The Defiant Ones Reviews
It's a nice premise tackling racism, with 2 exceptional lead performances from Sidney Poitier (one of my all time favourite actors) and Tony Curtis. Unfolding of plot developments were predictable (as well as questionable), but the interplay between the 2 leads is what makes this film most appealing. Well directed by Stanley Kramer. Great cinematography too. The brief romance subplot was implausible, and also unnecessary, in my opinion. Disliked the ending; too abrupt. It started brightly, and I really wanted to enjoy everything, but the 2nd half of the movie just disappointed. Still, I was thoroughly entertained. Nominated for 8 Oscars in 1958, winning for Best Original Screenplay and Cinematography. Worth having a peak.
One could easily be aware of the shooting condition since clearly Curtis and Poitier have taken their toll in their harsh fugitive surroundings, wrestling with the precipitate torrent, the mud pit under the pouring rain, a perilous marsh and finally a running train. But those are only default set pieces to sustain the film in its narrating procedures, a sharp and sound script does remind me how slowly the civilisation progress we have achieved since only 50 years ago, the world could be utterly colour-sensitive.
Curtis and Poitier‚(TM)s two handers are meticulously orchestrated, but among the supporting group, Cara Williams and Theodore Bikel also obtained two Oscar nominations. The former partook in the latter half and induced the most poignant confrontation for Curtis‚(TM) character, choosing between freedom (even love) and the brotherhood with a black prisoner (mercifully, the finale reciprocates with the same dilemma for Poitier). Meanwhile, Williams exhibits a dooming desperation out of the unsatisfied woman without being sidelined as a cipher in the plot. Bikel, is the Sheriff with a kind heart, whose gritty and congenial persona has re-established the integrity of the police force.
Last but not the least, Poitier‚(TM)s a cappella rendition of W.C. Handy‚(TM)s ‚Long Gone (From Bowlin' Green)‚? has been repeated three times in the film, the beginning, the middle section (where they are caught by the village people) and the ending, precisely elevating the film‚(TM)s brio and set a great example of how a theme song could generate such an ineffable passion and evocation into a film‚(TM)s texture.
ps: the film got two Oscars among its 9 nominations, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY BLACK & WHITE and BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY.