Saturday, November 02, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Jailbreak (1936) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

JAILBREAK (1936) is a Warner Bros. "B" movie which was released on DVD earlier this year by the Warner Archive.

Joe King plays Mike Eagan, a former criminal who has been on the straight and narrow for several years. When he's threatened by mobsters (headed by Dick Purcell) that help them with a crime or be killed, he slugs a cop, hoping to be put in jail for a month for his own protection.

Mike unfortunately receives a much longer prison sentence than expected, but once the bad guys' plot is uncovered he's granted parole. Sadly, on the day of Mike's scheduled release, he's found dead in his cell bunk.

It's up to Mike's loyal secretary Jane (June Travis) and a gung-ho reporter named Ken (Craig Reynolds) to get to the bottom of the murder, aided and sometimes hindered by Detective Captain Rourke (Barton MacLane).

It's a fast-paced and pretty entertaining 60 minutes. There's a lot of story in the short running time, but it remains fairly easy to follow, which isn't always the case with these types of crime stories.

The movie may not be particularly notable, but this is the kind of "B" film I enjoy spending an hour with on a weekend afternoon, and I suspect my fellow fans of the "B's" may feel the same way.

There aren't any big stars in the film, but the solid cast of character actors keeps things interesting. Joseph Crehan plays the prison warden, with Charles Middleton and Addison Richards as lead prison guards. The cast also includes George E. Stone, Eddie Acuff, Mary Treen, Robert Emmett Keane, Douglas Wood, and Milton Kibbee.

JAILBREAK was directed by Nick Grinde and filmed by Arthur Todd. The screenplay by Robert D. Andrews and Joseph Hoffman was based on a story by Jonathan Finn.

There are no extras on the DVD. The print and sound were both of good quality.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

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