Prison Warden


1h 2m 1949

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 8, 1949
Premiere Information
New York opening: 20 Oct 1949
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

After three months of marriage, middle-aged public health official Victor Burnell and his young wife Elisa arrange to take a year-long honeymoon. When Elisa drops Victor at his office on his last day of work, she tells him that she plans to do some shopping, but actually drives to a nearby prison. At the prison, Elisa visits Al Gardner, her boyfriend before her marriage. Gardner is in prison for embezzlement, but claims to be innocent. During their visit, Gardner expresses his satisfaction that Victor will soon be the prison warden, but Elisa reveals that he has turned down the appointment. Gardner then angrily reminds her that she married Victor so that she could work for his release from prison. After Elisa leaves, Pete Butler, the present warden, summons Gardner to his office and agrees to release him if he will return the stolen money. When Gardner adamantly insists on his innocence, he is confined to one of the old prison dungeons. Meanwhile, Victor is visited by the governor, who asks him to inspect the prison and question Ray Stark, the prison doctor, who has recently resigned, to determine if the prison is being properly managed. Victor's inspection reveals that the prisoners are being mistreated, and he agrees to Stark's entreaties to take the warden's job and clean up the prison. Elisa and Victor move into the warden's house on the prison grounds. Butler, who has been demoted to Captain of the Yard, introduces Elisa to her servants, all convicts, and tells her she is also entitled to a chauffeur. She then tries to arrange for Gardner to take the position, but both Butler and Victor argue that because of his long sentence, he would be tempted to escape once he was outside the prison. Elisa is determined to get her way, however, and Victor interviews Gardner. During the interview, he asks Gardner if he knew Elisa in Molino, the town in which they both lived, but Gardner insists that they are unacquainted. Later, Victor visits the quarry and while he is there, some convicts try to kill him in an explosion because he has ended Butler's system of favoritism. Gardner saves his life, and that night, Victor tells Elisa that he will be rewarded with the chauffeur's job. Over time, Victor's reforms take effect, and conditions at the prison improve. Elisa begins to enjoy her life as Victor's wife and realizes that she no longer loves Gardner. When Gardner tells her his escape plans, she tries to convince him to wait until she persuades Victor to grant him parole. He pretends to comply, but when she sends him on an errand, he buys a gun at a pawn shop and hides it under the seat of the car. One day, while driving Elisa, Gardner accuses her of being in love with Victor, and when she admits it, he kidnaps her at gunpoint. He then reveals that he did steal the money and, after he retrieves it, prepares to drive over the border. When Victor learns that Elisa never arrived at her hairdresser's, he instigates a search. Gardner runs a roadblock and during the ensuing chase, Elisa is thrown from the car. After Gardner is shot, his car crashes, killing him. Later, Butler and his henchman, Bill Radford, are convicted of accepting bribes from the prisoners. After Elisa recovers, she starts to tell Victor the truth about her relationship with Gardner, but Stark, who has suspected all along, advises her to forget the past.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 8, 1949
Premiere Information
New York opening: 20 Oct 1949
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia