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The Defiant Ones Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

The Defiant Ones

(2005)
Not Yet Rated In Theaters 09/11/2005 , 97min.
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Plot & Details

Convicts Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier escape from a chain gang. Curtis' character, John "Joker" Jackson, hates blacks, while Poitier's character, Noah Cullen, hates whites. However, the men are manacled together, forced to rely on each other to survive. Captured at one point by a lynch-happy mob, the convicts are rescued by Big Sam (Lon Chaney Jr.), himself a former convict. The men are later sheltered by a lonely, love-hungry widow played by Cara Williams, who offers to turn in Cullen if Joker will stay with her. By the time the two men are within hailing distance of a train that might take them to freedom, they have become friends. The script for The Defiant Ones is credited to Harold Jacob Smith and Nathan E. Douglas. The latter was really Nedrick Young, a blacklisted writer, whom producer Stanley Kramer hired knowing full well that Young was using an alias (when "Douglas"' credit appears onscreen, it is superimposed over a close-up of a truck driver -- played by Nedrick Young). Both the script and the photography by Sam Leavitt won Academy Awards. If you look closely, you'll notice that the actor playing Angus is former Little Rascal Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, making his last screen appearance. The Defiant Ones was remade for TV in 1986, with Robert Urich and Carl Weathers in the leads.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Black and White Cinematography Sam Leavitt Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Sidney Poitier Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Stanley Kramer Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Harold Jacob Smith Won
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Editing Frederic Knudtson Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actor Theodore Bikel Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Stanley Kramer Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Tony Curtis Nominated
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Won
1958 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Cara Williams Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Film - Any Source Stanley Kramer Nominated
1958 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Actor Sidney Poitier Won
1958 British Academy of Film and Television Arts United Nations Award Stanley Kramer Won

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Picture - Drama Won
1958 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director Stanley Kramer Nominated
1958 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Cara Williams Nominated
1958 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Sidney Poitier Nominated
1958 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Tony Curtis Nominated
1958 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Motion Picture Promoting International Understanding Nominated

Berlin International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Best Actor Sidney Poitier Won

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Film - Any Source Stanley Kramer Nominated
1958 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Actor Sidney Poitier Won
1958 British Academy of Film and Television Arts United Nations Award Stanley Kramer Won

Directors Guild of America

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 Directors Guild of America Best Director Stanley Kramer Nominated

Edgar Allan Poe Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best Screenplay Won
1958 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best Screenplay Harold Jacob Smith Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1958 New York Film Critics Circle Best Screenplay Harold Jacob Smith Won
1958 New York Film Critics Circle Best Director Stanley Kramer Won
1958 New York Film Critics Circle Best Picture Won
1958 New York Film Critics Circle Best Screenplay Ned Young Won

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