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You Can't Beat the Law (1943)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 29 January 1943 (USA)
Playboy Johnny Gray is framed and sent to prison after his stolen car is found at a holdup committed by Rico, and while the latter is not suspected, his henchman Harry, Creeper and Red are ... See full summary »


Phil Rosen


Albert Beich (original screenplay), Charles R. Marion (additional dialogue) (as Charles Marion)


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Complete credited cast:
Edward Norris ... Johnny Gray
Joan Woodbury ... Amy Duncan
Jack La Rue ... Cain
Milburn Stone ... Frank Sanders
Robert Homans ... Mr. Duncan
Charles Jordan Charles Jordan ... Rico Henchman Creeper
Kenneth Harlan ... First Warden
Bryant Washburn ... Governor
Selmer Jackson ... Mr. Bedford
Paul McVey ... Wayne - Death Row Inmate
George Kamel George Kamel ... Jumpy
Willy Castello ... Rico (as William Castello)


Playboy Johnny Gray is framed and sent to prison after his stolen car is found at a holdup committed by Rico, and while the latter is not suspected, his henchman Harry, Creeper and Red are convicted with Johnny. Stung by the injustice, when even his fiancée believes him guilty, Johnny becomes an unruly prisoner and is put in a cell with Cain, head of the prison gang planning a break. The new warden, Frank Sanders, wins Johnny over by changing his cell mate and giving him a chance to work in the prison gardens. Here, he meets Amy Duncan, daughter of prison guard Duncan. In an failed escaped, engineered from the outside by Rico, who is killed, one of Rico's men confesses that Johnny is innocent. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dramatic Story of a Prison Mutiny


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 January 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prison Mutiny See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Re-titled 'Prison Mutiny,' this film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Cincinnati Friday 29 July 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11), and in New York City Tuesday 13 December 1949 on WPIX (Channel 11). See more »

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User Reviews

DON'T read the summary on IMDB...it's filled with spoilers!!!
18 May 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I hope you did not read the summary of this film currently posted on IMDB. This is because there are tons of spoilers listed...plot elements that would be ruined if you see this picture AFTER reading the summary!

As for the movie itself, it's unusual in that I will freely admit that the script is utterly ridiculous...yet I enjoyed this B-movie from Monogram. Why? Because despite having small-time actors and a strange plot, it IS entertaining. Plus, Jack La Rue was very enjoyable as the hard-headed mug!

When the story begins, Johnny (Edward Norris) is a rich playboy type...and his girlfriend insists he grow up and make something of himself. Shortly after this, while on his way home, Johnny is forced at gunpoint to be the getaway driver for a band of crooks. When most of them (including Johnny) are caught, the gang insists that HE is a member of the gang and was their leader. Why? Because their real leader escaped and blaming Johnny meant that the police would assume they caught everyone.

Johnny is soon sent to prison for robbery....and like everyone else in prison he claims to everyone he's innocent. But with at least 10 years ahead of him, he has a terrible attitude and appears ready and willing to head to a real life of crime. However, the new Warden is a decent guy...and he hopes he can somehow get through to Johnny that he should keep his nose clean and work hard to make something of himself. What's next? Well, it's utterly ridiculous....but enjoyable nonetheless.

The acting is generally very good despite small and no-name actors in the film. Not a great movie but better than average for Monogram and well worth seeing for the portion I did NOT tell you about....even though the summary does!

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