7.0/10
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39 user 26 critic

There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)

A charming but totally ruthless criminal is sent to a remote Arizona prison. He enlists the help of his cellmates in an escape attempt with the promise of sharing his hidden loot.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Floyd Moon
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Mrs. Bullard
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Warden LeGoff
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C.K. Yang ...
Ah-Ping
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Tobaccy (as Alan Hale)
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Whiskey
Claudia McNeil ...
Madam
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Skinner
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Storyline

Charm, intelligence and success in criminal career doesn't prevent Paris Pitman Jr. to start doing ten years in prison, in the middle of the Arizona desert. However, those years should pass quickly because of a $500,000 loot previously stashed away. New idealistic warden would only make Pitman think of getting his fortune even sooner. He starts to manipulate everyone to achieve his goal. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Once upon a time, there was a crooked man. When he was good, he was very, very good. And when he was bad, it was murder... See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 September 1970 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Zwei dreckige Halunken  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem recited by the schoolteacher at the dedication is "Invictus" written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley. See more »

Goofs

One of the escaping prisoners is shot from behind and falls on his stomach. Although there is an exit wound in his right abdomen, when he falls, there's apparently no entrance wound. See more »

Quotes

Woodward Lopeman: Why do you work at it so hard proving you're a son-of-a-bitch.
Paris Pittman Jr.: Because I am. It's my profession and I'm on top!
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Connections

Referenced in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls: Cast and Crew Q&A (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Betsy from Pike
(uncredited)
Traditional American ballad
lyrics written by John A. Stone prior to 1858
version sung by Alan Hale
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User Reviews

 
Very good but also a big "edgy" and adult
1 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

Kirk Douglas plays a very amoral and scheming bandit. For a while, this lifestyle pays off until he is ultimately captured and placed in an awful prison in the middle of the desert. At first, this is a real tough stay for Kirk as the warden is a greedy cuss and he tries to abuse Kirk into revealing where he hid $500,000 in stolen loot. But, after the warden is killed, a new guy takes over (Henry Fonda) and he and Douglas develop a certain level of respect for each other--all the while Kirk is planning his escape. As for Fonda and his motivation for befriending Kirk goes, this is all very vague until very late in the film--and I think this made for a better film.

In addition to these two terrific actors, there are some wonderful supporting performances--especially by Hume Cronin and John Randolph who seemed an awful lot like a married couple! About the only negatives were a few places where the script seemed ridiculous (such as the escape from the prison--they took their time and it sure looked too easy).

I enjoyed this Kirk Douglas film quite a bit and I was torn between giving it a 7 and an 8. My final decision to give it a 7 was because some of the nudity and language seemed rather gratuitous and was inserted less for artistic reasons than to satisfy the new 1960s and 70s morality. There are just a few too many butts and breasts to make it a good bet for most kids--and it's a shame, because otherwise it's a dandy film.


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