Written January 27, 2009
Paul Muni's much-lauded performance as a man wrongly accused of a hold up then subsequently thrown into a mercilessly brutal chain gang which he manages to escape from may seem outdated by today's technological gimmickry, but even by modern standards, the intense, gritty realism that is brought to stunning life in I AN A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG still ranks high as the granddaddy of all movies of this genre. Based on the autobiography of the same name by Robert Elliot Burns, this powerful Warner Bros' production is a an excellent example of how real life can surpass fiction. All the scenes depicting the day-to-day life of a chain gang prisoner are grimly realistic and create unbelievable tension when Muni's character amazingly manages to escape and is on the lam for several years before being discovered and through government corruption is made and example of again only to be pushed to the brink of his mental stability. The closing fadeout is haunting as it is brilliant.