Defiant Ones, The (1958)

The Defiant Ones (1958), produced and directed by Stanley Kramer.

It's now a legendary, iconic setup: two prisoners, chained together, escape a prison bus crash and try to survive on the run, fighting nature, hostile civilians and each other.

It's a race-relations Message film and consequently somewhat talky, but the action and characters make up for the well-intentioned tone.

I see Sidney Poitier's character described as the prototypical Magical Negro, a spiritually profound, self-sacrificing person who exists only for the benefit of the white characters.

That seems a bit harsh in this case. His character is deeper than that, although he is undoubtedly more mature than Tony Curtis, who develops more during the course of the film.

Starkly photographed, realistic looking. Many familiar 1950s faces.

Supposed to be somewhere in the South, but obviously filmed in California.