Why We Love Classic Moves …. #07

#07 “I Steal!”

I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, 1932

It was one of those accidental eff-ups that resulted in a cinematic home-run. The final moments of Mervyn LeRoy’s searing, social indictment of the depression-era penal system ends with the fugitive from justice, Paul Muni (in a powerhouse performance seldom matched by anyone before or since), telling his one-time lover, “I steal!” But the lights overhead just so happened to flicker out as the scene was ending, shrouding Muni in darkness and, well, the rest is history.

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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