Castle on the Hudson

Overview

In this remake of the classic prison story 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing, John Garfield plays Tommy Gordon, a jewel thief who has been sent up the river for a minimum of 25 years. Tommy isn't especially worried about prison, as he's convinced his well-connected friends will help him get out before long. But Tommy learns the hard way his friends aren't as helpful as he imagined, and he regrets causing so much trouble for reform-minded warden Walter Long Pat O'Brien, who he comes to regard as a friend and ally. Tommy's...
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Overview

In this remake of the classic prison story 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing, John Garfield plays Tommy Gordon, a jewel thief who has been sent up the river for a minimum of 25 years. Tommy isn't especially worried about prison, as he's convinced his well-connected friends will help him get out before long. But Tommy learns the hard way his friends aren't as helpful as he imagined, and he regrets causing so much trouble for reform-minded warden Walter Long Pat O'Brien, who he comes to regard as a friend and ally. Tommy's girlfriend, Kay Manners Ann Sheridan, is desperate to get him out of prison and enlists the help of shifty lawyer Ed Crowley Jerome Cowan; however, when Crowley tries to extract a payment from Kay that has nothing to do with money, she puts up a fight and ends up seriously hurt. Long shows his sympathetic side by granting Tommy a pass to visit Kay, but when he arrives at her home, he discovers Crowley has also arrived to see her. A scuffle ensues, and Kay shoots Crowley. Rather than see her go to jail, Tommy takes the blame, but soon goes on the lam, betraying Long's trust.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
John Garfield railed against all the gangster and tough guys roles he was assigned, but as Castle on the Hudson once again demonstrates, there was a reason he was often cast this way: he knew how to play the hell out of these parts. Indeed, it's Garfield's performance that raises Castle above the average. Sure, Anatole Litvak's direction is zippy and well-modulated, full of fire and vigor but having time for the occasional "soft" moment for contrast. And yes, the screenplay has its share of hardboiled lines that leap out and smack the viewer in the ear. But it also has one of those annoying "good hearted" wardens who get a bit on the nerves, not because they have good hearts but because the filmmakers translate that to mean feeble brains. This results in this particular warden granting an unsupervised leave to the deadly Garfield, something which is so boneheaded that it helps destroy credibility -- and there are a few other missteps like this along the way that damage the film. But it ultimately doesn't matter, because Garfield is on hand to swagger, to fume, to boil, as well as to let down his guard, to show the goodness that lies inside him -- all with a power that makes his best scenes electrifying. There's fine work as well from Ann Sheridan and Burgess Meredith, but it's Garfield's picture.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/5/2009
  • UPC: 883316165287
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:17:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 58,090

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Garfield Tommy Gordon
Ann Sheridan Kay Manners
Pat O'Brien Warden Walter Long
Burgess Meredith Steven Rockford
Jerome Cowan Ed Crowley
Henry O'Neill District Attorney
Guinn "Big Boy" Williams Mike Kagel
John Litel Prison chaplain
Margot Stevenson Ann Rockford
Willard Robertson Ragan
Edward Pawley Black Jack
Billy Wayne Pete
Nedda Harrigan Mrs. Long
Wade Boteler Mac
Barbara Pepper Goldie
Robert Strange Joe Morris
Eddie Acuff Bill the Clerk
Nat Carr
Michael Conroy Newsboy
Joe Downing Gangster
Frank Faylen Guard who is slugged
Pat Flaherty Stretcher Attendent
James Flavin Guard on Death Row
Sol (Saul) Gorss Gangster
Robert E. Homans Detective
William Hopper Reporter
Eddie Kane Club manager
Mike Lally
Frank Mayo
Walter Miller Guard
Grant Mitchell Psychologist
Philip Morris Joe, Detective in New York
Adrian Morris Prisoner
Jack Mower
Pat O'Malley Guard
Lee Phelps Guard in visitor's room
John Ridgely Clerk
Charles Sherlock
Bill Telaak
Emmett Vogan Detective
Guinn "Big Boy" Williams
Claude Wisberg
Technical Credits
Anatole Litvak Director
Sam Bischoff Associate Producer
Adolph Deutsch Score Composer
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Leo F. Forbstein Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Chuck Hansen Asst. Director
Byron Haskin Special Effects
Brown Holmes Screenwriter
John Hughes Art Director
Robert B. Lee Sound/Sound Designer
Seton Miller Screenwriter
Tom Richards Editor
Howard Shoup Costumes/Costume Designer
Courtney Terrett Screenwriter
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
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