Crashout (1955)

82, 88 or 90-91 mins | Drama | April 1955

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HISTORY

The opening title credits of this film appear over the sequence in which the prisoners riot and escape from the prison. The names of the six main actors are shown over scenes of them running toward their hideout. On 19 Jul 1954, the Filmakers Releasing Organization placed an ad in HR announcing that production of the picture would begin soon, and soliciting offers from theaters interesting in playing the completed film. The ad also stated that Robert Strauss would be one of the co-stars, and that Fred Freiberger had co-written the script with Lewis R. Foster and producer Hal E. Chester. The extent of Freiberger’s contribution to the finished film, if any, has not been determined, and Strauss was not in the released picture. According to a 30 Jul 1954 HR news item, Frank Hotaling was originally set as the art director for the film, but was replaced by Wiard Ihnen.
       A 4 Aug 1954 HR news item noted that “new regulations calling for film productions not to show prison breaks in too great detail” would be a “break” for the production, which would instead begin “outside the prison walls” just after the convicts had escaped. Some scenes of the prisoners' escape are depicted, however. A 9 Aug 1954 HR news item includes Jack Carr, Joel Allen, David Wanger and Ralph Neff in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Some of the picture was shot on location at Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, CA, according to a HR news ... More Less

The opening title credits of this film appear over the sequence in which the prisoners riot and escape from the prison. The names of the six main actors are shown over scenes of them running toward their hideout. On 19 Jul 1954, the Filmakers Releasing Organization placed an ad in HR announcing that production of the picture would begin soon, and soliciting offers from theaters interesting in playing the completed film. The ad also stated that Robert Strauss would be one of the co-stars, and that Fred Freiberger had co-written the script with Lewis R. Foster and producer Hal E. Chester. The extent of Freiberger’s contribution to the finished film, if any, has not been determined, and Strauss was not in the released picture. According to a 30 Jul 1954 HR news item, Frank Hotaling was originally set as the art director for the film, but was replaced by Wiard Ihnen.
       A 4 Aug 1954 HR news item noted that “new regulations calling for film productions not to show prison breaks in too great detail” would be a “break” for the production, which would instead begin “outside the prison walls” just after the convicts had escaped. Some scenes of the prisoners' escape are depicted, however. A 9 Aug 1954 HR news item includes Jack Carr, Joel Allen, David Wanger and Ralph Neff in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Some of the picture was shot on location at Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, CA, according to a HR news item. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 May 1955.
---
Daily Variety
11 May 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1954
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1954
pp. 3-4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 1954
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1954
p. 3, 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 1954
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1954
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 55
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
12 May 1955.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Apr 55
p. 386.
New York Times
9 Jul 55
p. 9.
Variety
18 May 55
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Hal E. Chester Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Wrt for the screen by
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Set cont
Dial supv
Tech adv
DETAILS
Release Date:
April 1955
Premiere Information:
New England opening: 2 March 1955
Production Date:
5 August--17 August 1954 at Republic Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Standard Productions, Inc., & Filmakers Releasing Organization
Copyright Date:
3 March 1955
Copyright Number:
LP6216
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
82, 88 or 90-91
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17250
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One afternoon, a large number of prisoners at a Colorado prison riot and attempt to escape, but after fierce battles with the guards, thirty-eight of the men are killed or captured, while six remain at large. Led by the wounded Vance Morgan Duff, the men—Joe Quinn, Pete Mendoza, Luther “Swanee” Remsen, Maynard “Monk” Collins and Billy Lang—hide in a nearby cave. Although they lack food, Van insists that the men remain hidden for three days, until the area is no longer being searched. The men grow impatient, and the next morning, Van persuades them not to abandon him by promising to share the $180,000 he hid from his last bank robbery. That night, when Van's condition worsens, Joe calls Dr. Louis Barnes, who agrees to drive out to the gas station from which Joe is calling. Joe then kidnaps Barnes, taking him to the cave, where the anxious doctor operates on Van. In the morning, Van is sufficiently recovered to leave. Before he departs, Van, without consulting the others, orders Monk to kill Barnes, who has been tied up and left in the cave. While driving in Barnes’s car, the convicts hear a radio report about his death, and an outraged Joe almost tosses Van from the speeding vehicle. Needing an inconspicious car, they stop at a roadhouse and there force the terrified customers to give them money, food and clothing. When two motorcycle policemen come by for a soda, the prisoners take cover and hold broken bottles at the throats of some of the customers to keep the others quiet. As Monk is bringing a new car around to the front of the roadhouse, one of the ... +


One afternoon, a large number of prisoners at a Colorado prison riot and attempt to escape, but after fierce battles with the guards, thirty-eight of the men are killed or captured, while six remain at large. Led by the wounded Vance Morgan Duff, the men—Joe Quinn, Pete Mendoza, Luther “Swanee” Remsen, Maynard “Monk” Collins and Billy Lang—hide in a nearby cave. Although they lack food, Van insists that the men remain hidden for three days, until the area is no longer being searched. The men grow impatient, and the next morning, Van persuades them not to abandon him by promising to share the $180,000 he hid from his last bank robbery. That night, when Van's condition worsens, Joe calls Dr. Louis Barnes, who agrees to drive out to the gas station from which Joe is calling. Joe then kidnaps Barnes, taking him to the cave, where the anxious doctor operates on Van. In the morning, Van is sufficiently recovered to leave. Before he departs, Van, without consulting the others, orders Monk to kill Barnes, who has been tied up and left in the cave. While driving in Barnes’s car, the convicts hear a radio report about his death, and an outraged Joe almost tosses Van from the speeding vehicle. Needing an inconspicious car, they stop at a roadhouse and there force the terrified customers to give them money, food and clothing. When two motorcycle policemen come by for a soda, the prisoners take cover and hold broken bottles at the throats of some of the customers to keep the others quiet. As Monk is bringing a new car around to the front of the roadhouse, one of the policemen returns, and Monk runs him over. The policeman manages to shoot and kill Pete but the others escape, and soon roadblocks have been set up throughout the state. When they reach a roadblock, the men abandon the car and hop aboard a passing train, on which Billy sits with a pretty young woman. The young woman, who is returning to her hometown, is attracted to the shy Billy, and as her stop approaches, Billy, sensing that he can trust her, asks her to hide him for a couple of days. The woman agrees, but when Billy disembarks, Van and the others follow, and Monk throws a knife into Billy’s back, killing him. The remaining three prisoners tend to Van as they trek through the forest, until the next day, when they are found by Alice Mosher and her young son Timmy. The feisty Alice immediately recognizes the men and reluctantly acquiesces when they order her to lead them to her nearby farm. Once there, however, they discover that Alice’s truck is missing a wheel, which is being repaired in town and will not be ready until the following day. The others force their way into the house and order Alice’s mother, Mrs. Mosher, to cook for them, while Joe remains outside and assures Alice that if she cooperates, her family will not be harmed. The next morning, Alice and Joe walk into town to get the wheel, and Joe is intrigued by Alice’s confession that Timmy is illegitimate. The couple discovers that they have much in common, including a fatalistic attitude toward their failed aspirations. When they reach town, they learn that the gas station’s owner, Fred Summerfield, will be delivering the wheel that evening. As they walk home, Alice and Joe linger in a meadow and spontaneously kiss. Alice pushes Joe away, however, and states that she wants a more decent love than she has known before. Upon their return, they find Monk and Swanee fighting over money that Swanee stole from Mrs. Mosher. Joe calms the men down, and that night, is introduced to the inquistive Fred as Alice’s cousin. When Mrs. Mosher, who is being held upstairs with Timmy, cries out to Fred for help, Van knocks him unconscious. While the others repair the truck, Joe promises Alice that they can start a new life after he has gotten his share of Van’s loot. Alice demurs, however, declaring that money, like love, can be either dirty or clean, and that no good comes from the dirty kind. Fred frees himself from his bonds just as the convicts are leaving, and inadvertently kills Monk by hurling a kerosene lamp at him. Van, Swanee and Joe flee, and as they drive into the mountains, a fierce storm begins, and soon they can drive no farther. Protected by blankets, the men trudge through the blizzard until they reach the overhang where Van hid the money. Van gives Swanee a pistol and instructs him to shoot Joe, but Swanee, his mind unhinged by their harsh journey, shouts that Van is the devil and lunges toward him. Van shoots Swanee, after which Joe digs up the cash box. Van attempts to shoot Joe also, but discovers that he is out of ammunition and instead hits him over the head with the box. Van leaves the unconscious Joe for dead, but hours later, after the storm passes, Joe revives. As he is walking back to town, Joe finds Van, frozen to death and still clutching the cash box. Influenced by Alice’s words, Joe leaves the money, and continues toward the oncoming police. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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