Defiant Ones [1958]

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
This 1958 variation on Huck Finn's adventures with Jim finds a white convict (Tony Curtis) chained to a black convict (Sidney Poitier) as they both escape their captors. With each man literally stuck with the other, racial conflicts take a back seat to survival. Directed by Stanley Kramer (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), the film's obvious consciousness-raising is mitigated by a pair of raw performances from the stars, memorable appearances by Lon Chaney Jr. and Cara Williams, and Kramer's strong storytelling abilities. The award-winning script was cowritten by blacklisted writer-actor Nedrick Young. --Tom Keogh

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