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Hellgate (1952)

Approved | | Western | 5 September 1952 (USA)
A man is framed and sent to toughest prison in the territory.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gilman S. Hanley
...
Ellen Hanley
...
...
George Redfield
...
Jumper Hall
...
Gundy Boyd
...
Sgt. Maj. Kearn (as Robert Wilkie)
...
Vern Brechene (as Kyle James)
Richard Emory ...
Dan Mott
Dick Paxton ...
George Nye (as Richard Paxton)
William Hamel ...
Lt. Col. Woods (as William R. Hamel)
Marshall Bradford ...
Dr. Pelham
...
Neill Price
...
Banta
Pat Coleman ...
Hunchy
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Storyline

A man is accused of spying for the confedaracy, and sentenced to the notorious Hellgate Prison. After he unsuccessfully attempts to breakout, and is sentenced to solitary confinement, he redeems himself when the prison is taken down by a plague. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NEW MEXICO'S NOTORIOUS UNDERGROUND DESERT PRISON! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hellgate Prison  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Closing credits: All events, characters, firms and institutions in this photoplay are fictional and any similarity to any persons living or dead or to any actual events or to any actual firms or institutions is coincidental and unintentional. See more »

Goofs

When Gil Hanley is in jail, he is kissing his wife Ellen and his whole head is sticking out between the bars, which are so far apart he could have slid out sideways between them. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: KANSAS, 1867-- A STATE OVERRUN BY GUERRILLA TERRORISTS IN THE WAKE OF THE CIVIL WAR See more »

Connections

Version of The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hard Time On The Desert
27 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

One of the best films to come out of the Poverty Row Lippert Pictures Studio was this hard nosed and brutal western drama Hellgate. The title is named after a prison on the New Mexico desert where Sterling Hayden is sentenced to some hard time.

A number of reviewers have already commented that the plot is taken straight from the story of Dr. Samuel Mudd. Hayden is a former Confederate soldier who has settled in a Union area of the west and just wants to forget the war. Hayden and wife Joan Leslie give some assistance to an injured man, Hayden is a veterinarian and therefore has some medical training. The man turns out to be a former Quantrill guerrilla and the locals are quick to believe Hayden has to be one also. He gets sentenced to Hellgate where he comes under the tender care of commander Ward Bond and Sergeant Major Robert J. Wilkie.

Though the plot may come from The Prisoner Of Shark Island, the jail is like the one Sessue Hayakawa ran in The Bridge On The River Kwai. It's set in a desert canyon with no water, it has to be transported in every month. The jails are underground carved right in the rock crevices. Like Hayakawa, Bond has no guards the desert does discourage most escapes. He does however have Pima Indians who can track escapees and get more for bringing them dead than alive.

If you know the story of Samuel Mudd from The Prisoner Of Shark Island you know what happens here in Hellgate. Sterling Hayden really dominates this film, especially when he vies for supremacy in his particular cell with James Arness, a pretty hard case himself. This is one of Hayden's best acted roles and ought to command some of the same attention given to The Asphalt Jungle and The Killing.

Don't miss this one if it is broadcast, especially for fans of Sterling Hayden.


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