San Quentin (1937 film)

San Quentin is a 1937 Warner Bros. drama film directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. It was shot on location at San Quentin State Prison.

San Quentin
Directed byLloyd Bacon
Produced byJack L. Warner
Hal Wallis
Samuel Bischoff
Written byRobert Tasker
John Bright
Screenplay byPeter Milne
Humphrey Cobb
Charles Belden
Laird Doyle
Seton I. Miller
Tom Reed
StarringPat O'Brien
Humphrey Bogart
Ann Sheridan
Music byLeo Forbstein
CinematographySidney Hickox
Edited byWilliam Holmes
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 7, 1937 (1937-08-07)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$365,000 (estimated)

Plot summary

Pat O'Brien plays ex-Army officer Steve Jameson, who becomes the chief guard at San Quentin State Prison. Jameson gets acquainted with Mae Kennedy (Ann Sheridan) who works as a singer in a San-Francisco night club. On that same evening Red Kennedy, her brother (Humphrey Bogart), having been on the run from the police, is arrested at the nightclub where he came to see his sister.

Red Kennedy arrives in San Quentin a few days later with another new inmate, "Sailor Boy" Hansen (Joe Sawyer). After a fight with Sailor in the courtyard on his first day, he meets Jameson, the new "Captain of the Yard," who punishes him. Mae begins a romantic relationship with Jameson, and soon finds out what he couldn't tell her before: he is the leading officer of the prison, in charge of the prisoners.

Having been selected with Red to work outside the prison in a "road gang" constructing a new road, Sailor makes a plan to break out. At first Red refuses to join him, but later he changes his mind when it is revealed that Jameson is dating Red's sister.

Sailor's girlfriend arrives in a car to the site where the inmates are working and simulates a flat tire. Having been assigned by a guard to change the tire, Sailor takes the tools and two hidden guns from the tool box. After menacing the guard with the guns, they take him as a hostage and flee. A wild car pursuit with the police follows. Finally, Sailor's car crashes and he dies. Red survives the crash and escapes. He makes it to Mae's flat. Jameson is already there. After a short argument, Red shoots at Jameson who is slightly injured. Red flees and is shot by a police patrol, but he has enough strength to get back to the prison, where he dies in front of the gates.



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