Sinister Cinema: Chain Gang

Pulps in the Movies. On Sale Every Wednesday.

From three hour extravaganzas with multi-million-dollar budgets to quick and cheap studio shorts, our resident pulp expert and cinema hound John Locke works the entire waterfront. Tirelessly.

Here’s John with the latest:

Warner Brothers polished off 1932 with a Bang! — Bang! — releasing two riveting American-punishment-is-hell sagas in quick succession: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (November 19), then 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (December 24).

Give the Brothers credit for their sense of humor.

They soon sent up both movies in 20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang (August 12, 1933), one of their Broadway Brevities two-reelers used to fill out an evening at the movies.

The short features a convict enjoying one happy ending after another in the May 1933 Snappy.

Who said prison wasn’t a blast?

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