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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Men Behind Bars" )


directed by Walter Doniger
USA 1954


Clinton T. Duffy (Paul Kelly) suddenly has a job few would ever want. He's the interim warden at San Quentin, given the job for 30 days after violence and corruption swept what was then the nation's largest prison facility. Duffy aims to make his few days matter, cracking down on notorious guards, wiping out a stool-pigeon network and hiring the institute's first female nurse (Joanne Dru). The reforms take hold. Duffy's 30 days would become 12 years. Based on his memoir, Duffy of San Quentin tells the story of the warden's pivotal early tenure through the prism of his interactions with volatile inmate Edward Harper (Louis Hayward). Filmmaker Walter Doniger guides the action. He next made the prison film The Steel Cage (with Kelly and Maureen O’Sullivan returning as the Duffys) and explored life behind bars again in The Steel Jungle.


Theatrical Release: 9 February 1954 (New York)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Film Noir Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:17:12

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.28 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Keep Case

Chapters 34



A little known prison drama, Duffy of San Quentin got a release from Warner Archive under the "Film Noir Archive Collection" imprint despite having little to do with a true film noirs. Paul Kelly is a wooden protagonist playing a warden of San Quentin; Ted de Corsia was far more memorable as a vicious warden of Folsom Prison in Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison. Louis Hayward as a prisoner reformed by a warden saves the film from being a total bore. Joanne Dru is a new nurse, Hayward's love interest and Maureen O'Sullivan is warden's dedicated wife. Despite the promising poster, you shouldn't expect a great actioner.

Warner Archive released the movie on a single-layered progressive made-on-demand disc. The new transfer shows its age, but despite the specs, the contrast looks good and overall the picture is fine. The mono soundtrack is decent, nothing spectacular, just something that is expected from a B-picture. There are no extras presented on the disc.

  - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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