7.6/10
12,198
81 user 49 critic

The Defiant Ones (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 27 September 1958 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director:

Stanley Kramer
Won 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A travelling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.

Director: James Clavell
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life by introducing her to the outside world.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman
Marty (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti
On the Beach (1959)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern
Elmer Gantry (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy
The Defiant Ones (TV Movie 1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Carl Monroe and 'Joker' Johnson share some things: They are both in jail and they both hate each other. After a fist fight the are going to be put into an other jailhouse by car. They come ... See full summary »

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Robert Urich, Carl Weathers, Ed Lauter
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tony Curtis ... John 'Joker' Jackson
Sidney Poitier ... Noah Cullen
Theodore Bikel ... Sheriff Max Muller
Charles McGraw ... Capt. Frank Gibbons
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Big Sam (as Lon Chaney)
King Donovan ... Solly
Claude Akins ... Mack
Lawrence Dobkin ... Editor
Whit Bissell ... Lou Gans
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Angus (as Carl Switzer)
Kevin Coughlin ... Billy
Cara Williams ... Billy's Mother
Edit

Storyline

When the truck that is transporting convicts has an accident on the road, the inmates John "Joker" Jackson and Noah Cullen that are chained to each other escape. They hate each other but they need to help each other to succeed in their intent of going north to jump in a train and reach freedom. Meanwhile the humane Sheriff Max Muller organizes a posse to track them down in a civilized manner and respecting justice. Joker and Cullen reach a small farm where a lonely woman helps them to get rid of their chains. She offers to drive her car with Joker and her son Billy while Cullen would escape through the swamp to the railroad. But when Joker learns that she sent Cullen to a trap, he leaves her and is shot in the shoulder by Billy. Joker seeks out Cullen to save him and when they meet each other, their former hatred has changed to friendship and respect. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the great ones! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Defiant Ones See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$778,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the mutual admiration and camaraderie among the cast and crew, the film wasn't necessarily a breeze to shoot. It was physically exhausting for Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier, who had to run through fields, swamps, and woods and fight each other barefisted, all while being chained together. There was also the famous climactic run for the train. Most gruelling of all were the scenes where the two chained men are swept down the rapids of a river and their desperate attempt to climb out of a deep clay pit during a rainstorm. Curtis said there were no doubles for the clay pit scene, which he deemed the hardest sequence in the film. He also said he had a stunt double for some of the water scenes while Poitier had a dummy as a stand-in for at least one shot. However, most of the gruelling stunt work was done by the two stars. See more »

Goofs

Twice they are soaked to the skin in water and mud, but come up with dry cigarettes and matches. See more »

Quotes

John 'Joker' Jackson: Ya'll can't lynch me! I'm a white man!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Holes (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Gone
Adapted from "Long Gone (From Bowlin' Green)" (1920)
Music by W.C. Handy (as William C. Handy)
Words by Chris Smith
Sung a cappella by Sidney Poitier (uncredited) several times
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Poitier/Curtis Jail-Break Classic
2 October 2004 | by mdm-11See all my reviews

Sidney Poitier continues to break race barriers with this formula jail-break drama. Teamed with Tony Curtis, the escaped prisoners encounter many situations, where their difference in color seems to matter more than the fact that both are fugitives from the law. Throughout the film, the viewer empathizes with the escapees, figuring that they always got a bum deal in life. A scene towards the end, where a single mother sees a chance to "hook up" with Curtis, shows how Curtis, although often disagreeing, even physically fighting with Poitier, still sees Poitier as an equal in their quest for freedom. Rather than "sell out" his friend, he would rather die trying to save him. The inevidable ending (remember that one of the rules in Old Hollywood was that the bad guys can never win)is quite moving.

Definitely among the established Hollywood Classics. Although many of the "old ways" have changed drastically since the late 50s, this film offers insight into a piece of Americana many people living today can still recall. An important piece of Film History, and highly recommended.


45 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 81 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed