IMDb > There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)
There Was a Crooked Man...
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There Was a Crooked Man... (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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There Was a Crooked Man... -- Open-ended Trailer from Warner Brothers Pictures


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Newman (written by) &
Robert Benton (written by)
View company contact information for There Was a Crooked Man... on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 September 1970 (France) See more »
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 »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
very good... but could have been great See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kirk Douglas ... Paris Pitman, Jr.

Henry Fonda ... Woodward W. Lopeman

Hume Cronyn ... Dudley Whinner

Warren Oates ... Floyd Moon

Burgess Meredith ... The Missouri Kid

John Randolph ... Cyrus McNutt

Lee Grant ... Mrs. Bullard

Arthur O'Connell ... Mr. Lomax

Martin Gabel ... Warden LeGoff

Michael Blodgett ... Coy Cavendish
C.K. Yang ... Ah-Ping

Alan Hale Jr. ... Tobaccy (as Alan Hale)

Victor French ... Whiskey
Claudia McNeil ... Madam

Bert Freed ... Skinner

Jeanne Cooper ... Prostitute

Barbara Rhoades ... Miss Jessie Brundidge

Gene Evans ... Col Wolff

Pamela Hensley ... Edwina

J. Edward McKinley ... The Governor
Karl Lukas ... Otis

Larry D. Mann ... Harry

Ann Doran ... Mrs. Lomax
Paul Prokop

Bart Burns ... Dr. Loomis
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

E.J. André ... Judge (uncredited)
Bob Bennett ... Bartender (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Buff Brady ... Nolan (uncredited)
David Cadiente ... Rioting Prisoner (uncredited)
Vincente Cadiente ... Riot Guard (uncredited)

Harry Caesar ... Rioting Prisoner (uncredited)

Virginia Capers ... Cook (uncredited)
Al Checco ... Wheatley (uncredited)
Robert Cleaves ... Grizzard (uncredited)
John Davey ... Riot Guard (uncredited)
Barbara Eaton ... Girl (uncredited)

Duke Fishman ... Prisoner (uncredited)

Byron Foulger ... Member of Town Council (uncredited)
Bruce Garrick ... Lomax Kid (uncredited)
Lars Hensen ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Bob Herron ... Oran (uncredited)

Harry Holcombe ... Hammond (uncredited)

Clyde Howdy ... Marshal (uncredited)

Michael Jeffers ... Church Member (uncredited)

Henry Kingi ... Rioting Prisoner (uncredited)
Ron Kinwald ... Rioting Prisoner (uncredited)
Monty Laird ... Rioting Prisoner (uncredited)
Jacquelyn Landrum ... Girl (uncredited)
John Lawrence ... Jones (uncredited)

Norman Leavitt ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Ian Maclean ... Cavalry Man (uncredited)

John McCook ... Deputy (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Hobbs (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... (uncredited)
Terry L. Nichols ... Tower Guard (uncredited)
Carol Nicholson ... Lomax Girl (uncredited)
Gerry Okuneff ... Riot Guard (uncredited)
Renee Paul ... Girl (uncredited)

Jack Perkins ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Red Perkins ... Guard (uncredited)
Bill Peterson ... Gordon Hartley (uncredited)
Mel Pittenger ... Cavalry Man (uncredited)
Roberta Randall ... Girl (uncredited)
Clark Ross ... Church Member (uncredited)

James Seay ... Aide to Lieutenant Governor (uncredited)
Vince St. Cyr ... Apache Prisoner (uncredited)

Kelly Thordsen ... Edwina's Father (uncredited)
Rick Traeger ... Peddler (uncredited)

Jesse Wayne ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Napoleon Whiting ... Lomax Servant (uncredited)

Guy Wilkerson ... Prisoner In Solitary (uncredited)
Ilona Wilson ... Girl (uncredited)
Will Wyler ... Rioting Prisoner (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz 
Writing credits
David Newman (written by) &
Robert Benton (written by)

Produced by
C.O. Erickson .... executive producer
Joseph L. Mankiewicz .... producer
Original Music by
Charles Strouse 
Cinematography by
Harry Stradling Jr. 
Film Editing by
Gene Milford 
Production Design by
Edward Carrere 
Set Decoration by
F. Keogh Gleason  (as Keogh Gleason)
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
Annabell Levy .... hair stylist
Jean Burt Reilly .... supervising hair stylist
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Peter V. Herald .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Kranze .... assistant director
Art Department
Frank L. Brown .... set dresser (uncredited)
Robert Cooper .... prop master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Al Overton Jr. .... sound
George Hause .... sound recordist (uncredited)
William Thompson .... boom operator (uncredited)
Budd Albright .... stunts (uncredited)
Denny Arnold .... stunts (uncredited)
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Buff Brady .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Brubaker .... stunts (uncredited)
Stephen Burnette .... stunts (uncredited)
David Cadiente .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Carson .... stunts (uncredited)
James J. Casino .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Clark .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Courtney .... stunts (uncredited)
Roger Creed .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Gino DeAgustino .... stunts (uncredited)
Stephanie Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Hart .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hicks .... stunts (uncredited)
Clyde Howdy .... stunts (uncredited)
Henry Kingi .... stunts (uncredited)
Monty Laird .... stunts (uncredited)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (uncredited)
Paul Nuckles .... stunts (uncredited)
George Orrison .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Carl Saxe .... stunts (uncredited)
John Sistrunk .... stunts (uncredited)
Ron Stein .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Waters .... stunts (uncredited)
Jesse Wayne .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bernie Abramson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Richard Craig Meinardus .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rose Brandi .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Sonny Burke .... music supervisor
Dan Wallin .... scoring mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer: main title
Sidney Ganis .... assistant to producer
Ralph Helfer .... animal supervisor: Gentle Jungle (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"There Was a Crooked Man..." - Canada (English title) (imdb display title)
"Zwei dreckige Halunken" - Austria, West Germany
"Жил был обманщик" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Имаше един нечестен мъж..." - Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)
"A fost candva un sarlatan" - Romania (literal title)
"Bio jednom jedan nitkov" - Yugoslavia (Serbian title) (literal title)
"Byl sobie lajdak" - Poland
"Cezani çekeceksin" - Turkey (Turkish title)
"Det var en gång en skurk..." - Sweden
"El día de los tramposos" - Spain (imdb display title)
"El dia dels tramposos" - Spain (Catalan title)
"El final de un canalla" - Argentina
"Era un ticalos" - Romania (imdb display title)
"Het Reptiel" - Belgium (Flemish title) (alternative title)
"Ish Nohel Haya" - Israel (Hebrew title)
"Itan enas palianthropos" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Lännen kieroin kaveri" - Finland
"Le reptile" - France
"Ninho de Cobras" - Brazil (imdb display title)
"O Réptil" - Portugal (imdb display title)
"Slangen" - Denmark
"Uomini e cobra" - Italy
"Verraderlijker dan een slang" - Netherlands (imdb display title)
"Volt egyszer egy gazember" - Hungary (imdb display title)
See more »
126 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:SOA (original rating) | Australia:M (re-rating) (1987) | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | Netherlands:14 (1970) | Portugal:17 (cut version) | Singapore:NC-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video) | USA:R (certificate #22309) | West Germany:18

Did You Know?

Final film of James Seay.See more »
Continuity: After escaping from prison, Pitman visits the widow Bullard and leaves the prison mule in her corral and takes a horse. After being bitten by the snake and dying, the warden takes his body back on the horse he rode, which now is a mule again.See more »
Paris Pittman Jr.:[to his cell mates about an escape plan] Anyway, start smelling around, and don't forget, I'm trusting you to keep quiet, all of you keep quiet.
The Missouri Kid:[Cynically] Like askin' a pack of coyotes to keep quiet about a dead horse.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot (2009)See more »
Abide with MeSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
very good... but could have been great, 17 January 2011
Author: Marco Trevisiol from Melbourne, Australia

There is so much to like and appreciate about this film that while it's an enjoyable experience, it isn't the great film it should have been.

Firstly, the script is largely excellent. It has a good plot and characters backed up by interesting dialogue. It has a top-notch cast delivering almost universally quality performances. As well, it has some interesting themes and issues to explore, especially in the central battle between Fonda's warden and Douglas' prisoner. The scene where Douglas confronts Fonda in the just built eating hall and exposes his self-serving interests and hypocrisy, is a great example of top-class screen writing.

All the elements are there for a classic (or at least semi-classic) Western, but it doesn't quite reach that. Why? I think a big problem for this is Joseph L. Mankiewicz's direction. As other users have commented, the tone of the film is jerky and erratic and he has to take prime blame for that. But even in pure cinematic terms, it isn't well directed. Scenes that should have been highlights (such as the robbery that opens the film) lack punch because they're ineptly handled.

I think another major problem is the cinematography. The glossy, bright and flashy look of TWACM seems more in tune for a jovial, knockabout, straightforward Western. For a film full of cynicism, complexity (as well as its share of humour) and some rather depressing elements, it's a distracting and misjudged look. The much more realistic style that was to become much more common in films as the 1970s progressed (e.g. 'McCabe and Mrs. Miller') would have been much more apt.

Overall, an under-appreciated and underrated film worth seeking out. But also a bit of a missed opportunity.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (38 total) »


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