Blackwell's Island

Blackwell's Island

Director: William McGann

Cast: John Garfield, Rosemary Lane, Dick Purcell

     
 
This gangster film is based upon fact as it tells the tale of a determined reporter who has decided to make sure a certain notorious gangster gets his just desserts. It takes a long time, but eventually the reporter succeeds and the gangster is sent up river. Unfortunately, once there, he becomes the leader of the prisoners and, though incarcerated, is soon up to his

Overview

This gangster film is based upon fact as it tells the tale of a determined reporter who has decided to make sure a certain notorious gangster gets his just desserts. It takes a long time, but eventually the reporter succeeds and the gangster is sent up river. Unfortunately, once there, he becomes the leader of the prisoners and, though incarcerated, is soon up to his old tricks of trying to corrupt local politicians and the warden. The obsessed journalist is infuriated and so gets himself sent to prison to stop the gangster once and for all.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
An average gangster melodrama enlivened by its cast, Blackwell's Island draws parts of its story from New York's Welfare Island prison scandal, but it adds plenty of fiction to a small smattering of fact. Since it's not pretending to be a documentary, this by itself is fine; however, the film would have been better served if the fictional elements had a greater degree of originality, and if the dialogue had more of the crackle and fire that can be found in other better Warner Brothers gangster flicks. For that matter, William McGann's direction could use a little more crackle and fire, too. There's nothing really wrong with what McGann does here, but it doesn't have the personality and drive that Island demands. Fortunately, those qualities are provided by star John Garfield and his nemesis, Stanley Fields. Garfield's commitment to the role even helps the audience buy that this reporter would go so far as to be put in prison to deliver justice to the kingpin who is escaping what should be coming to him. And Fields has a lot of fun as that kingpin, giving him an amusing side that doesn't undercut his evil. Rosemary Lane has very little to do, but does it well, and Victor Jory is also an asset.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2014
UPC:
0888574012052
Original Release:
1939
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:11:00
Sales rank:
49,993

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Garfield Tim Haydon
Rosemary Lane Sunny Walsh
Dick Purcell Terry Walsh
Victor Jory Thomas McNair
Stanley Fields Bull Bransom
Morgan Conway Steve Cardigan
Granville Bates Warden Stuart Granger
Anthony Averill Brower
Peggy Shannon Pearl Murray
Charley Foy Benny
Norman Willis Mike Garth
Joe Cunningham Rawden
Milburn Stone Deputy commissioner
William Gould Deputy Warden Michaels
Wade Boteler Captain Pederson
William B. Davidson Hempel
Walter Young Judge
Leon Ames Ballinger
James Spottswood Garner
Lotta Williams Mrs. Walsh
Raymond Bailey Cash Sutton
Jimmy O'Gatty Rico Ide
Vera Lewis Nurse
John Hamilton Guard
Eddy Chandler Headkeeper Jameson

Technical Credits
William McGann Director
Stanley Fleischer Art Director
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Bryan Foy Associate Producer
Douglas Gould Editor
Sidney Hickox Cinematographer
Lee Katz Original Story
Howard Shoup Costumes/Costume Designer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Jack L. Warner Producer
Crane Wilbur Screenwriter

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