The taped prison conversation between Webster Hubbell and his wife is the stuff of a hundred old movies: "Don't worry, baby, they'll never get me to rat on nobody."

- Those old enough to remember Wallace Beery can easily imagine the curmudgeonly character actor playing Hubbell, with a slithering Hume Cronyn as Ken "The Weasel" Starr.- Ol' Web vows to rot in prison forever before he squeals on the bosses - Big Bill and Blondie - in spite of Ken The Weasel's rubber hose.

- One day on the chain gang, a fellow inmate recognizes Web.

"Judge Hubbell? Is that you?"

"It's been a long time since anyone has called me that," says Hubbell.

Word spreads throughout the prison that old Web was once a judge and even an assistant attorney general. As the movie ends, he is sharing the fruitcake he gets from Big Bill and Blondie every Christmas.

Los Angeles Times Syndicate