6.4/10
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13 user 2 critic

Condemned! (1929)

Suave thief Colman is sent to Devil's Island, where he becomes romantically involved with the wife of sadistic warden Digges.

Director:

Wesley Ruggles

Writers:

Sidney Howard (written for the screen by), Blair Niles (founded upon book "Condemned to Devil's Island")
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Colman ... Michel Oman
Ann Harding ... Madame Vidal
Dudley Digges ... Jean Vidal
Louis Wolheim ... Jacques Duval
William Elmer ... Pierre
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Storyline

Suave thief Colman is sent to Devil's Island, where he becomes romantically involved with the wife of sadistic warden Digges.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Loves to Steal- and Stole to Love! (Print ad- Albany Times-Union, ((Albany, NY)) 14 March 1930) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Condemned to Devil's Island See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is first of eight films on which both Samuel Goldwyn and Sidney Howard worked. The last was Raffles (1939). See more »

Quotes

Michel: If you were a prisoner, you'd escape, you said.
Madame Vidal: There are some prisons I can't escape from.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The action takes place at the French Penal Colony in South America, commonly known as"Devil's Island." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Youngest Profession (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Condemned
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Meskill and Pete Wendling
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"You aint heard nothing yet"
10 April 2018 | by trimmerb1234See all my reviews

This was produced just a year after those famous words - the first words in the first talking picture. What is amazing is how creative it was with sound - techniques that rarely appeared in theatre and some that were entirely new.

First there is the overlaying of the sound of the prisoners "choir" over sound and pictures inside the governors house cutting with continuity to pictures of the prisoners singing - all in sync. And, entirely novel the sound of the governors voice as he looks in the mirror - we are hearing the voices in his head. The sound of drums in sync with the guarding soldier's walk.

It was not until after WW2 that magnetic tape recording - with multitracks was available. I can only guess that this film was all done with gramophone discs.

I was for a while a videotape editor in the earliest days so appreciate how revolutionary and sophisticated was the use of sound just one year after it started. Had radio pioneered this or was it entirely the work of the new talkie movies?

Seen on Talking Pictures TV - yet another overlooked historic film with exceptional qualities.


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