Duffy of San Quentin

Watch Duffy of San Quentin

"New! True! Sensational!"
  • NR
  • 1954
  • 1 hr 17 min
  • 6.7  (114)

Duffy of San Quentin is a dramatic crime film from 1954 starring Louis Hayward as Duffy, a hardened criminal serving a life sentence in San Quentin State Prison. The film takes place in the 1930s and follows Duffy's attempts to escape from prison and stay out of trouble, while also dealing with the pressures of his past catching up to him.

Hayward gives a strong performance as Duffy, a man who has spent most of his adult life in prison and has learned to navigate the complex social hierarchy that exists within the walls of San Quentin. Despite his criminal background, Duffy has a sense of honor and loyalty to his fellow inmates, which makes him a respected figure among the prison population.

However, Duffy's world is turned upside down when he is approached by a former partner in crime who wants him to participate in a robbery on the outside. Duffy is torn between his desire for freedom and his loyalty to his fellow inmates, and he must decide whether to risk everything for a chance at a better life outside of prison.

Joanne Dru plays Kay, Duffy's love interest who also happens to be the sister of one of his fellow inmates. Kay is an optimistic and caring woman who sees the good in Duffy even though he has committed heinous crimes. Their relationship is complicated by the fact that Duffy's criminal past is a constant shadow over their future together.

Paul Kelly gives a convincing performance as the warden of San Quentin, a man who is tough on crime but also cares deeply for the well-being of his inmates. He sees the potential for reform in Duffy and wants to help him make a new start outside of prison, but he also knows that Duffy's criminal past will always be a hindrance.

As Duffy navigates the complex world of prison politics and prepares for his potential escape, the tension in the film ramps up. The audience is left wondering whether Duffy will choose freedom or loyalty, and what the consequences of that choice will be.

The film is well-directed by Walter Doniger, who creates a tense and suspenseful atmosphere throughout. The scenes set inside the prison are particularly effective, with tight close-ups and claustrophobic camera angles adding to the feeling of confinement and desperation. The score by Paul Dunlap is also noteworthy, with its brooding and ominous tones underscoring the danger and uncertainty that surrounds Duffy and his fellow inmates.

Overall, Duffy of San Quentin is a strong crime drama that explores the line between loyalty and self-preservation in the context of a brutal and unforgiving prison system. Hayward, Dru, and Kelly all deliver memorable performances, and the film is well-crafted and suspenseful throughout. Fans of classic crime films will find much to enjoy here, and the film stands as a solid example of Hollywood's Golden Age at its best.

Duffy of San Quentin is a 1954 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 17 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

Duffy of San Quentin
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 17 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (114)