get our men stop that thing.
- I'm going to...

No, you'll do nothing of the kind.

Mr. Winston, you've got to get
these people out of here,

because anything
is liable to happen.

This is Shields.
Give me the desk.

That phone is for official business.

We've got official business here, Moett.

I hope you don't think a court order
is gonna stop a riot.

All right, while we're waiting, I want
you to hand over all the prison records.

I've got an order for them too.

What do you mean?

This is what I mean.

Well, I'd like to accommodate you,
gentlemen, but my clerk isn't here

and I've forgotten
the combination of the safe.

Yeah? Well, I give you just
two minutes to remember it.

Say, who's running the prisons
in this State, anyway?

I am, J.W.

Well, why don't you run them?

This is an emergency.
There's a riot going on.

Get these people out of here.

But if they put us out now,
they'll destroy the records.

Nobody's gonna put us out.

Well, we'll see about that.

That riot justifies me.
I'm running my office as I see fit.

Court order or no court order.

Now, you men get back
to your quarters.

Back to your bunks, I say!

Stay in there!
I will take care of this.

Do you hear me?

Break this off or I'm gonna shoot!

No, you won't, Grayson.
Too many of us.

- You won't shoot.
- Stand back!

Stand back, I say!

You all, guards!

And it won't do you any good
to call for help.

Give me that gun.

You've got a writ here for Larrabie.

We had a tough job delivering him,

but here he is.


What are you doing here?

I'll take that gun, Larrabie.

This is Mr. Marsden,
the Attorney General.

- He came with Mr. Shields.
- Oh!

Have you remembered the combination
of that safe, yet?

The two minutes are up.

No, he hasn't
and he's not gonna.

Wait a minute.

- Smokey!
- Yes.

Didn't you use to be
a bank examiner?

Yes, at night.

Go in there and examine
the Warden's safe.

Say, that's how I got into this joint.

It's all right, Smokey.
This one's legal.

Hello, desk?
This is Shields.

The Blackfoot prison riot
collapsed at 10:54 tonight

and will take with it
the entire Moett's machine.

Right now, a volunteer Jimmy Valentine
is about to produce the prison records

by the perfectly legal cracking
of the Warden's safe.

This ain't no safe.
This is a sardine can!

Well, we're on our way
to Chicago, after all.

Thanks to you.

Thanks to you.

Do you remember what you said about
believing, without proof or anything?

- Just believing.
- Uh-huh.

That's what did it.

Then... then if I told you
that I love you,

you'd believe me, wouldn't you?

All the girls gotta have some proof.

Transcription and subtitle
made by gamboler[noirestyle]