Escape from Crime


51m 1942
Escape from Crime

Brief Synopsis

An ex-con becomes a daredevil photojournalist.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Jul 25, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
51m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
4,592ft

Synopsis

Parolee Red O'Hara pays a surprise visit to his wife Molly, expecting to find her with another man. Instead he learns that he is the father of a baby boy, whom Molly intends to keep away from criminals. Inspired by his new fatherhood, Red vows to go straight and searches for a job as a news photographer. He discovers that newspapers are reluctant to hire an ex-convict, but his luck changes when he happens to be on the scene of a bank robbery with his camera. Red's pictures of the robbery get him a job and also help the police identify the perpetrators. Lieutenant "Biff" Malone, Red's parole officer, is suspicious, however. He does not believe Red's presence near the bank was an accident and consequently shows up at the O'Hara's apartment at the same time Red is hiding a wounded friend, Slim Dugan, the driver of the getaway car. When Malone learns about Red's child, he finally believes that Red wants to go straight and apologizes for his suspicions. Later, Slim is arrested along with two other gang members, and Red is assigned to sneak a photograph of Slim's execution. Not wanting to see a friend die, Red turns down the assignment, until Reardon, his editor, offers to let him write the accompanying story. Although it means breaking his parole, Red asks Malone to arrange for him to return to the prison for the execution. Malone warns Red that he will have to arrest him if he is discovered at the execution. Red successfully photographs the event, and although his cover is revealed when he drops his camera as he leaves, he manages to dodge the pursuing reporters and deliver his film to the paper. After mailing his bonus to Molly, he gives himself up to Malone. On the way back to the prison, Malone and Red hear that Dude Merrill has escaped from prison. Red tips Malone to the location of Merrill's hideout, and leaving Red handcuffed in the police car, Malone goes after Merrill. After Malone is captured by Merrill's men, Red follows and pretends to be on Merrill's side. Once his handcuffs are removed, however, Red frees Malone and snaps a photo of the ensuing capture of Merrill and his men. Later, a grateful Malone arranges for Red's pardon.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Jul 25, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
51m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
4,592ft

Articles

Escape from Crime


Though Jack Warner had decreed in 1941 that Warner Brothers would no longer be in the business of producing "B" films, low budget programmers continued to roll off the studio's well-oiled assembly line, many of them reusing old scripts and miles of stock footage. On paper, Escape from Crime (1942) was little more than a reboot of Lloyd Bacon's James Cagney vehicle Picture Snatcher (1933) but in the hands of director D. Ross Lederman the result is something more than a rerun. Utilizing the same Daniel Ahern logline - a parolee attempts to go straight while working as a crime photographer, only to have his illicit past fold back on him - Lederman and screenwriter Raymond L. Schrock torque the material in unique ways. While Cagney was a bachelor, Escape from Crime's hero Richard Travis is a family man (albeit one who plots to murder his presumed unfaithful wife, only to undergo a change of heart when he sees her nursing a red-headed infant that could only be his) who gets his big break in journalism by sneaking a camera into the electrocution of his best pal (a setpiece inspired, as was its counterpart in the Cagney film, on the 1928 execution of convicted murderess Ruth Snyder). Noteworthy in the supporting cast is William Hopper, later a star of the long-running Perry Mason TV series, and Jackie Gleason, at the time a struggling 25 year-old nightclub comic who supplemented his meager income with occasional bits for Warners.

By Richard Harland Smith
Escape From Crime

Escape from Crime

Though Jack Warner had decreed in 1941 that Warner Brothers would no longer be in the business of producing "B" films, low budget programmers continued to roll off the studio's well-oiled assembly line, many of them reusing old scripts and miles of stock footage. On paper, Escape from Crime (1942) was little more than a reboot of Lloyd Bacon's James Cagney vehicle Picture Snatcher (1933) but in the hands of director D. Ross Lederman the result is something more than a rerun. Utilizing the same Daniel Ahern logline - a parolee attempts to go straight while working as a crime photographer, only to have his illicit past fold back on him - Lederman and screenwriter Raymond L. Schrock torque the material in unique ways. While Cagney was a bachelor, Escape from Crime's hero Richard Travis is a family man (albeit one who plots to murder his presumed unfaithful wife, only to undergo a change of heart when he sees her nursing a red-headed infant that could only be his) who gets his big break in journalism by sneaking a camera into the electrocution of his best pal (a setpiece inspired, as was its counterpart in the Cagney film, on the 1928 execution of convicted murderess Ruth Snyder). Noteworthy in the supporting cast is William Hopper, later a star of the long-running Perry Mason TV series, and Jackie Gleason, at the time a struggling 25 year-old nightclub comic who supplemented his meager income with occasional bits for Warners. By Richard Harland Smith

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Trivia