I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) Script

♪ There are smiles that steal away the teardrops ♪

♪ as the sunbeams steal away the dew ♪

♪ there are smiles that have a tender meaning ♪

♪ that the eyes of love alone many see ♪

♪ and the... ♪ Hey, pipe down, you mugs!

Sorry to disturb the game.

The old man's having bunk inspection.

Oh! Oh!

Hey! Give me my bones.

Give me my bones.

Give me my bones.

I don't want them.

This man's army ain't been nothing but one inspection after another.

If ever I get back on that Texas range, the first man who says "inspection" will be s.O.L.

He'll hear from my six-shooter, sure enough.

No inspections where I'm going.

Where's that?

Back into vaudeville with my lion taming act.

I wonder if Oscar and minnie will know me when I step into the cage.

You better hope they do.

Ha ha ha!

I'm going to get a construction job.

Was that your line, sergeant?

It wasn't, but it will be.

The engineering corps has been swell experience.

I'm making the most of it.

Well!

We'll be reading about you in the newspapers.

"Mr. James Allen is building a new Panama canal" or something.

You can bet your tin hat I won't be back in a factory.


Will he be wearing his medal?

Of course he will.

Jim! Jim!

Mom!

Jim!

Ohh!

Good to have you back.

You're a little thinner.

Your cooking will fix that up.

Clint!

Well, you haven't changed a bit.

But, Alice, I wouldn't have known you.

She's grown up, hasn't she?

She certainly has.

And you look different, too.

I think it's the uniform I miss.

It made you look taller and more distinguished.

Well, I...

I got a regular welcome home party here.

Mr. Parker, it's nice of you to be here.

You have a lot to thank him for.

That's nothing.

He feels we owe you something.

He will take you back into the factory.

I saved your old job.

Your boss won't forget you.

Well, that's...

I'm so glad to have you back.

Well, uh...

I guess we'd better go home.

All right. I'll take this.

I'll see you later, Jim.

Good-bye.

The old place hasn't changed a bit.

Well, let's sit down and have a talk.

Tell us all about the war.

I won't live that long.

What did you think of Mr. Parker?

Say, Clint, speaking of Mr. Parker, will you do something for me?

Sure. What is it?

Will you tell him I won't take that job?

Jim!

Why should I say that?

Well, it's...

It's kind of hard to explain, but you see, the army changes a fellow.

It makes you think different.

I don't want to spend my life answering a factory whistle instead of a bugle, or be cooped up in a shipping room.

I want to do something worthwhile.

How can you say that?

He's tired, mother, excited.

You don't know what you're saying.

But tomorrow morning, after a good night's sleep, you'll be ready to start up at the factory, a soldier of peace, instead of a soldier of war.

I don't want to be a soldier of anything.

You see, mom, I want to get out, away from routine.

I've had enough in the army.

Oh, you've found another job?

Not exactly, mom, but you see, I've been doing engineering work in the army.

That's the work I want to do now, a man's job where you can accomplish things...

Build, construct, create. Do things!

That sounds very nice.

But after all, a job in the hand's worth two in the bush.

I don't want to tell you what to do, Jim, but when you were in the war, whenever I passed the factory, I was wishing for the day you'd be working there again.

We've moved things around.

Isn't this nicer than the old shipping room?

Mm-hmm.

You'll sit here and check shipments.

Job's about the same.

You'll do it blindfolded.

They're excavating.

That shouldn't scare you.

I was looking for the nearest dugout.

Oh, you'll hear lots of explosions.

They're building a new bridge.

Better get busy, Allen, and file those bills.

Yes, sir.


It might do good to talk again with Jim.

I certainly intend to.

Parker's given him a job anyone would grab, and what does he do?

Checks in every day late from lunch, loitering around that new bridge for no reason at all.

He'll come out of it, but it worries me, too.

Is that you, Jim?

It's me, mom.

Maybe you could speak to him now.

Hello, Clint.

You're quite a stranger here.

Had your supper?

No. I'm not hungry.

You should have something.

I don't feel hungry.

Well, anyway, sit down.

I want to talk to you.

Jim, Mr. Parker's very disappointed in you.

You haven't shown him anything.

Your duty is to your job.

I just can't help it.

Maybe you're not well, dear.

Mom, I'm all right.

I try my best at first, but I just can't concentrate.

It's not what I want to do.

I've said so.

You don't seem to realize...

No one seems to realize that I've changed.

I'm different.

I've been through hell!

Folks here are concerned with my uniform, how I dance.

I'm out of step.

All the while, I was hoping to start a new life, to be free.

Again I find myself under orders, a drab routine, mechanical... Even worse than the army!

And you, all of you, trying to map out my future, to lead me around to do what you think is best for me.

I've grown.

I've learned life is more important than a medal or an insignificant job.

Appreciation... why, you've...

What would you do, son?

Where would you go?

Anywhere, mom, where I can do what I want.

If that's really in your heart, I think you certainly should follow it.

I knew you'd understand.

He'll be leaving us again.

That doesn't matter.

He should be happy.

He's got to find himself.

You're a peach, mom.

Listen, mom.

There's a lot of construction in new england.

Hey, Allen.

Allen!

Calling me?

I want to see you.

It's bad news for you.

The new men have to go.

Sorry.

All right.


You the boss here?

Yep.

Can you use a good man?

I'm full up now.


You're new, ain't you?

Yeah, just filling in for a couple of days.

I'm glad to be working.

It's my first job in four months.

What can I do for you?

How much for this Belgian Croix de guerre?

Come here, mister.

Look.


Some poker to see who bums the handout?

No, I'm afraid not.

I'm new in town and not on to the ropes.

Been on the road?

I've walked the ties since my Rolls-Royce broke down.

What's your name?

James Allen.

James Allen, huh? That will do, I guess.

Mine's Pete.

Glad to know you, Pete.

Glad to know you, Allen.

I'm hungry.

What would you say to a hamburger?

What would I say to a hamburger?

I'd shake Mr. Hamburger's hand and say, "pal, I haven't seen you in a long time."

I think I can mooch a couple down the street.

The guy that runs the lunch wagon is a pretty soft egg.

What do you say?

Boy, I hope you ain't foolin'.

How about a handout?

I was hoping you'd left town.

No, I've incorporated. Meet my partner.

I've laid off of you a couple days.

Be a sport.

All right. You guys sit over there.


What do I owe you?

15 cents.

Business is pretty good, huh?

Yeah, pretty good.

How good?

Hey, what is this?

Put your hands on that counter.

Get that dough from the register.

Hey, listen...

Do as I say.

Go on. Go on!

How much is there?

About $5.00.

Where is the rest?

That's all.

Put it in your pocket and come on.

Come on, move!

Don't start yelling for cops.

You don't have to yell, Mike!

Put 'em up!

Thought you'd get away, huh?

I didn't do nothing!

Oh, no?

No...

No.

I see no reason for leniency since the money was found on your person.

Furthermore, upon detection, you attempted to escape, which would, of necessity, increase the seriousness of your offense.

I therefore, in accordance with state law, sentence you to...

Years of hard labor.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Ha ha!

A nice lucky number.

What's this for?

To put in your nose.

All right. Pick it up.

Follow me.


Pick them up!

Come on, pull them through.


All right, tie it off.

That will learn you to sit up and hold on to this!

All right, you guys, get going.

Get those shoes on and get up.

All right, come get it.

Come on, hurry it up.

Pick up that chain!

Come on. Move on.


Here, take that.

Ha ha ha!

Grease, fried dough, pig fat, and sorghum.

You better get to like it because it's the same thing every morning.

There's no better chain gang food.

You can travel the world, and you won't find worse.

Ugh.

How can anybody eat this mess?

Why do you take that slime?

I'm practicing.

My last day here, I'll spit it at the warden.

Yeah? You'll blind him for life.


Come on, let's go!

Come on. By me!

Come on. Come on!

Come on! Move up!

Come on, you. Get in there.

Hurry up! Come on!

By me!

All right, load the trucks!


All right, take them out!


Are you up here for murder, kid?

No.

The guy who killed four people was coming here.

Nordine's always worrying about losing his spot here as high man.

He only killed three.

More than anyone else in this chain gang.

His wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law.

Used an ax so as not to disturb the neighbors.

What are you taking the rap for, kid?

For looking at a hamburger.

Come on, tell us. You're among friends.

All right, let's go!


Getting out here.

All right, get out in there!

What's the idea?

He gets two minutes to brush his teeth.

Look at him swing that sledge.

Lay down a nickel, they'd knock the buffalo's right eye out.

They like his work so much, they're keeping him here the rest of his life.

Get up. Quit your stalling.

I was just wiping the sweat off.

You got it knocked off.

That won't do no good.

You got to ask permission to wipe the sweat off.

Wiping it off.

All right, wipe it off.

Yeah, like that.

In the first place, you got to get their permission to sweat.

Come on, get to work.

My stomach is...

Get to work, or I'll kick that bellyache.

Come on. Move on there.

Come on, get up.


Pull it through!

All right, come on!

Get in there. Come on!

6.

6.

7.

7.

8.

8.

9.

9.

10.

10.

11.

11.

Spread them out!

12.

Come on, get out of here!

So this is the washroom, eh?

Yep. Come on. There's plenty of room.

No, thanks. I forgot my bath salts.


Boys, show me the man that didn't give us a good day's work.

Ackerman hasn't been on the job today, warden.

Is that so?

Come on!

Anybody else?

This guy red tried to pull a faint on us today.

Pulling a faint, eh?

I don't care what you do to me.

So that's the way you feel about it.

Take a look at that.

The skunk.

You're next.

Take his stinking shirt off.

Loud-mouth, eh?

Oh!

Ah!

Ooh!

Ah!

Ah!

Oh!

Ooh!

All right. Let him out.

Come on.

Over there.


Well, Barney's gone.

Bye, Barney!

Good-bye, Barney old boy.

Don't forget to write, kid!

See you in two or three years.

So long, Barney!

Don't forget to write!

So long!

So long.

See you soon.

Good luck.

You'll need it.

The lucky rat.

It proves something... You really can get out of here.

Sure, you can, and I'm counting the days.

They ain't gonna cheat me out of nothin'.

When's your time up?

I got it figured out exactly...

4 days, 2 weeks, 7 months, and 12 years.

Let me see...

4 weeks from 10 years...

9 years and 48 weeks.

You can't count those away.

Oh, red's leaving today, too.

All right, hurry it up!

Let's go!

Well, there's just two ways to get out of here...

Work out and die out.

You might as well grab a ride with us.

Yeah. I can't walk very good without them chains on.

Doesn't a man ever break loose?

You mean, hang it on the limb?

There's too many breaks against you.

You got to beat the chains, the bloodhounds, and guards who'd just as soon bring you back dead.

It's been done, but you got to figure out some perfect scheme.

You got to watch.

You got to wait.

Maybe one year, maybe two.

Then...

Hang it on the limb.


Sebastian, can you hit my shackles hard enough to bend them?

If you can bend my shackles just a little so I can slide them off my foot...

I'd like to see you get away from this misery.

The heat's got the guards down.

All right. You keep an eye on them.

I'll leave my foot here. Hit it whenever you can.

Promise not to yell no matter how it hurts, or they'll give me the works for helping you.

I promise.

If I hit your leg, your foot will drop off right along with the shackle.

Again.

Now the other one.

Again.

Once more.

5.

5.

6.

6.

7.

8.

8.

9.

10.


When are you going to do it?

Monday.

That's good.

You can rest up for it on sunday.

Got any dough?

A little.

Here's seven bucks.

Oh, no...

When you get to Stanton, look up Barney.

Now, here's his address.

He'll take care of you.

Thanks, bomber.

Nervous?

A little.

Well, no matter what happens, it's better than this.

Let them by there.

What do you think?

It looks pretty good to me.

Getting out here!

All right. Get out over in there.


Hey, boss, we need some more help here.

Give bomber a hand.

Allen, get back to work.

Bring those dogs over here! He won't get far.

Stay where you are!


Where do you suppose he's gone?

Let's try these woods.

Come on. Move it!

Move it!

Move!

Come on, move it. Get him!


You look like a new man.

Now show me something in a cheap hat.

Yes, sir.

How did you get the scratches?

Lumberjacking up in the hills.

I know a good many of them fellas up there.

Funny I ain't seen you before.

Hey! Look out.

I'm sorry.

How do you do?

Well, if it ain't old John law himself.

How's the rheumatism?

If they don't put me on days, I'm going to...

Oh, what's it to you?

What's new? Anything?

There was a break on the merritt county chain gang this morning.

They say he's headed up this way.

What's the guy look like?

Well, he's about 5'10".

Heavy black hair, brown eyes.

Stocky build. Around 30.

Name is Allen... James Allen.

Give us a hot towel, will you?

Coming up.

Hope it's hot enough for you.

Those guys haven't got much chance getting away with it.

No. We've got the depot and all the highways covered.

They can get this far and no farther.

Thanks. Come in again.

How was it? Close enough?

Plenty.


So you hung it on the limb.

Barney!

It's good to see you, kid.

How do you suppose I feel?

Bomber tipped me off where you were.

You got a place I can hide out?

Sure. Come on. I'll fix you up.

How are the boys on the chain gang?

Shh!

I had to keep my eyes open every minute.

Will I be safe here?

It's a cinch... unless the cops pull another raid, but they're probably too busy looking for you to raid any joints like this.

I'll lam out of here early in the morning.

Make yourself at home.

We got everything you dream about in the chain gang.

Here... i guess you still know what this is good for.

Thanks. I've got a tough day ahead of me tomorrow.

I've got a tough night ahead of me.

I got to beat it now, Jim, but the place is yours.

Oh, wait a minute.

I'll get somebody to see that you're comfortable.

Linda...

Come here.

This is Jim Allen from the chain gang. He's just escaped.

Listen, never mind the advertising.

It's all right with Linda.

Take good care of him. He's my personal guest.

I hope you make it.

You've got what it takes to pull an escape from that place.

I'm not safe yet... not until I'm out of the state.

If there's anything I can do to help you, just say the word.

Thanks...

But there's nothing you can do.

How about a drink?

No.

You don't mind if I take one, do you?

No. Go right ahead.

Here's to you.

A guy with your nerve's got the breaks coming to him.

I know what you're thinking.

I understand.

You're among friends.

Well, you have about 35 minutes to wait.

The train is late.

Oh.

You want everything on this one, too?

Yeah. Same as the first one.

Look who's here. Chief of police in all his glory.

Must be looking for somebody important.

All right, boys. Keep your eyes open.

All aboard!

There he is!


Did I get your ticket?

Here it is.

I didn't see you get on.

They were chasing somebody. You were watching.

They were after an escaped convict.

Catch him?

No. The guy they caught was a hobo.

They're still looking for the convict.

Yeah.


I guess we can use you.

What's the name?

Allen.

Is that the first or last name?

Uh... the first name.

The full name is Allen James.

Allen James.

Report 8:00 tomorrow morning.

Yes, sir.

Say, James.

That's a swell idea you had about the bend.

I told the boss it was your suggestion.

You won't be swinging a pick much longer.

This is the room that's for rent.

Very nice. What are you asking for it?

25 a month. That's very reasonable.

Very, but it's more than I feel I can pay.

I'm sorry, because I like the location.

It's not far from the bridge I'm working on.

I'd like to rent this room to a gentleman like yourself.

You don't know anything about me.

Oh, you look like you'd be friendly, not like a stranger around the house.

How much would you be willing to pay?

It's out of the question.

$20?

That's silly. You can easily get your price.

I'm willing to let it go for 20 to you.

Well, it's a mighty nice room.

You'll like it.

Mmm.


Hello, honey.

Hello.

Oh, all you do every night is study.

I'll never get anywhere if I don't.

Anyway, that's not so.

We were out last night.

I don't think you like me anymore.

Of course I do.

We can't always be playing around.

Anyway, what's that got to do with it?

I don't know, but you don't act like you used to.

Now I don't seem good enough for you.

You're imagining things.

When you were first here, you weren't this way.

You've grown tired of me.

I was silly enough to believe you when you said you loved me.

Marie, you know that's not so.

I never said that.

You're just trying to put me in a spot.

You know it wasn't love just as well as I do.

So that's the way you feel, huh?

Well, you can't get away with it.

I know what I'm talking about.

Someday you're going to be sorry.


Come in.

Well, so you really think you're leaving.

To a bigger place. I can afford it.

We won't see each other anymore?

No, I guess we'll see each other sometime.

You don't mean that.

Marie, I appreciate all you've done for me, but I couldn't love you.

I can't change my feeling toward you any more than I can change my eye color.

I know i'm speaking bluntly, but frankly.

It's to save us both a lot of misery.

That's your reason for leaving?

It's a good one, right?

Not very.

When a fellow ditches a girl, he'll do anything...

Providing it doesn't land him back on the chain gang, where he probably belongs.

Here.

It's from your brother.


Marie...

You... you wouldn't...

I wouldn't tell...

If I had a reason to protect you.

What do you mean?

I wouldn't tell... If you were my husband.


Well... it means plenty of work.

I'm used to that.

On the other hand, all work and no play...

Makes Jack.

Let's knock off, have some recreation.

My wife and I are giving a party tonight. Join us.

I'd like to.

That includes Mrs. James.

Well... i don't know.

Um... I'm not sure that she can come, but I'll ask her.

Right. Anyway, we'll expect you.

See you later.

Mm-hmm.

Here's the revised budget on the king's highway bridge.

By the way, your wife called.

Any message?

She'll be gone till Wednesday.

She's with her cousin.

I see.

She also said her account was overdrawn about $600.

She's got to stop it!

The same thing happened last month.

Well, all right.

Make out a check for the amount.

Deposit it in her bank.

Good night, Mr. James.

Good night.


Hello.

Hello yourself. Is Marie there?

That's funny. Where do you think she is?

She had a date with me.

She's giving me a stand-up.

That's the first dame that stood me up.

You can tell her that Sammy called, and you can tell her where she can go with little Sammy's compli... compli...

Tell her that, will you?

Listen, listen, listen.

Not a word to her husband, understand?


Don't you dance?

Not if I can get out of it.

That makes two of us.

I don't care for dancing in a crowd.

I don't like crowds.

What do you like to do?

Oh, build Bridges, roads...

For people to use when they want to get away from things.

That sounds interesting.

But they can't get away.

Nobody can.

You're a strange person.

Oh, don't pay any attention to what I say.

You'd like to get away from here, wouldn't you?

You don't like this party.

I like it better... Now.

Well, I was on the verge of sneaking home.

I'm not so sure I want to now.

We might make a getaway.

I don't think they'd miss us.

How about it?

Come on.

Well, here we are.

Tell me some more about your work.

It sounds fascinating.

Why talk about work?

Well, that's what interests you, isn't it?

There are other things that interest me, too.

Do you mind if we stay here awhile, or must you go home?

There are no musts in my life.

I'm free, white, and 21.

You're lucky.

Why?

Well, you can go where you want, when you want.

Can't you?

Yes... and no.

You're a strange, moody person.

You need somebody to pull you out of those doldrums.

Are you applying for that job?

I might consider it.

You're hired.

When do I start?

You started several hours ago.

Don't you see, Marie?

If you get a divorce, I'll give you anything you want.

I swear I will.

What's the use of arguing, arguing?

I'm satisfied with how things are!

Neither of us will be happy this way.

I'm happy! I won't let you go.

You'll be a big shot someday.

I'm going to ride right along.

Get that?

I'd be a sucker to let you go.

I'm in love with another woman.

Oh, that's just too bad.

Play the game square.

Square? So that you can give me the grand go-by?

Ah, be yourself.

If you don't listen to reason, I'll find some way.

You do, and you'll serve out your time.

It's no worse than serving out my time with you!

You'll be sorry you said that!

Now, listen!

You've held a sword over my head long enough.

You've been pulling a bluff!

I've been fool enough to fall for it!

You good-for-nothing convict!

A bluff, eh?

You'll see! You'll see!

Put that down!

Give me the police!

Put that down!

That won't stop me! I've decided!

Marie!

We'll only take a minute of your time.

In view of your achievement on the new Stevens bridge, the chamber of commerce would like you as their principal speaker at their next banquet.

Thank you very much. I feel highly complimented.

Yes?

There's two detectives coming through.

I said you were busy.

They wouldn't wait.

I'm... I'm sorry.

I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me.

Mr. James or Mr. Allen, I've a warrant for your arrest.


And we can quote you literally?

Certainly. Everything I've said are facts.

I want this rotten chain gang system exposed.

Print it all!

How about a signed story?

Sure. I'll write it. Gladly.

How long were you on the chain gang before, Mr. Allen?


Governor Baxter has not yet signed the extradition papers.

Until he does, I cannot turn Mr. Allen over to the custody of your state.

In view of Allen's record since his escape, our state has authorized us to assure you that if he'll return voluntarily and pay the state the expense it's been put to, he'll be pardoned in 90 days.

Why is it necessary for my client to return?

Why mete out punishment to a man who has proven himself a useful citizen?

Merely a technicality.

No prisoner is eligible for pardon until he has served 90 days.

Does that mean I'll have to serve 90 days on the chain gang?

No. You'll be given some clerical job in one of the camps.

Well, it rests entirely with my client, but I'd advise him to stay right here.

Gentlemen...

There's someone else I'd like to consult, if you don't mind.

Certainly.

Certainly.

They promised me a full pardon within 90 days...

If I go back.

Can you trust them?

I don't see why not.

I'm giving myself up voluntarily.

Besides, I want to get it all cleaned up now so that nothing will stand in the way of our happiness.

I think it's best, darling.

Why, they can't fail to pardon you.

And then when you come back, you'll be free for always...

And we'll be together... Always.

These stories you've been hearing, gentlemen, are absurd.

Why, our chain gangs are beneficial to the convicts, not only physically, but morally.

I could cite you...

Gentlemen, I've decided to go back...

Voluntarily...

On your assurance of a pardon.

And you won't regret your decision.


I presume, Mr. Allen, your Chicago attorney's informed you that I would be in complete charge of your case down here.

Yes, he did.

Let's get the financial end straightened out first.

Your capture and return cost the state $350.

My fee will be 2,500, 1,000 now and 1,500 when you get your release.

This is for the state.

You know, of course, that you'll go to a prison camp for 90 days.

There's your check.

Thanks, Allen.

There's no reason to believe that after the 90 days...

I won't get my pardon then, is there?

Why, this is a funny state, and the governor's a little peculiar.

You see, all that publicity you gave out about the conditions here didn't help any.

But I'll get my pardon?

Oh, they'll give you the pardon, but that clerical job they promised you isn't so definite.

They might want you to work for about 60 days.

This is the guy that all that fuss was about!

If he tries to escape, shoot him!

Escape? I'm supposed to be a trusty.

Haven't you had orders from the prison commission?

Sure, I got orders.

If you get away, I lose my job!

That goes for all of you, get me?

Take him out!

Go on!

Find yourself a bunk!

Go on down the line!


Allen!

Bomber.

How did you get to this little bit of heaven?

It's a long story.

Sit down. Make yourself at home...

If you can.

If you think those other chain gangs are tough, get a load of this joint.

These guys were too tough for the chain gangs.

Give us the story. How did they snatch you?

They didn't. I came back.

He just got lonesome.

They promised me a pardon if I'd come back for 90 days.

What's a pardon?

These boys ain't heard that word.

Neither has the prison commission.

What did you do to get sent up here, bomber?

Hung it on the limb.

I socked a guard with a sledge.

I aimed at the rat's head...

But I missed.

I can't figure a guy walking back into this because they promised to spring him in 90 days.

They want to make it tough on me, I guess, but I'll get the pardon, all right.

Listen, kid, they ain't thinkin' of handing out pardons when you land in here.

This is the last word.

You might say it's it!

Get to work down there!

♪ Raise them high ♪

♪ day after day ♪

♪ raise them high ♪

♪ day after day ♪

♪ raise them high ♪

♪ day after day ♪

♪ working all the livelong day ♪

♪ working all the livelong day ♪

The case of James Allen.

Is Mr. Ramsey present?

Ready, your honor.

Please be brief.

We have many cases this afternoon.

I should first like to introduce the convict's brother, the reverend Robert Allen.

Your honor.

I shall leave the legal technicalities of the case to Mr. Ramsey and shall present the story of James Allen as a human being, a man of essential fineness and integrity of character, a man who was decorated for bravery in the world war, a man who committed a crime but only when forced to at the point of a gun, his first and only offense, a man who showed his true character by rising from less than nothing to become a prominent and honored citizen.

♪ Working all the livelong day ♪

♪ working all the livelong day ♪

♪ working all the livelong day ♪ And in conclusion, I need not remind you that James Allen has kept his part of the bargain.

He has returned voluntarily to this state and has paid all the expenses demanded of him.

I cannot believe, in the light of all this evidence and in the name of justice, that you will bring yourselves even to consider any other alternative.

First, I feel it is my duty to answer the malicious and unwarranted attack upon the chain gang system which we have heard here this afternoon.

Crime must be punished, and men who commit crime are hard men, and their punishments must be hard, but the brutality of which we hear is a gross exaggeration born of the fancy of the misinformed.

The life of a convict in the chain gang is one of hard labor.

The discipline is strict, but there is no brutality.

The purpose of prison is not only to punish crime, but to discourage it, and there is less crime in this state in proportion to her population than in 40 other states in this union.

Finally, as evidence of the chain gang's value as a character builder, I have but to present to you the very case that has been presented to us here today, the case of James Allen, who entered the chain gang as a worthless tramp and who left it to become one of a great city's most worthy and respected citizens.

The commission will take the case of James Allen under consideration.

Five minutes, Allen.

Jim, they refused to pardon you.

They refused?

The state's promise didn't mean anything?

It was all lies!

They just wanted to get me back so they can have their revenge...

To keep me here nine more years!

Why, their crimes are worse than mine, worse than anybody's here!

They're the ones that should be in chains, not we!

You don't have to stay here nine years, Jim.

The commission voted that if you were a model prisoner for one year, they'd concede that you had paid your obligations.

It's only nine months, Jim.

Nine months of this torture?

I won't do it!

I won't do it, I tell you!

Jim.

I'll get out of here!

Jim.

Even if they kill me for it!

Jim, it's still better to be honorably free, and in those nine months, we'll be working for you night and day.

But you've been working night and day.

It didn't do any good!

We'll have the whole country behind you then.

They'll be forced to release you.

All right.

I'll wait nine more months.

I'll be a model prisoner...

If it kills me.

♪ Day after day ♪

♪ raise them high ♪

♪ day after day ♪

♪ working all the livelong day ♪

♪ working all the livelong day ♪

And finally, not only has James Allen been a model prisoner, patient and uncomplaining for a whole year, but we have presented letters from countless organizations and prominent individuals beseeching you to recommend his pardon.

I think it only just, your honors, that he be given his freedom while there is still time for him to regain his former position in society of prominence and universal respect.

Allen.

We just had a final report on your new hearing.

Well?

They've suspended decision indefinitely.

Which one was it?

This one.

Get up, you lazy skunk! Get up!


Hey, driver!

Take a look back here!

I must make the quarry!

You'll never make it. Your spring's broken!

Spring broken?

Where?

There it is.

Hey, escape! Escape!

My truck! Escape!

Stay where you are!

Keep driving, boy.

Throw that box out!

Nix! It's full of my favorite candy!

We're making it, kid.

We'll make it yet.

Go on, boy. Go on.


Ah!

Yah!

Keep going, kid! Keep going!


That's once I didn't miss!

Ha ha ha!

Getting out here.

Bomber!


Helen.

Helen.

Jim!

Jim, why haven't you come before?

I couldn't. I was afraid to.

Well, you could have written.

It's been almost a year since you escaped.

I haven't escaped. They're after me.

They'll always be after me.

I've had jobs, but I can't keep them.

Something happens, someone turns up.

I hide all day and travel by night.

No friends, rest, or peace.

Keep moving, that's all that's left for me.

Forgive me, Helen.

I had to see you tonight...

Just to say good-bye.

Oh, Jim.

It was going to be different.

It is different!

They've made it different!

I've got to go.

Not like this!

Where are you going?

Will you write?

Do you need any money?

But you must, Jim! How do you live?

I steal!