Each Dawn I Die (1939) Script




Stop. Stop there.

It proves we were absolutely right.

One yell from us that Hanley's been getting a rake-off on the new roads and bridges, just one yell, and the assistant district attorney wakes up the president of the joint in the middle of the night, and they burn the books.

But our yell was for those books.

If they burn them, we have only your unsupported testimony.

No. No.

Peace, peace. All of you. Wait, look.

The fact that they can't produce the books is the fact that supports my testimony.

Don't you see, chief? The cement company will only be the start, the bomb that will blow up the whole rotten mess.


WOMAN [OVER INTERCOM]: Mr. Hanley's on the telephone, sir.


Hello, Hanley. What's on your mind?

Listen, Patterson, you tell that smart reporter of yours, Ross, that he's digging himself into a hole it'll be awfully tough to get out of.

I'll give him the message. That all?

No. I just wanna warn you against going completely crazy.

You've given me a million-dollar libel suit if I ever saw one.

And, Patterson, I know how to use a libel suit.

If you don't print a retraction of this graft story, I'll break you.

Make no mistake about it, I can do it.

Thanks for your interest, Jesse, but I'm still running my own paper.

All right, you asked for it.

I think that's what I needed.

All right. If it's going to be a fight, we'll take off the gloves and let him have it.

Play up the burning of the books. Play it up big.

Write your version of the affair under your own byline.

You've got it, pappy. Come on, baby.


Get in. In back.





WOMAN: He's burnt.

I seen it! It's your fault!

You drove on the wrong side of the street and hit that guy!

Drunk! Look at him, stinking drunk!

He's full of that stuff!


Come on! Let me in.

I'm Ross of The Record.

Yeah, and you're drunk.

Do you know you killed three people?

Yes, you.


You, Frank Ross, having been found guilty of the crime of manslaughter, it is now my duty to pronounce sentence.

I must add that the verdict of the jury has the court's heartiest approbation.

Nor can there be any excuse for leniency in your case, as you should be well aware.

Since you have, in signed articles for The Record, often denounced drunken driving as the most ghastly of crimes, a view with which the court agrees entirely.

And when such drunkenness results in the slaughter of three young, innocent citizens, words become inadequate to express our horror.

I was not drunk, and I was not driving that car.



Nor can we condemn too harshly your vicious assertion that you were---

Framed. Yes, Your Honor, framed.

By that eminent public servant, District Attorney Hanley and his equally eminent and equally crooked assistant, Grayce.

Your Honor. I protest.

Framed because they knew I could show them up for the grafting rats they are.

Frank, don't make it worse for yourself.

All right. You've done a great job.

You've discredited me and my paper.

You're putting me away, but you can't keep me in the pen.

You'll never be able to shut me up.

I'll get out, and when I do, I'll prove you responsible for these murders.


Frank Ross, you are hereby sentenced to the maximum penalty the law provides: imprisonment in the state penitentiary at Rocky Point for one to 20 years, at hard labor.


Court adjourned.


WOMAN: Frank.

You can't come in here, lady.

He's my son.

I'm sorry.

WOMAN: Frank!

[SOBBING] Darling, please write often.

I'll just die if I don't hear from you.

I'll write as often as I can, baby, as often as they let me.

We'll get you out. They can't keep you in prison.

Kinda watch out for my mother, will you?


MAN: Every morning, when you wake up in your cell, just remember that the boys will be working their ears off for you.

Don't worry, Bill.

I'll take it easy.

And when I get out, I'll have a story to write.

They're a couple of reporters.

You know, smart guys that are always writing about "crooks are yellow" and "crime don't pay."

The DA don't like that because he knows better.

So he sends this guy to the jug.

Won't be long. You'll be out before you know it.

Hmm. He's going in and out, just like that.

Clever boys, these reporters.

Write a piece about me when you get out, will you?

The name is Stacey, life sentence.

I like to read my name in the papers.

If you don't shut up, you may find it in the obituary column.

Oh, my goodness. Hey, deputy, will you change my seat?

I don't like to play so rough.

He run over a couple of guys, so he thinks he's tough.

You know how it is with the first couple of guys.

Ha! I don't think he's so tough.



How tough are you, babe?

That's good. That's good.


If you get into trouble in here, you become second- or third-grade prisoners according to your offense.

More serious offenses are punishable by solitary confinement or as we call it here, "the Hole."

I don't recommend it.

Obey orders. Behave yourselves.

Keep clear of troublemakers.

May I have a word with--?

Keep your arms folded.

What do you wanna say?

I'm here on a political frame-up.

I'm innocent too, warden. I...

When a man is legally convicted and sent here, we must assume him to be guilty and treat him on that basis alone. And another thing:

Talking is forbidden in this prison except during recreation periods.

Don't forget that.

That's all.


Left turn.


New bunch of fish, huh?

Well, blow my top!

If it ain't the great Stacey, back here again.

Couldn't bear to be without old Pete, huh?

Same stupid puss, only uglier.

What's he in for this time?

Hundred and ninety-nine years.

Well, now. That's kind of handsome of that judge, I must say.

Throwed the book at you, huh? Well, well, well.

Now, just to show you what a real "welcome home" you're gonna get, who do you think's here doing the book too, huh?

Your old friend Limpy Julien.


Thought that would get a rise outta you.


Hey, Limpy!

Limpy, come here!


Come here.

Know this fella?

He ought to know me, the rat.

I gave him that limp when he crossed me up in the Dannemora break.

Yeah, I know you. And you ain't gonna forget me.

Now, now, boys, don't quarrel on Mr. Stacey's first day back in school.

Go on over to that breaker and go to work.

We're gonna see a lot of each other, you and me.

And Limpy.

Get to your machine.

Watch yourself.

You go on over there and help those boys stack those bales.

What's your name?

Frank Ross.

Say "sir" when you address an officer.

And fold your arms. You hear?

Go on over there and join Stacey at that breaker.

[SOFTLY] Yes, sir.

MAN: Stacey.

Pipe down, I'll talk to you later.

Hello, you mugs. Break out the band.

Stacey's back.

Well, for crying out loud--

Oh, just for a visit, boys. Just for a visit.

This is Ross, mugs.

A gentleman from the press.

He's a killer, so hang on to your hair.

Sorry we ain't got any typewriters on this machine, nor no yellow ink.

What do I do?

Why, you flap your ears and wish you was a swallow.

When did Limpy come in?

A month ago. What is he in for?

Murder, second degree. He's doing life.

You know it's Limpy or me, don't you?

It ain't gonna be me. How much time you shook?

Shook a trey. I'm out in two months.

Good. Keep your nose clean. See there's no slip-ups.

I may need you on the outside.

Okay. Don't turn your back on Limpy.

He's got a knife stashed, and he'll use it.

Don't worry, I'll watch him.


What was you talkin' about?!

You hear me.

What was you talkin' about?

Why, Mr. Kassock, sir, uh... ain't there a rule against talking in this young ladies' riding academy?

Yeah! And you broke it.

Limpy heard you. What'd he say, Limpy?

I couldn't hear what he was saying, but--

Why, you no-good rat.

HASSOCK: Stop it! Stop it, I tell you!

Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

Get back to your machines, you men!

All of you!

Learning kind of fast, ain't you, mug?

I'm no mug, and I don't like to be called one.

Oh, you don't like it, huh? No.

Well, there's a lot of things gonna happen to you around here that you won't like either.


Get me a deputy.

We'll see if a month in third grade will take some of that guff out of you.

Now, get over there and change your clothes. Both of you.

Get back to your machines, you men!

I owe you one for tripping Limpy.

It was screwy, but good.

Forget it.

Your first day in stir, and you tangle with Pete Kassock, the toughest screw in the state.

And get his prize rat a sock on the noggin, and you lose your privileges for a month.

Oh, you got the makings of a swell con.

Not me, brother. I won't be here long enough.

Yeah, until you do leave us, let me give you a little advice.

You know anything about Limpy?

No, not yet.

Well, remember this if you wanna stay healthy:

He's the deadliest, most treacherous killer in this or any other pen.

Look out!


MAN: That's a homer.

MAN 2: Hey, over the fence is out.


Well, Mr. Reporter, how about that plan of yours for getting in and out?

Seems to me, you've been in here 30 days now.

And they turned down your pardon.


That gives you a year and a half before you can even ask again.

Well, uh, the paper's working on a new angle.

If they can get some evidence, I can get another trial.

You see what I mean, Ross?

There I was keeping my nose clean and going straight for the first time in 20 years, and those dirty coppers have to put the pinch on me.

And even with a bum rap, do I get a break and go to a decent stir like Stillwater or Sing Sing?

Oh, no.

I have to fall in this state.

It might have been worse.

Suppose you started to run, and the cop slugged you.

Well, I'd sooner be slugged.

I'd sooner be dead than live in this madhouse.

Break your back working all day.

Sit in your cell until next morning with nothing to do but stare at the wall.

Screws going by, snooping.

Rats like Limpy.

First thing you know, you're stir-nuts, just marking time till you can get out and kill the first creep that comes in your way.

I wonder if the joint's getting me.

Don't let it get you down, Meuller.

Keep your mind off yourself.

MAN: Hey, you guys.

Well, I'm collecting today for a change.

Lassiter over there claims that whales give milk.

Same as a cow. Can you beat that?

Certainly, numbskull.

Whales aren't fish, they're mammals.

They give milk like any other animal.

Okay, whales give milk.

But personally, I think you guys are still ribbing me.

Hey, Lassiter.

Come over here and join the rest of the dopes.

Say, what's Lassiter in for?

Why, he just stole a 100-pound sack of walnuts, and he buried them.

Now, he sits around worrying for fear the squirrels might find it before he gets out.

He worked in a bank.

He accepted a deposit from a guy after he knew the bank was on the rocks.

It's what they call a legal technicality.



What was this you were telling Red about sharks giving cow highballs?

Whales, not sharks.

And I was trying to tell him that dogs don't have any pores.

Oh, where do you get that stuff? Sure they got pores.

How are they gonna sweat then if they ain't?

Off their tongues.

I told you the guy was loco.


Speaking of sharks, watch it.

Get up off that dirt!

Where do you think you are, in some county jail?

Lassiter, look at you. Wallowing around like a hog.

Stand up and come to attention when an officer speaks to you.

I didn't know it was against the rules to sit on the ground.

Shut your trap. Another crack out of you, and I'll put you in the Hole.

Any talking's to be done around here, I'm the guy that'll do it.

Fold your arms and salute when an officer speaks to you.

Everybody salute!

Bunch of cheap, tinhorn crooks.

Never knowed nothing and never will.

Watch your step, the lot of you, or I'll break you.

Show you tramps who's boss around here.

Yes, sir, Pete's certainly one nice guy.

I'd like to meet him on the outside sometime.

I'll meet him, all right.

Or maybe I won't wait until I'm on the outside.

Thattaboy, Meuller. Let's hear what you'd really do.

What would I do to Pete?

I'd cook him with a steam hose until his hot carcass fell apart.

I'd take a blowtorch! I'd take a hammer!

Shh! Stop it.

Just the thought of him helpless in my hands makes--

Come on, pal. Let's go watch the game.

Got a feeling Meuller will really keep that date with Pete.

Personally, I'll settle for Limpy.

Yeah, why?

Maybe I don't like the way he plays a piano.

Maybe I just don't like stools.

You have to know all the answers?

Stacey, I just been ratted on.

What about?

That can of soda you slipped me this morning, they saw me using it.

Whoa, that means the Hole if they ever catch you.

Who ratted?

Limpy and that new pal of his, the Polecat.

Why, those--

What's wrong with soda?

Mix it with salt and tobacco powder.

It makes snuff. It's forbidden.

You got it? Yeah.

Slip it to me. You?

You're going out on parole next week, and you can't afford to go out of circulation now.

I need you on the outside. Slip it to me quick.

Mob around. Here.

Red, keep the shiv till I come out.

You other guys take a powder. Garsky, you stick with me.

Watch yourself, there's the captain of the Hole talking to Pete.


There's Pete and Temple crossing to 'em now.

Sure fixed Stacey's watchdog, didn't I?

Nice work. Pipe down.

Well, I think those rats snitched on the wrong party this time.

Who's the new rat?

Carlisle, better known as Polecat.

He came in a couple days ago and started palling around with Limpy right away.

Oh, yeah. Five years for manslaughter. Heard of him.

Yeah, for manslaughter, five years.

I steal a tire, and I get 20.

Smells like he's got some pull somewhere.

Come on, get going, Stacey.

There's something funny about this!

You had it, all right.

Who, me, sir? No, sir. I ain't that kind of a boy.

Hey, something went wrong. Puttin' Stacey away instead.

Never mind. I'll take care of him when he gets out.

Into the Hole he goes. Poor sucker.

Aw, solitary never bothered Stacey. He can do it easily.

Yeah? Did you ever figure why screws like Pete ain't bumped off?

No, why?

This state's got no death penalty.

So if you knock a guy off in here, you do life in the Hole.

And if that still don't tell you nothing, take a gander at him.

In the Hole, you're handcuffed to the cell bars eight hours a day.

No light, no furniture.

No heat in the winter.

Bread and water only at noon.

That guy was a great joker when he first come here.

He was always ribbing at guys.

They gave him six months in the Hole.

Just six months. And look at him now.



I'm getting fed up with Pete.

I'm getting fed up working here.

I don't know if I can stand it any longer.

I'm fed up too. Nothing we can do about it... but wait.

I wish I'd stayed home in Fargo.

Why'd you leave?

I was dogcatcher, and they run me out of office.

I didn't have the heart to kill them poor pups.

I'd turn them loose as fast as they was catched.


Is that a ghost?

Well, we'll soon find out who wins the blood sweep now.

You gonna bet on it?

I don't bet on one guy killing another.

That ain't it.

Limpy got a message in to Stacey that he'd get him before he's out of the Hole 24 hours.

But you gotta call the hour.

I'll bet two cans of tobacco one of them gets it in seven hours.

Give her a shot of oil up there, will you?


How'd they handle you?

Can't kick.

Need any soap or tobacco or toothpaste?

No. Listen, Ross, forget about that shiv.

What shiv?

I don't know the meaning of the word.


I don't see any shiv.

Okay, Ross.


Hey, Stacey. In here.







MAN: Today we honor the memory

[COUGHING] of Admiral John Harrington.

This monument we dedicate is a thing of stone...



Hey, something's the matter!

Quick, turn on the lights! Quick!


Turn on the lights! Turn on those lights!

They got one of the rats. Hooray!

Get them all, the dirty finks!

That guy Limpy, he chokes and flops out in the aisle.

Sit down, sit down, you men!

Get back in your chairs!

Get back there.

He was sitting right next to me.

Then all of a sudden he starts coughing.

And then, like I told you, he flaps out in the aisle.

All right, men, take him to the morgue.


Nobody leaves their seats! Sit down there, you.

Sit down there.

GUARD: Nobody leaves their seats.

GUARD 2: Sit down there.

Sit down, sit down.

GUARD 3: Sit down. Sit down. Take your seats.


What's up?

That paper you work for doing you any good?

They're trying.

You been in here four months.

Yes, but they've been fighting the administration.

That doesn't help.

A bum rap, wasn't it?

What's all this for?

Listen, Ross. I didn't kill Limpy.

All right.

Believe it or not, I didn't.

I meant to, but the screws searched my cell.

So I passed the shiv on to another guy who loved Limpy just like I did.

So Limpy collected the next morning.


But that don't make no difference.

You thought I did it.

A word from you, and I'd be doing the book in the Hole, and you'd probably be pardoned.

I'm no rat.

I owe you plenty for that.

You don't owe me a thing.

And I'm gonna pay.

Kid, did you ever figure out that if I was out, I could find out who framed you and get you sprung?

How? I got connections.

I can find out anything that's happened by putting dough in the right places.

So, uh, all we've gotta do is get you out of here?


Listen, Ross. This is no screwy idea.

I'm not so nuts I'd risk the book in the Hole just to get rid of another rat.

Another guy beat me to it.

But it works out the same. I'm using it to beat this joint.

Sorry, Stacey, you've gotta start at the beginning.

All right. If you're up for killing some guy in here, you're tried in the courthouse.

I'm doing life, 199 years.

So no pardon, no parole.

You can't crash over those walls in a million years.

The only chance is to get to the courthouse and try it from there.

An army couldn't get you out of that courthouse.

A lot of guys have tried it, and they've all been buried.

They tried it alone. They didn't plan it.

Listen. Garsky and me, we figured this out together before he left.

I let someone snitch to the warden that I sunk that shiv in Limpy.

I get indicted.

Garsky follows the case through the papers or a mouthpiece.

He knows the day I'm to be tried and the courtroom.

He makes all the arrangements.

Mm-hmm. And where do I come in?

You're the only guy I ever met that gave me a break without putting the bee on me for dough.

So now I'm giving you a break.

Go to the warden and tell him about me having that shiv.

No, no. No, Stacey, I can't.

I could have saved Limpy from being killed if I'd used my head.

I've been thinking of what I'd have done if I were on the outside.

I'd have tried to run the murder down and slapped it all over the front page.

But you're not on the outside.

No, I'm not. I'm in the pen and I'm a con.

But Limpy was killed, murdered.

That still means something to me.

No, Stacey, no.

I can't help you to use a murder to make a break. Sorry.

No, no soap.

What's the matter with you?

You going stir-nuts too? This is a sure out for you.

Hey, dummy up.

So there you are. Where you been, huh?

Under the machine, taking a wrap of fiber off.

Yeah, that's as may be. You got visitors.

I ought to park your lazy carcass in the Hole instead.

Take it. Get out of here, before I change my mind.

Face the wall. Fold your arms.


Ross, you wanna take a trip to court?


Then cut out that staring into the visitor's room.

And say "sir" when you address an officer.

Yes, sir.

All right, Ross.

Don't forget to give this to Pete when you go back.

Sit here.

Come in, miss.


[WHISPERS] I miss you.

It's been so long.

[WHISPERS] I've missed you so terribly.

[SOBS] Frank.

Oh, it's all right, darling. It's all--

It's all right.

We're trying so hard.

We haven't let up a minute.

Nothing new?

Only what I wrote you.

And they haven't been able to get a line on Shake Edwards, that man that was in front of the building that night?

Not a trace of him.

Mm, I'm sure he was the finger man.

He was the one.

But we'll find him, Frank.

A lot of the boys in the A.P. are working with us.


Frank, I know you don't want your mother to see you here, but can't you forget that?

No, no.

But it's too cruel to keep her from visiting you.

I...couldn't say no.

I've brought her here.

Please see her.

Please, Frank.

You can't send her away.

All right, all right.

All right, madam.

You shouldn't have made the trip.

It's too far.

Are you feeling well?

Yes, I feel fine.

That's good.

Your face is so thin and pale.

Are you quite sure you're all right?

Oh, yes, I feel great.

They let me bring you something to eat.

Everything you like.

I got the ice cream across the street from a little shop.

You never tell me anything about your work in your letters.

Is it terribly hard?

Oh, no. I've got a swell job.

All I've gotta do is, uh, take care of the twine stock, and every now and then, write a few articles for the prison paper.

Oh, I'm so glad.

We must be patient.

Joyce and the boys at the office are wonderful.

They're sure they can get you out.

Yeah, sure, I know. They'll--

They'll take care of me, all right.

You're not eating your lunch, dear.

It's everything you like.

Chicken and nut bread and... chocolate cake.


Oh, Mom, please, please.

Please don't worry, will ya?

Well...I've gotta go now.

Oh, but the time isn't--

I think we'd better leave, dear.

Just a minute, ladies. He's got to leave first.


Goodbye, Ma.

Stacey. Yes?

Will there be any shooting down at the courthouse? No.

I don't want any more blood on my hands.

Give me your word?

I give you my word. And I don't lie.

All right, Stacey, I'll put in with you.

Remember this.

Afterwards, they may figure you were in on it and throw you in the Hole.

You may have to take a lot of punishment.

I don't mind.

Now, don't break down and confess.

Once it's done, keep your mouth shut.

That's gonna be the tough part of this.

I know.

You or any of those guys on the paper got any idea on who framed you?

We have only one lead.

Did you ever hear of Shake Edwards? Yeah, a rat.

Well, he was outside the building the night it happened.

He fingered me, I'm sure of it.

Shake Edwards? Mm.

I'll find him, and I'll get you out.

No matter how tough it looks or how long it takes, I'll get you out.

And legally.

All right, Stacey.

Good luck.

So long, kid, and thanks for everything.


Can you get this out?


Will the other end pay off?

Yeah. Watch it, it's dynamite.

You know me, Mr. Ross.

So you're the smart fellow who didn't know anything about the Limpy Julien killing.

Answer the warden.

You better come clean for once and make it easy for yourself.

Open that ugly mouth of yours before I knock you through the wall.

There ain't much to say.

In other words, you admit it.

Come on, Stacey, make a statement.

You haven't got a chance.

Why, you--!

Here, here, stop that!

Lang, kick 'em apart.

Nice work, kid.


Hold it.

Hold it.

I couldn't have wanted a nicer confession.

Take him to the Hole.

Keep your mouth shut about this around the yard.

And watch out for yourself.

Some of the inmates might not like you for turning Stacey in.

I had another reason. I'm a newspaper man.

I wouldn't cover up a murder outside--

Get outta here.


Get this, wise guy.

We bury the ones that try to get outta here.

If you don't believe me, try it.

MAN: Here he is now.


Hello, Lockhart. How's the mouthpiece?

Hello, Stacey. Not worried, are you?

Me, worry?

Why, we'll beat this rap.

By a neck.

That's Ross, eh? Yeah.

I'll talk to him in a minute.

Hey, sit down.

I'm Lockhart, Stacey's lawyer.

If they wanna know what we were talking about, say I was asking you if you were going to identify that shiv.

No, he hasn't got a chance.

Open-and-shut case.

Everything's set.

After he's gone, he'll keep in touch with you through me.

That's all. Sit tight.

How are you, deputy?

How are you?

What'd he want?

Ah, the dirty fink.

He wanted to know if I was certain I could still identify that shiv.


Well, don't talk to him anymore.

We'll send you the original once it's in the paper.

You can only talk to him for a minute.

Thank you, deputy.

Ought to be a pip.

Oh, I hoped you wouldn't come, darling.

This may be a mess.

If it is, I want to be with you.

Frank, we've got good news for you.

I think we've located Shake Edwards out west.

Maybe you'll be home before the month is over.

That'd be great.

Spill it, what do you got us here for?

Yeah, what gives? Come across, Frankie.

It's a long way to come for a trial when The Record's got wire coverage.

I was lonesome. I wanted you to hold my hand.

Nix on the acking-cray, Frankie.

Give us the lowdown.

I can't. But listen.

There'll be a story, a beat for The Record.

Jerry, you grab shots of everybody in the courtroom and every thing.

Above all, keep your eye on Stacey.

Don't look now, you saps.

Come on, that's enough. Break it up.

I told you you could only have a minute.

Thinking about jumping, Ross?

All right, go ahead.

There's a nice stretch of concrete three floors below that you can splatter yourself on.


BAILIFF: Everybody rise.

Superior Court of Hudson, in and for the County of Manton, is now in session.

The Honorable James C. Scott, Judge, presiding.


Be seated.

The People of the State

[HORN HONKS] v. Judson Stacey.



Don't worry, darling. Don't worry.

No, I'm not worried, but can he possibly escape?

I don't know. But listen, I'll probably get a pardon.

If there's any cross up, need any advice, get hold of Stacey's lawyer, Lockhart.

You hear that? Lockhart. Mm-hmm.

Aw, baby, it won't be so long now.

He made it. A fine mess.

Yeah, he made it.

Well, maybe Stacey made it, but we won't lose you, you dirty little rat.

Stay here and get your story, darling.

Come on. I'll write you Sunday.

Over there.

Bring him in.

Where did Stacey lam to?

I don't know.

Don't lie to me, you little rat.

I've been handling hooligans like you for 25 years.

Where is he?

I don't know.

Listen, Ross.

You're gonna talk if we have to bury you in the Hole for the next 20 years.

With an added stretch for aiding an escape.

Now, where did he go?

I tell ya, I don't know.

Wise-guy reporter, eh?

Tell us what ya saw.

It was on a Monday.

Him and Stacey was behind a breaker, whispering together.

Then they shook hands.

And right after that, Ross told the warden Stacey killed Limpy.

You heard that? Now what do you say?

He's a liar. I never said that Stacey killed Limpy.

If Stacey had done it, he'd have covered up, and not sent me in to rat on him.

Well, why did you stool then?

You never opened your trap before.

I thought I might get a break from the pardon board.

Listen, Ross, you are not dealing with suckers.

That getaway was planned months ago, and timed right to the second.

You were in on it.

And another guy. Now, who was the other guy?

I don't know anything about it.

Oh, you don't know anything about it?

Who filled the back of that truck with mattress padding so Stacey could jump?

I don't know, I tell you.

You don't know.

Who passed Stacey the signal so he'd know which window to jump from?

You don't know that either, do ya?

What kind of a car did they change to after they ditched the hot car down the road?

You don't know.

Well, let me tell you something, you're doing a 20-year stretch.

And if you don't talk, there'll be no pardon, no parole.

You'll do that 20 years, every last second of it.

Now will you spill?

I've told you everything I know!

Work on him.


What's going on here?

Take him out.

You stay here.


Well, he's guilty, ain't he?

How else you gonna make him sing?

I've told you before that I will not tolerate brutality in this penitentiary.

I've laid down punishment rules that are fully adequate.

And as long as I'm warden, those rules will be obeyed.

And mark this, Lang, if there's any more of what went on in here this afternoon, you'll go... if I have to charge you in criminal court to do it.

FRANK: Let me outta here.

Just a minute.

Let me out of here, do you hear?

We'll give you one more chance, Ross.

If you give me the lowdown on Stacey's escape and tell me who helped him, I'll let you outta here and give you your first-grade stripe.

You haven't got a thing on me, and you're not gonna get a word out of me.

I don't know where Stacey lammed to, but I'm glad he made it.

I'm in here on a phony rap, and you've got no right to keep me here.

So get this, from now on, the rules are off.

I'm gonna talk when I please and do what I like.

I'm gonna be as mean and dirty and hard to handle as the worst con in the joint, and I'll skull-drag any rat or screw that gets in my way, you hear?

Now, let me outta here, you hear?

You muddle-headed copper.

Let me outta here!


Grayce, head of the parole board?

Of all the rotten breaks.

Why, that dirty crook Hanley.

I'd like to get my hands on that guy.

Well, that certainly fixed it up for the kid's parole.

What about that A.P. guy in Chicago that had a line on Shake Edwards?

The finger man. It fizzled out.

Just like everything else we've tried.

Just like Stacey.

And Lockhart, that lawyer of his who promised to help.

No word from him, huh?


For 20 years now, I've been a newspaperman, but I've never seen a case as shut as this.

Bill, we've got to do something for him.

We can't let him sit up there and rot in that hole.

Honey, I'd get down on my hands and knees and shove my face in the dirt from here to Rocky Point if it'd get the kid out.

But there's a stone wall smack in front of us.

We've got to wait until there's some kind of a break.

Well, we can't wait. Frank can't wait any longer.

Bill, you don't know what it does to him up there.

We've got to think of some way.

We've got to do something now.


You've got to let me see Stacey.

Please, Mr. Lockhart.

You must take me to him.

Don't you understand?

Stacey's our last hope.

He's got to see me.

I could get you into heaven easier.

However, I'll do whatever I can for you.

Thanks, Mr. Lockhart.


Take the blinders off.

Well, what's up?

Stacey, you've got to get Frank out.

What do you want me to do, send him a pair of wings?

What's the matter with his friends at the newspaper?

They're smart, ain't they?

They kept him in, they can work in reverse.

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

Ross would.

He said he'd keep his trap shut, but he didn't.

He tipped off his paper so the courtroom was crummy with reporters and photographers all waiting for the break.

Oh, I never did like reporters.

Any one of them would put the finger on you.

He had to let his paper know.

It was his instinct as a reporter.

Well, his instinct blew him right into the Hole, and I hope he rots there.

You think he double-crossed you?

I think he's like every other wise guy.

He had to have a payoff before he'd dummy up.

You don't think there's anyone, man or woman, that money won't buy, do you?

Well, is there?

Look at Garsky.

Look at Joe, that weasel with the punk cigar.

Look at Johnny over there.

He gets paid just to look out that window.

Look at Lockhart. Look at me.

I am looking at you. And it's making me sick.

What did you mean by that last crack?

Cut it out.

You can threaten me if you want to, but you can't shut me up.

You still make me sick.

You're a blind, stupid, selfish, contemptible tinhorn crook.

Now, listen--

You listen to me.

Frank's been in that hole for five months waiting to hear from you.

Do ya here?

Five months of beatings, kickings and starvations.

Trying to twist and torture it out of him that you used Julian's death as part of an escape plan.

But he wouldn't tell.

Did you pay him to keep quiet?

Did you? No.

No, he kept his mouth shut because he trusted you.

He thinks you're his friend.

He doesn't know you never heard of that kind of loyalty money won't buy.

That you're just a cheap hoodlum who never did one decent thing.

Who ever done anything for me?

Frank Ross.

He's doing it right now in the Hole in Rocky Point.

You guys wait outside in the other room.

All right. Okay.

Lockhart. Uh-huh?

You stay.

Sit down.

If I could believe that, there ain't no place I wouldn't go for a guy like that.

Nothing I wouldn't do.

Why don't you do something then?

Frank is straight, he is honest and loyal.

He's everything that you're not.

Yes, I know.

Lockhart told me you were a slum kid who never had a chance, but so was Frank.

He hates crooked cops and rotten politicians just as much as you do.

The only difference is you chose crime, the easy way.

While he spent his life fighting them, doing something about it.

That's why you've got to help him now.

Maybe you're on the level at that.

I don't know.

Anyway, beat it along home, now.

But you will--?

How do I know? I'll think it over.

Put the blinders on her.

Come on, you guys.

Tell her you're sorry for getting tough.

Who, me? For crying out loud--

Go on, tell her.

All right, I'm sorry.

See, he don't know no better.

Go on.

All right, Lockhart, powder.

Wanna sit in, boss?

It's the dame, I guess.

They sure pour it on.

It's their nature. They can't help it.

Is there anything wrong with that?

Is there?

Why, no, chief. I only--

Shut up, then.

Now, look.

Ross may be dumb, but he's on the level, see?

A square guy.

And I ain't used to square guys.

So we gotta pick up the mug that Ross is taking the rap for.

How do we do that?

First we pick up Shake Edwards.

We gotta find him and squeeze him a little.

Then Lockhart can get Ross a new trial.

But-- But what?

We'll talk it over first and figure it out from there.

Well, what are you guys waiting for?

Ya paralyzed?

Go on, scram out of here and pick up that fink.


Like a bunch of tin crooks.


Imagine Stacey working for the cops.

Huh. That's a hot one.

I'm sorry, Miss Conover, I can only repeat what I've told you many times in the last five months.

When he admits the truth--

But Frank had nothing to do with it.

You know better.

Look, this unusual photographic concentration on Stacey proves that The Record was tipped off beforehand.

And that tip would come from only one source: Ross.

A former reporter for The Record.

But that's just it.

He's a newspaperman and naturally he--

That's practically an admission, isn't it?

You can't prove that he--

That's true.

Because we can't prove it, Ross might have been out of the Hole long ago except for his record while in there.

Insubordination, violence, hunger strikes.

He's the most troublesome prisoner I've had in 35 years of penal work.

But you can't blame him, warden.

He never committed any crime and naturally he resents--

Oh, won't you please let him out and give him another chance?

We're uncovering new evidence of his innocence right now.

Yet how can he get a hearing if he's in the Hole?

New evidence? What do you mean?

Well, we've--

That is, his friends are on the trail of the man who framed him.

You're in love with Ross, aren't you?

I'll trust you.

I'm gonna give Ross a break.

Have Ross brought into the deputy's office right away.

Come with me.


Sit down here.

FRANK: You can't get me in there!

If I can just get my hooks into your throat--

Frank, darling, don't!

Let him go.

Wait outside.

What are you starting now?

This some of your doing?

Frank, don't.

Take it easy.

You're not gonna get hurt.

But behave yourself.

Ross, when you first came here, I thought--

I don't care what you thought.

When I first came here, I believed in justice.

I believed that some day I'd be released.

Then I began to figure in weeks, then months.

And now I hate everybody in the whole world for letting me in for this.

Buried in a black, filthy hole because I was a good citizen.

Because I worked my head off to expose crime.

And now I'm a convict.

I act like a convict, smell like a convict.

I think and hate like a convict.

But I'll get out.

I'll get out if I have to kill every screw in the joint.

Now, that'll do.

Yeah. It'll do. You bet it'll do.

Go on, kick me, beat me up, throw me back in the Hole.

I can take it.

You brought a lot of this on yourself by throwing in with Stacey.

Mm. Starting that again, huh?

I'm not guessing this time.

I know.

I told him, Frank.

You what?

Frank, I didn't mean to, but--

Why, you--

You'd better not say it, Ross.

You'd better thank her instead.

For what?

Getting me another 10 years in the Hole?

For getting you a break.

What Miss Conover told me is off the record.

And I'm giving you a chance to measure up to her.

Think you can do it?

I'm sending you back to the Hole.

I knew there was a catch in it.

There's no catch.

If you behave yourself, you'll come out with a good-conduct report, all set for a fresh start.

A clean slate?

In 30 days, if you deserve it.

The pardon and parole board meets again in two months from now.

And if you'll stay away from troublemakers, I'll recommend you to the board myself.

But you've got to earn it.

What do you say?




Lassiter doesn't look so good.

How's he been making out?

Pete rides him all the time.

He's getting weaker and weaker and still the croaker in the hospital keeps sending him back.

The only thing that pill-pusher can diagnose is rigor mortis.

Sounds bad. Is it catching?

Did you tell him?

I didn't wanna get him down about his parole.

What's up?

We got it all planned to lam out.

You'll all wind up in the morgue.

Red, you're not putting in with them? Sure am.

The parole board will probably give you your ticket.

Yeah, and it's gonna read, "Continued to expiration of sentence."

Look, I ain't kidding myself, so why should you?

If I miss with the board, I've got Stacey.

Stacey. Yeah, we all thought he was a right guy until he lammed out and left you.

Have you heard from him?

No, but--

Them bigshots is all alike.

Why should he think of you, when he's rolling in that hundred grand?

He'll do something soon.

Wait'll he catches those creeps. Yeah, yeah.

Come on! Come on, get back to work!

Come on, step on it, all of ya!

That goes for you too.

What's the matter with you?

Let go of him.

Let go of him, I tell ya!

Listen, you ain't gonna get away with no more goldbricking.

Dragging that dead carcass of yours off to the hospital every time you think you got a little pain.

I'm really sick, Pete.

I feel kind of dizzy, like I'm floating around.

You will be floating around if you don't get back to that machine.

Hear what I told ya?

Get back to that machine!

Get back!

Come on, you lead-slinger. You ain't hurt.

Cut it. Cut it, you. Cut it.

Don't you butt in, you'll only make it worse for him.

Come on, get up. You ain't--

Take him to the hospital.

And listen!

He fell over a machine accidental-like.

Don't forget that, if you guys know what's good for ya.

Now, go on, get back to your machines!

All of you!

Or I'll book ya!

It's a good thing Pete ain't a crystal gazer.

If he was, he wouldn't sleep much nights.


Move up, boys.


All right.

Sit down, Ross.

How are you feeling?

I feel pretty well.

So you're the man who gets drunk and kills innocent people with his car, are you?

I guess you know me.

You were at my trial.

Oh, feeling a little troublesome this morning, eh?

After all, we're here to release men who feel properly penitent and show a desire to lead a decent life in the future.

I've never led any other kind of life.

You know that.

Oh, no. All we know is what is a matter of record.

Do you still contend that you're innocent?


Well, then, you haven't any use for us.

We're only interested in men who acknowledge their guilt and wish to atone.

What do you want me to do?

Do you want me to confess to a crime I never committed?

I'd stay here the whole 20 years before I'd do that.

Why did you help Stacey to escape?

I didn't.

It's all here in your record.

You haven't been a very good influence for the rest of the inmates, and it might not be proper to turn you loose on society just at present.

You've got to realize that you can't get drunk and drive around killing people.

It's murder, as your admirable paper once pointed out, just as surely as if you used a loaded gun.

I didn't, I didn't.

That's not true, and you know it.

Then there's your record here.

Insolence to a guard on your first day.

Disobedience and insubordination in the solitary cells.

Does that record merit any consideration from us?

Yes, it does.

Well, we don't agree with you.

Warden Armstrong reports that your conduct has improved of late.

But the reason is obvious.

To curry favor with the board in hope of release.

Speak up.

Haven't you anything to say?

Yes, I'd have plenty to say if I could think of anything scummy enough to call ya, you sanctimonious, mealy-mouthed lot of skunks.

I'll meet you on the outside someday.

It may be 20 years from now, but when I do!



I'm sorry.

I didn't mean what I said.

Oh, please, give me another chance.

I just couldn't stand it. Couldn't...

I can't do any more time.

Please, turn me out of here.

We'll do what we can for you.

Go along now.

Next man.


I don't know. I don't know anything about it.

Honest. I didn't have anything to do with it.

That's the truth. You gotta believe me, fellas.

I'm waiting. I don't know.

Don't, Stacey, don't. All right, I'll tell!

Spill it!

It was Carlisle, Polecat Carlisle.

Hanley had him do it.

I didn't have no part in it. I just fingered him.

I didn't know what they was gonna do with him.

You can't blame me. Polecat.

Yeah. He's at Rocky Point. I oughta know that.

Hanley and Grayce got him picked up for an old rat and sent there to get him outta the way because the papers was getting hot.

It's like having him put in a safe.

Yeah. That's all I know. You can't blame me.

In Rocky Point. No wonder you couldn't find him.

The old homestead.

So now what? So, what do you suppose?

I promised the girl we'd find that fink and clear Ross, didn't I?

Well, we did. Now we gotta get to Carlisle.

Is that right? Duck soup.

You take off the kelly at the front door and say, "Please, sir, can I see Mr. Polecat Carlisle?"

It's too hot.

And supposin' we do find the guy?

Where's the payoff?

Yeah, the payoff.

Why don't you forget it, Stacey?

What difference does it make if you promised the girl?

What do you care about Ross?

We can't help it if Polecat's in stir.

We'll just fool around at Rocky Point and get paid off with a slug in the belly.

And I ain't taking it for Ross or nobody.


If there was only a half a chance, Stacey.

Listen, don't do nothing foolish.

If you get picked up now, you're gonna spend the rest of your life in the Hole.

Yeah, I thought of that.

I don't blame you guys for laying down on me.

But do something for me, will ya?

Sure. Yeah, what?

Get out of here. I don't like the way ya smell.

Go on, all of ya.

Come on, beat it.

I guess I'm a sucker, but I just can't get it out of my nut.

Ross doing all those months in the Hole just to cover up for me.

But still, he didn't have to, did he?

No, he didn't have to.

Remember what Ross' dame said that day about...?

About Ross and me wanting the same thing all our lives, and he was doing something about it--?

Yep, I remember. What about it?

I think she had something there, so--

So what?

So maybe I better do something about it.

Don't be a fool. If you're picked up--

Shut up! Where did you ever get the idea I was a fool?

I broke out of that pen once, didn't I?

And I can do it again.

Now, listen, Stacey, you can't-- You heard me, shut up.

You do the listening, I'll do the talking.

And pay attention.

Because if there's any slip-up on your part of this, you'll answer to the boys for it.

Now, here's the gag. Get word through to Dale.


It's okay, I didn't print it.


Hey! It's Stacey!

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

What do I gotta do, fight my way back in?

Come on!

And you won't say why you came back and gave yourself up?

You know what it means.

What is this, a guessing game?

According to rules, it means the book and the Hole, but not for me.

I only came back for the weekend.

You made it out once, Stacey, but you'll never do it again.

We'll see how it works out.

Now, do I get that plush-lined cell in solitary, or don't I?

All right.

Everything set for the break? Yeah.

You coming in with us or not?

I don't love life much, but I don't hate it enough to stick my head in front of a screw's bullet.

Be a wise guy. Stick around here and maybe it won't be a screw's bullet.

Maybe you'll get what Lassiter got.

What about Lassiter?

He's on his way home. Home?

Out the back gate in a hearse. When'd it happen?

Four o'clock this morning. Poor guy.

Anybody told Meuller? No.

None of the guys wanted to break it to him.

Wait till he hears it.

Yeah, I wouldn't wanna be Pete.

For the last time, are you coming in with us or not?

I told ya no, and I mean no.

Oh, you're stir-nuts. He don't know what he's saying.

Aw, come on, Frank, get wise to yourself.

Lay off, Red. Will you lay off?

Stacey's on the outside. I'm sure he's working for me.

I'll take my chance that way.

Tough luck, kid.



Meuller, you can't beat this joint!

You have no chance! Let me go!

Meuller, why ain't you at work?

Get back to your machine.


Get over agin that wall.

I'm gonna bury you in the Hole.

You hear what I told ya? Get over agin that wall.

So you're the guy that wouldn't let Lassiter go to the hospital?

I'll put you where he is, if you don't keep away from me.

And you're the guy that made him fall and busted his back!

Get over agin that wall!

And you're the guy that's been riding me to the nut house!

Stop him! Somebody, stop him! He's crazy!

Get him away! Get the warden!

And you're the dirty screw that killed my pal!



MEULLER: That's for all the guys you beat up and put in the Hole!

And that! And that! And this is for Lassiter!



We're crashing out! Who's coming with us?


Come on!

I don't know what he's wanted for, but I was told to bring him along by Stacey.

Come on, get going.


Come on, Ross. We need ya.

You're all crazy, men. Don't try it!

They'll blast you before you get to the gate!

Don't be suckers. Stay out of it!

If I didn't know you were stir-nuts, I'd blast ya!

Come on, Red. Bring him along! Come on!


Don't be like that, pal. Come on, this is gonna be swell.

Look, I got a nice little one for you too.

Come on.



There. You're out of it anyway.


Men, stay out of it. Don't be suckers.

You can't fight machine guns and riot guns.

Go back to your machines, you hear--

Get going! Come on! Let's go!

MAN: No, I won't go in there!


We're heading for the warden's!

There he is!


Lock the door, get in the mailroom and stay there.

Pull 'em up! You're crazy.

Put up those guns, men!

I'm giving the orders now.

You're taking us through them gates!

You're digging your own graves, you fools!

You do what we tell you, or you're digging yours.



Listen, bigshot, you saw what Pollard just got, so order them gates to open up and take us to the car, or I'll blow your hair all over the ceiling.

You haven't got the nerve, Dale.

You can't get away with this.

You'll spend the rest of your life in the Hole.

You got 10 seconds to find out whether I got the nerve.

Ten seconds or 10 years, the answer will always be the same.

Listen, you dirty rats in there.

If these gates ain't open in 10 seconds, I'm killing Armstrong just like Pollard!

Is that right, warden? Did they kill Pollard?

Never mind. Don't open the gates.

Get on the phone. Call for extra help.

We have, warden. It's on the way, sir.

This is it, Armstrong.

Don't you need the warden to make 'em open up the solitary?

Yeah, yeah, that's right.

I oughta give it to you now, but I got a date to keep with Stacey, and you're opening it up for him.

You're heading for the Hole.

Not a chance.


Get them keys, or I give it to Lang on the spot!

All right, men, all right! All right!

I'll open up.

MAN: Step on it!

Quiet, boys, quiet!

Meuller, Johnny, Ross, you come with us.

Carr, you stick here.

I told you, I didn't want any part of this.


Quiet! Oh, we get it.

You want the warden to think you're too good to stick with your pals, huh?

No, I don't wanna make the Hole for life.

Listen, Ross.

Get moving or I'll bump you, Stacey or no Stacey.

MAN: Come on!


Come on. Move aside, Ross.

They're all screwy. I'm glad you use your head.

I'll make my own break when the time comes.

So the picnic is on. This is it.

And there's Polecat, like you asked.

I'll get to him later.

Hello, Frankie. I been waiting to see you for a long time.

I got a surprise for ya.

All right, boys. Right here.




They threw gas bombs in through the gates.

All the guys ran up in the north cell hall.

Now, the National Guard's out there with machine guns and gas masks!

Did I say a picnic?

You two guys get in that cell. Okay.

Why don't we give it to them right now?

We may need 'em later. [GUNSHOTS]

Any of you guys got a shiv? He's got one.

Swell. Screws with machine guns all over the joint.

We'll make out. Out where?

Why, through the back door.

We pick the screws off the wall, get some rope at the twine mill and lam out!

Let's go!

STACEY: Come on, get going. Come on.

You guys go ahead.

What about you?

Don't worry about me. I'll make out.

I got something to take care of. Go on, beat it.

Put him in that cell. He's done.


We all go together, Stacey. You got any ideas?

If you know any prayers, don't say 'em now.

They won't do you any good.

Come on, I got some unfinished business to take care of with the warden.

Write a note.

Tell 'em we'll release you and Lang if they let us out alive. Release 'em?

Write 'em, we'll knock you both off in 10 minutes if they don't quit firing.

My orders in case of riot are to keep firing, regardless of the safety of any official or guard.

Those orders will stand.


Stay on the floor, and you won't get hurt.



Take that undershirt off. We'll show 'em a white flag.

Here's a chance for you to be a hero.

Take this note over to the twine mill.

And if you lose it, tell 'em to stop firing.

We give up.

I ain't going. I don't wanna get killed.

What do you wanna do, live forever?

Here, give it to me. Come on, Dale. Open that door.




Looks like they don't wanna play.

How bad are you hit?

Oh, it's just a nick.

Anything I can do?

No, thanks, Frank.


They'll be blasting it open pretty soon.

Stacey, the riot's a bust.

Get back in your cell while there's still a chance.

No, won't do me no good now, kid.

I still got that Limpy rap hanging over me, even though it was-- [EXPLOSION]

It wasn't my job.

I wouldn't appear against you.

I know it. It's no use, Frank.

This is the last roundup for Stacey.


But there's still that unfinished business of yours to take care of.

It's still okay.

Where's Polecat? Over there.

I wanna talk to him.

Didn't I tell ya I had a surprise for ya?

Come on. I ain't got no time to waste.

Funny, just an hour ago, I had 199 years.

And now I ain't got no time at all.

I'll get the rat.


We got an affidavit from Shake Edwards before I came back in here.

What about those guys who framed me?

Did you get them?


Well, rat. So it caught up with you.

I didn't do nothing.

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

Stacey, put up that gun and listen. You're sunk.

I know it, big boy.

I just want you to listen to what this rat's gotta say.

Remember what happened to Limpy?

In about two minutes, you're gonna get worse.

Honest, Stacey. I ain't done a thing.

In two minutes, you're gonna get this .38 between the eyes.

Don't shoot me, Stacey! I didn't never snitch on you.

I ain't talking about you snitching on me.

I'm talking about something I learned from Shake Edwards.

No, I don't know nothing.

I'm talkin' about you framin' Ross into this joint.

Honest. We never framed him.


Start talking. I can't. I don't know.

Wait, wait. I'll talk.

Okay. This is a confession without coaching.

And it's gonna spring Ross, so remember it.

Okay, canary. Start singing.

Who framed Ross?

I did. But I didn't mean nobody to get killed.

Quit stalling. Who paid ya to do it?

Hanley and Grayce.

How did you frame him? I socked his head.

Then planted the liquor in the car. Yeah.

Then started the car and then jumped out.

Yeah, I did, but I didn't mean to have nobody get killed.


Have you heard enough?

Plenty, Stacey. And thanks.

Okay, pal. That's just what I hoped.



I'm all right, Frank.

Stacey, you can't wash out on me now.

I need you. I'll get you out of here.

I'm going out, pal. My way.

I wanna tell you something.


That dame of yours is the one that sprung ya, not me.

Take care of her. She's worth it.

I think I can hold 'em!

No hurry now, Dale.

So long, kid.

Now we're even.

So long, Stacey.

Come on, you. On your feet.

Honest, Stacey, honest. It wasn't my fault.

I told ya I didn't want anybody killed.

Get moving. Where you taking me?

You didn't think I was gonna let you live and welsh on that confession, did ya?

No, no. Let me alone! Let me alone!

Please, Stacey, please!




So long, old-timer.

I guess if you hadn't socked me on the chin, I'd be laying in the icehouse now, along with Dale and the rest.

I-- Gee, I don't know what to say.

Never mind, Red.

You'll be out yourself before long.


So long, Frank.

It oughta make up for what you've gone through in here, Ross, to know that it hasn't been in vain.

The day Stacey came to me and gave himself up, I asked him why he was throwing away his freedom.

I didn't fully understand all he tried to tell me, but it was something about you living the rest of your life for him as he might have lived it himself if he'd had the right breaks when he was a kid.

Then he asked me for a photograph of himself.

Here it is.