San Quentin

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Drama, USA, 1937, 70 min.

Tagline Out Of The Pen . . . Into The Jaws Of Death ! . . .

Synopsis In the wake of riots at San Quentin Prison, in which convicts protest harsh punishments meted out by captain of the yard Druggin, Army trainer Stephen Jameson is appointed to take over the job. Steve is eager to implement his ideas for prison reform. While celebrating with a couple of his army pals the night before he starts his new job, Steve meets captivating nightclub singer May Kennedy who is singing under the stage name Mae De Villiers. As they get acquainted, her kid brother, Joe "Red" Kennedy, a petty crook, bursts into the room, followed by the police, who arrest him for robbing a bank. Because the robbery is not his first offense, Joe is sentenced to San Quentin, where he quickly falls in with the wrong crowd. When May visits Joe in prison, she discovers that Steve is responsible for implementing what she interprets as harsh treatment of her brother, and breaks off their relationship. Despite opposition from the parole board, Steve continues his efforts to improve conditions at San Quentin. Slowly, Joe realizes the fair principles behind Steve's regulations. As a result, he refuses to join his friend, Sailor Boy Hansen, in an escape attempt. However, when Sailor suggests that Steve has given Joe special treatment only to ingratiate himself with May, Joe becomes furious and agrees to make the break. During their escape, Sailor is killed, while Joe heads for May's house. Steve is there waiting and convinces Joe that he was duped by Sailor. When the police arrive, Joe escapes out the back, intending to return to prison. Unfortunately, just outside the prison, he is shot and killed by prison guards.

Directed by Lloyd Bacon  

Starring Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Barton MacLane, Joe Sawyer, more...

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