Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Movie 15 Review: The Defiant Ones

"The Defiant Ones" is a 1958 Buddy Drama directed by Stanley Kramer ("Judgment at Nuremberg", "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"). It won the Academy Award for Cinematography & Writing (Story & Screenplay). It was also nominated for Best Picture, Director, Film Editing, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, & 2 Nominations for Actor in a Leading Role. The film was also remade many times ("Black Mama, White Mama", "The Defiant Ones (TV 1986)", "Quantum Leap" Episode 4-10, & "Fled"). So high acclaim for this film.

It stars Tony Curtis ("Sweet Smell of Success", "The Midnight Story", "Some Like It Hot") as John "Joker" Jackson & Sir Sidney Poitier ("Lilies of the Field", "In the Heat of the Night", "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner") as Noah Cullen. It's supporting cast includes Theodore Bikel, Charles McGraw, Lon Chaney, Jr. (Quite the AmeriToku Actor/Suit Actor), King Donovan, Claude Akins, Lawrence Dobkin, Whit Bissell, Carl Switzer (Alfalfa), & Cara Williams. Quite the cast to say the least.

The film is about Joker & Cullen as two convicts in the American South who were able to excape their chain gang and try to get their anonymous freedom by escaping from the police search party.

The film is well done, but archaic. It's mostly deals with feverant Southern Racism and it shows it's age by having that as the general theme. But, there is something interesting there for the modern viewer in an underlining theme. This film is one of the very early "Bromance" type films that are seen more commonly today, and it's quite the treat to seen it in an older form of media. Both Poitier & Curtis put on a stellar performance and seem to show genuine care for the other during some scenes.

There's a running joke though that didn't seem to work for me about a radio in the film, just a very meh type of effort to put levity in the film.

"The Defiant Ones" is one to check out if you got the extra time.

Flickchart Rankings
Worldwide: 3,582
Tack Angel: 203

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