I Can't Escape (July 5, 1934)
Released July 5, 1934: An ex-convict marries a party girl and tries to go straight, but unknowingly gets a job with crooks who will frame him.
Produced by Max Alexander
Directed by Otto Brower
Written by Faith Thomas, Jerry Sackheim and Nathan Ash
The Actors: Onslow Stevens (Steve Nichols, aka Steve Cummings), Lila Lee (Mae Nichols), Russell Gleason (Tom Martin), William Desmond (Parole Officer Donovan), Hooper Atchley (Harley), Otis Harlan (Jim Bonn), Kane Richmond (Bob the college boy at the club), Clara Kimball Young (Mrs. Wilson), Eddie Gribbon (Regan the beat cop), Nat Carr (Mr. Watson the clothier), Richard Cramer (Joe the bartender-pimp), Vance Carroll (the alarmed night club patron), Wally Dean (Georgian Club headwaiter), John Elliott (Mr. Douglas), George Morrell (the Georgian Club bartender), Henry Roquemore (Mr. Reynolds the clothing customer), Tiny Sandford (the Georgian Club doorman)
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The Call-Girl and the Ex-Convict
October 1929, the Stock Market crashes and the life savings of businessmen and workers have been destroyed. Banks close, manufacturing plants close, men are out of work, hard-working families survive on charity from soup kitchens, and the world enters the darkest economic period it has ever seen. Stock salesman Steve Nichols unknowingly sold worthless stock before the crash and when his bosses skipped town he was left holding the bag for the stock fraud and is sentenced to ten years in prison.
As our adventure begins it is five years later, 1934, and the world is still stuck in the Great Depression, but Steve Nichols is out of prison on parole, and if he can keep out of trouble he will never return to prison. The first thing he does is rent evening clothes to visit the best nightclub in town.
Joe, the bartender at the nightclub is also a pimp, and when a young college man asks the bartender for a party girl, Joe calls Mae, who arrives ready to give the college boy whatever he wants. Mae gets confused and thinks that Steve, our ex-con, is the man who called for a woman and she sits down at his table. This leads to that and they get married.
Steve wants Mae to quit being a call-girl and she will help Steve to keep on the straight and narrow, but it will not be as easy as all that. The world is still in the Great Depression, and even men with outstanding references have a difficult time getting work. Steve cannot find any job at all once they learn that he is an ex-convict. Then when things look the worst, there is a knock on Steve and Mae’s door.
Tom Martin is looking for Steve, . . . . Tom Martin wants to kill Steve. Tom’s father committed suicide five years ago because of the worthless stock that Steve sold him, and now young Tom wants revenge.
Steve and Mae want to become honest, hard-working Americans in the worst way, but it doesn’t look like they will ever escape their past, and indeed, Steve may even lose his life. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Henry Roquemore and Onslow Stevens
Kane Richmond and Richard Cramer
Lila Lee and Onslow Stevens
Lila Lee and Onslow Stevens
Nat Carr and William Desmond
Onslow Stevens and Eddie Gribbon
Onslow Stevens and Otis Harlan
Onslow Stevens with an advertising sandwich board
Russell Gleason, Lila Lee and Onslow Stevens
Russell Gleason and Lila Lee