I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)

Wrongfully convicted for a hold-up, a war vet sentenced to a chain gang escapes and builds a new, respectable existence, only to realize he can never be free of his past. This classic, still-powerful reality-based indictment of the… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 19, 1932
DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Don Druker
Chicago Reader

Based on a true story, its style is simple, direct, forceful -- even after more than six decades.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A moody, nasty-minded crime movie full of rage and anchored by some deep, moody visuals.

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Emanuel Levy

One of the stronget Depression era's social protest films, this expose shattered audiences in its harrowing depiction of guards' brutalities and other inhuman conditions of prison chain gangs.

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Variety Staff

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is a picture with guts. It grips with its stark realism and packs lots of punch.

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Gabe Leibowitz
Film and Felt

There's enough here to make I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang worthwhile, but its problems are deep enough to keep it a long way from sniffing greatness.

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Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

Suprisingly no-holds-barred portrait of institutional bullying for such an early film.

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Time Out

Muni gives a brilliant performance as a regular guy wrongly convicted of murder and subjected to the hardships and beatings of a dehumanising chain gang regime.

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Matthew Sorrento
Bright Lights Film Journal

The film suggests the denial of the common worker, whose service to industry is only as worthy as his social status.

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Jeremiah Kipp
Slant Magazine

The prison scenes are blatantly manipulative-and effective-but Fugitive really takes off during an intense escape sequence.

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Flixster Audience Score: 91% Flixster User Reviews
Kristijonas Fussman
Hot off the wheels from Howard Hawks' 1932 Scarface, Paul Muni gives a much more focused and compelling performance as the titular fugitive. The story is… More
Devon Bott
A fun, light-hearted romp through... ahh, just kidding. This is a gritting, depressing film about the horrors of the chain gang prison camps of the south in… More
Spencer S.
If you're not interested in the volatile performance of Paul Muni, the violence of a 30's chaingang, or a morally obscured storyline, then watch this… More
Cindy I
The granddaddy of all the "prison brutality" movies. Cool Hand Luke, Chattahoochee and scores of others (including about a million "women in… More
Bob O'Reilly
One of the greatest and most famous of the social imperative films of the pre-Hayes Code 1930's, I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang depicts a man's… More
jay nixon
Excellent social message drama, something that could only be made in the early 30's and then not again until the 60's but without the same grit.… More