The Defiant Ones

Watch The Defiant Ones

  • Approved
  • 1986
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.6  (17,503)
  • 69

The Defiant Ones is a classic film from 1958 that stars the legendary Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis in the lead roles. Directed by Stanley Kramer, The Defiant Ones is a groundbreaking movie that explores themes of friendship, race, and redemption in a highly charged and emotional way. The story is set in the American South during a time of heightened racial tensions. Curtis and Poitier play two convicts, John 'Joker' Jackson and Noah Cullen respectively, who are chained together and forced to make their way across the countryside after they escape from a chain gang. The two men have very different backgrounds and temperaments: Jackson is a scheming, manipulative white man while Cullen is a proud, hot-tempered black man who has been unjustly imprisoned.

As the two men make their way through the countryside, they are pursued by a posse of law enforcement officers who are determined to recapture them. Bikel plays the sheriff who is leading the pursuit, and he is a complex character who embodies both the best and worst aspects of the law. Throughout the course of the film, the relationship between Jackson and Cullen evolves in unexpected ways as they face a series of challenges and setbacks.

One of the things that makes The Defiant Ones such a compelling movie is the way that it explores the complex dynamics of the relationship between Jackson and Cullen. Although they are chained together and forced to rely on each other for survival, the two men are initially antagonistic towards each other. Jackson is openly racist and belittles Cullen at every opportunity, while Cullen is fiercely proud and refuses to be treated like a second-class citizen. However, as the two men spend more time together, they begin to see each other as individuals rather than just representatives of their respective races. They bond over their shared experiences of injustice and oppression, and they come to respect each other in a way that transcends their racial differences.

The performances from Curtis and Poitier are both outstanding, and they bring a depth and complexity to their characters that is both nuanced and impactful. Curtis manages to make Jackson both despicable and sympathetic at the same time, while Poitier imbues Cullen with a fiery strength and dignity that is truly inspiring. Both actors were nominated for Oscars for their performances, and it's easy to see why.

Alongside the compelling characterizations, The Defiant Ones also features some breathtaking cinematography and powerful music. The opening sequence, in which the prisoners make their daring escape, is a masterclass in tension and suspense, and the scenes that follow are equally gripping. The movie also features some beautiful shots of the American countryside, which serve to underscore the isolation and desperation of the two fugitives. The music, composed by Ernest Gold, is evocative and stirring, and it adds an extra layer of emotional depth to an already powerful film.

Overall, The Defiant Ones is a classic movie that deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates great filmmaking. It's a story that is as relevant today as it was when it was first released, and it's a testament to the power of cinema to explore complex themes and emotions in a way that is both challenging and moving. With outstanding performances from Curtis and Poitier, stunning cinematography, and a stirring score, The Defiant Ones is a timeless classic that should be part of any film lover's collection.

The Defiant Ones is a 1986 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 69.

The Defiant Ones
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (17,503)
  • Metascore