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There Was a Crooked Man

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Original title
There Was a Crooked Man
Running time
123 min.
United States United States
Robert Benton, David Newman
Charles Strouse
Harry Stradling Jr.
Warner Bros.
Western. Comedy | Prison Drama
Synopsis / Plot
Following the tradition of 1960s and '70s Westerns in which the criminals are the heroes, THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN takes devilish pride in the antics of armed robber and murderer Paris Pitman, Jr. (Kirk Douglas), as he stages a prison break with fellow lawless bumblers from a jail run by a warden (Henry Fonda) who’d rather reform than punish, forsaking hard labor for building and learning. Fonda conveys integrity with just his eyes, reinforcing his reputation as a Western icon, while Douglas’s twinkle and grin invites the viewer to laugh along with him as he dupes both his cronies and the warden. After the breakout, Fonda pledges to bring Douglas back dead or alive in this entertaining, surprising film from Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
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