Thursday, October 21, 2010

SAN QUENTIN (1937)

Good cast, but the story is as weak as a one-legged kitten with feline polio. The prisoners at San Quentin have been getting kinda rowdy lately so the state calls in a military man (Pat O'Brien) to take over the prison and whip the men into shape. As fate would have it the night before he starts the job O'Brien meets nightclub singer, Ann Sheridan, and instantly falls in love with her. As he's putting the moves on her, her younger brother (played by Humphrey Bogart who was 11 years older than Sheridan) shows up with the coppers hot on his tail. He's arrested for robbery. And I'm sure you can guess what prison he's going to...that's right wise guy: San Quentin.

On his first day in the joint Bogart gets into a fight, but tough loving O'Brien makes it a point to reform Bogart with a kind but firm hand. Pulling in the other direction is a prison mate who wants Bogart to take part in an escape.

At only 70 minutes long you never get a chance to get bored, but the characters are two-dimensional as fuck and the story completely uninspired. In most of his movies Bogart commands your attention, but here he was completely miscast...people constantly talked about him like he was a child, but in real life he was 38 years old and looked it! At one point somebody mentioned his character was 25! LOL.

Very little action, a miscast Bogart, unoriginal story, Ann Sheridan's hair was too short. Skip it. If you need me I'll be in my room watching I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG.
Shadow of cameraman.