There Was a Crooked Man


There Was a Crooked Man

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 9


Audience Score

User Ratings: 478
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There Was a Crooked Man Photos

Movie Info

A typically adventurous work from producer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, There Was a Crooked Man casts Kirk Douglas as the brains of a gang of frontier desperadoes. Arrested in a brothel after holding up merchant Arthur O'Connell, Douglas is carted off to territorial prison, where he quickly establishes himself as the lord of the flies. Idealistic new warden Henry Fonda vows to improve morale and living conditions in the prison, and to that end enlists the aid of Douglas, who pretends to be the warden's toady. In fact, Douglas is plotting a prison break along with Warren Oates, who'd previously crippled Fonda in a shoot out, and homosexual cellmates Hume Cronyn and Burgess Meredith. There's many a surprise and double-cross in store for all concerned before the wryly cynical finale. There Was a Crooked Man was co-scripted by David Newman and Robert Benton, who manage to inject a great deal of historical accuracy into their fictional yarn.

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Kirk Douglas
as Paris Pitman, Jr.
Henry Fonda
as Woodward W. Lopeman
Hume Cronyn
as Dudley Whinner
Warren Oates
as Floyd Moon
Burgess Meredith
as The Missouri Kid
John Randolph
as Cyrus McNutt
Martin Gabel
as Warden Le Goff
Michael Blodgett
as Coy Cavendish
Lee Grant
as Mrs. Bullard
C.K. Yang
as Ah-Ping Woo
Bert Freed
as Skinner
Barbara Rhoades
as Miss Jessie Brundidge
Gene Evans
as Col. Wolff
Jeanne Cooper
as Prostitute
Ann Doran
as Mrs. Lomax
Byron Foulger
as Town Council Member
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Critic Reviews for There Was a Crooked Man

All Critics (9)

Audience Reviews for There Was a Crooked Man

  • Oct 20, 2009
    Found it to be boring & NOT funny at all
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2009
    I suspect that the writers and the director (Joseph Mankiewicz) would be better suited for comedic endeavors than serious, dramatic westerns. This is one picture that is far too light-hearted to be taken seriously. Even the violence, and there is lots of it, seems slapstick and frivolous. It's a shame that such a great cast was wasted on shallow, forgettable material.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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