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Condemned! (1929)

Suave thief Colman is sent to Devil's Island, where he becomes romantically involved with the wife of sadistic warden Digges.

Director:

Wesley Ruggles

Writers:

Sidney Howard (written for the screen by), Blair Niles (founded upon book "Condemned to Devil's Island")
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Colman ... Michel Oman
Ann Harding ... Madame Vidal
Dudley Digges ... Jean Vidal
Louis Wolheim ... Jacques Duval
William Elmer ... Pierre
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Storyline

Suave thief Colman is sent to Devil's Island, where he becomes romantically involved with the wife of sadistic warden Digges.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A kiss that cannot be forgotten! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Condemned to Devil's Island See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is first of eight films on which both Samuel Goldwyn and Sidney Howard worked. The last was Raffles (1939). See more »

Quotes

Michel: What do you remember about France, Madame?
Madame Vidal: Oh, I just remember my little village in Alsace.
Michel: I've never been to Alsace.
Madame Vidal: No?
Michel: No, there wouldn't be much there for a thief to steal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The action takes place at the French Penal Colony in South America, commonly known as"Devil's Island." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Youngest Profession (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Condemned
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Meskill and Pete Wendling
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid, surprisingly interesting early talkie
23 November 2002 | by the_mysteriousxSee all my reviews

This Ronald Colman film was his second talkie, following a rousing success in Bulldog Drummond earlier in 1929. For these two films, Colman received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his work in this one is good. Samuel Goldwyn went through great pains to prepare Colman for talkies and for audiences' expectations of his voice to match his on-screen persona. In this film, Colman plays a suave thief who is sentenced to prison on Devil's Island. Once there, the warden employs him to aid his wife in household chores and there Colman falls in love with the beautiful Ann Harding.

The plot is surprisingly not too ridiculous as both Colman's and Harding's characters really don't want to start an affair out of respect for each other and for the warden (a solid Dudley Digges). However, once the warden buys into local gossip that his wife is having an affair, he cannot help but constantly become angry. Each time the plot has a chance to become silly and over-melodramatic, it takes a step back and seems to have a conscience. For an early talkie, that is impressive. Further more impressive were the many dolly moves employed by the cameraman. This is not too static for such an early sound film and there is good use of sound effects being layed over the montage. All that being said, it is not a great film. It is never fully engrossing as Alibi and Applause were at times, but for a film from the class of 1929 this one is a winner and Colman, Harding, Digges and Louis Wolheim as Colman's convict friend are all excellent.


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