Best Movies by Farr
The Defiant Ones Poster
Released Runtime Category
1958 97 Action/Adventure
Director Language
Stanley Kramer English
Cara Williams, Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis

The Defiant Ones

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What's it About
When convicts John "Joker" Jackson (Curtis) and Noah Cullen (Poitier) escape a chain gang manacled together, they must put aside their mutual antipathy. Jackson's an uneducated Southern bigot who doesn't hide his contempt for Cullen, while Cullen exhibits his own well-earned hatred of "crackers". Still, given the circumstances, they must rely on their combined resources to survive.
Why we love it
Another of maverick producer/director Kramer's consciousness-raising social films, this tale proved a potent metaphor for race relations in 1958. Virtually simultaneous with the rise of the civil-rights movement, this progressive adventure eloquently presented the case for racial harmony in the story of a gutsy prison-break film. Poitier-who at age 30 was set to go where no black actor had gone before--more than holds his own with Curtis, then a big star, who plays the despicable "Joker" to perfection.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"