A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is ... See full summary »
A young woman turns to Sherlock Holmes for protection when she's menaced by an escaped killer seeking missing treasure. However, when the woman is kidnapped, Holmes and Watson must penetrate the city's criminal underworld to find her.
Morning Express ace reporter 'Timmy' Blake uses her wiles and charms to get the scoop on rival papers, and keep her editor happy. When the Express gets a tip that a wealthy old man was ... See full summary »
Richard Walters is condemned to death for a murder he claims not to have committed. He arrives on death row just before a brutal inmate leads the other convicts in a violent uprising. Walters gets caught up in the riot, while on the outside his friends are trying to find evidence of his innocence.Written by
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
As Joe Berg is saying goodbye to "Killer" Mears, a moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall of Mears' cell. See more »
[first title card]
"The Last Mile" is more than a story of prison and of the condemned. To me it is a story of those men within barred cells, crushed mentally, physically and spiritually between unrelenting forces of man-made laws and man-fixed death. And justly or unjustly found guilty, are they not the victims of man's imperfect conventions, upon which he has erected a social structure of doubtful security? What is society's responsibility for ever-increasing murders? What shall be done with ...
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The Last Mile, based on a popular John Wexley play of its time (1932), features an ensemble of death row inmates. Though the film does a good deal of effective characterization, we only really get to know two of the condemned - the innocent Dick Walters (Howard Phillips) and the "Killer" Mears (Preston Foster) - his neighbor in the cell block. The rest of the characters are archetypes of one kind or another, allowing the somewhat heavy-handed theatrical script some needed economy as the film builds quite slowly to a strong climax.
Mears stages a breakout and Walters has no choice but to get caught up in it, along with all of the other inmates. The warden, who has generally been, according to the prisoners, a decent guy, doesn't see that he has any choice about how to handle the situation.
The film is oddly introduced by a written introduction that makes a case against the death penalty based, apparently, on religious morality. With the exception of the juxtaposition of Killer Mears and our innocent protagonist Mr. Walters, it is not at all clear how this bit of moralism enhances the film nor how the film supports the political viewpoint of its author.
Theatrical scripts and sets do not always translate perfectly into film. The 1932 film of this play exemplifies the problem. Most of the camera work sticks to the point of view of a play's audience and the film mostly occurs in a very stark, statically shot prison block set. This effectively places the audience in the monotony of the prison experience throughout the film's action-less first half, but the effect only serves to accentuate the story's limitations so that, by the time the plot begins to accelerate, at least some of the audience has made up its mind about what will happen, how, and why. It is, however, worth sticking around to see how it does or doesn't play out.
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