Mattie Appleyard has spent the last 40 years behind bars and is finally out. A model prisoner and a hard worker, Appleyard saved up over $25,000 while in prison and entrusted the money to prison guard “Doc” Council. Appleyard, along with his two ex-con friends, plans to become a respectable citizen by using the money to open a general store — but it soon becomes clear that Doc and an unscrupulous banker have no intention of letting him go straight.
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen. AKA Dynamite Man from Glory Jail
Writers: Davis Grubb (novel), James Lee Barrett (screenplay).
Stars: James Stewart, George Kennedy, Anne Baxter, Strother Martin, Kurt Russell, William Windom, Mike Kellin, Katherine Cannon, Morgan Paull, Robert Donner, David Huddleston, Dort Clark, James Lee Barrett, Kitty Jefferson Doepken, Dwight McConnell.
Thanks, Jon! I have been wanting to see this JS film for a couple of years now. Quality is really good, too.
Like a proto-Coen brothers film, the comedy is dark and dialogue is sharp.
Whenever I see Andrew V. McLaglen’s screen credits, I think of John Ford & John Wayne. And, of course..the wonderful Victor McLaglen. Ford’s cinema was uniquely American in themes & values. He was truly inspired, but Victor’s son was more reliable and commercial director, more bent & shaped by the Hollywood studio system that made John Wayne rather than John Ford famous. Like this film, Andrew was a masterly carpenter who was always dependable,and who did solid professional work. But little in his films, including this one really soar or take flight. It neither tickles the curious or inspires devotion. And ever time a film should take a risk or state something important, McLaglen’s films slip away into often cloying sentimentality. Still I have seen many of James Stewart’s features and this been one of the toughest to find. Thank you Jon!