Directed by Stanley Kramer • 1958 • United States
Starring Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel
Sidney Poitier became the first black man to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actor for his star-making turn in this courageous moral drama, a powerful study of simmering racial tensions in the 1950s South. He and Tony Curtis star as two convicts—one black, one white—serving time on a chain gang who are set free by accident. Seething with mutual distrust, they flee into the treacherous woodlands and swamps, bound together by a common cause—escape—and by a twenty-nine-inch steel chain.