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Please help me find this title.


Hello moviegoers, can anyone tell me the title of this (B&W?) action/mystery revenge thriller about a man falsely accused of killing a child during a bank robbery. He goes to jail and when the townspeople burn down the jail to kill him, he gets burned and disfigured. They obviously missed him, but he then sets to get his revenge on them… Any ideas? Thanks all!

pori Posted new comment Nov 28, 2020

The plot is similar in many ways to Fritz Lang’s first American film — Fury. Most consider it Lang’s finest American film. But Fury differs in a couple of key ways, so I hesitate to suggest it as an official answer. I’ll just offer it here as a comment, in case you may have misremembered some details of the film.

Fury is a B&W film. It was released in 1936, and starred Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sydney. In Fury, Spencer Tracy plays a decent man innocently driving through a small town to meet his fiancé. He falls under suspicion for the kidnapping of a little girl, and he is arrested. The townspeople work themselves into a vigilante frenzy and attack the jail and set it ablaze. They are jubilant as they watch the jail consumed in the inferno, believing that they killed the man who kidnapped the little girl. Everyone is unaware that Tracy managed to escape the blaze. Only after the real kidnappers are arrested do the townspeople feel any remorse for their crime.

This is where Fury differs from your description in a major way. Tracy was not disfigured in the fire. He is, however, a dramatically changed man. Once a kind and decent fellow, Tracy is now hardened and consumed with hatred for the people who tried to murder him. Tracy reveals himself only to his brother, whom he convinces to assist him in a plot for revenge. Tracy wants the townspeople who attacked the jail to be arrested, put on trial, convicted, and executed for his murder. The townspeople are tried. When it appears they may be found not guilty because there was no physical evidence that he died in the blaze, Tracy burns his engagement ring (as if it were consumed in the jail fire), and mails it to the prosecutor, claiming to be a townsperson who wants to remain anonymous. He explains that he discovered the ring in the ashes of the burned jail and kept it as a memento. This piece of evidence sways the jury and the townspeople are convicted of murder.

At the end of the film, Sylvia Sydney discovers that Tracy is alive. She confronts him, horrified and disgusted by his revenge plot. Only out of love for his fiancé, does Tracy enter the court room in the final scene, and reveal to the judge that he is indeed alive.