Movie Mirrors Index

6,000 Enemies

(1939 b 62')

En: 5 Ed: 5

 

An ambitious prosecutor is framed himself and has to face those he sent to prison.

Witness Ann Barry (Rita Johnson) says prosecutor Steve Donegan (Walter Pidgeon) shut her up. Donegan is accused of convicting even the innocent in order to become District Attorney. Ann cries out she was framed but is convicted. Donegan is elected D. A. He wants to get Joe Silenus (Harold Huber) but delays it. Dan Barrett (J. M. Kerrigan) spies on Donegan for Silenus, who frames Donegan for bribery. Barrett testifies against Donegan, who is sentenced to 1-10 years. Donegan tells his brother Phil (John Arledge) to wait until he gets out. Silenus tells Maxie (Guinn Williams) he doesn't want Donegan to get out and sends him to Socks Martin.

Dr. Malcolm Scott (Paul Kelly) warns Warden Parkhurst (Grant Mitchell) that Donegan has many enemies in prison. Donegan is brought in and is treated badly. Ann screams to warn him, saving his life. Dr. Scott treats Donegan's stab wound. The Warden tells Dr. Scott to separate Donegan, who is put in the infirmary next to a serial murderer. Socks Martin (Nat Pendleton) gets his cell-mate put in the hospital. Phil Donegan follows Silenus and writes to his brother. While fixing a pipe in the laundry, Donegan tells Ann he can help her; he sends her a note to write out her case. Dr. Scott lets Donegan go to the men's dining room; but when he calls them rats, they attack him. The Warden puts Donegan in solitary. Silenus and Maxie see Phil following them.

Dr. Scott gets Donegan out of solitary after a week and has him box Socks. Men root against Donegan, who is pummeled but keeps getting up until he faints. Dr. Scott feeds Donegan, and Socks tells him of a break and warns him he is fingered for knowing too much. Two guns are smuggled into the prison. Dr. Scott helps Donegan see Ann. Donegan says her lawyer betrayed her for Silenus, and he reads Phil's letter that they are after him. Donegan sees Phil shot outside the wall by a gang in a car; but the gang is shot down by the guards. Phil is treated by Dr. Scott but dies. Donegan hits Dr. Scott to join the break. Socks and others take Dr. Scott hostage, and Ann tells Donegan, who locks the door and has Ann increase the steam. Donegan uses steam to stop them. Donegan and Ann are cleared, and Donegan prosecutes Silenus, who is to be executed. In the final scene Ann asks Donegan if they can send out the laundry.

In this short drama a prosecutor learns the hard way that juries can convict the innocent, and he has to face the consequences of his prosecutorial zeal personally.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index