Best Movies by Farr
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    The Defiant Ones

    The Defiant Ones Poster
    The Defiant Ones Poster

    Released

    1958

    Runtime

    97

    The Defiant Ones

    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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