When reform warden Clinton T. Duffy retired from his post at San Quentin in 1952, he had already made a national name for himself both as an opponent of capital punishment, and through a best-selling autobiography called The San Quentin Story. In 1954, Duffy of San Quentin, a biopic based on that book, was released to very little fanfare. Promises of a gritty tell-all and the blatant lie of the poster showing a lurid kidnap scheme quickly vanished behind the self-serving antics of Duffy, played in the film by Paul Kelly. Joanna Dru performs admirably as the lone female nurse in a prison full of 5000 men, and Louis Hayward is all clenched fists and pent-up anger, but the film gives him nowhere to go. Every main character makes foolish decisions for what is allegedly the good of the prison community, a rather surprisingly Communist sort of thing to do in the hot-button year of 1954. Their actions will frustrate you, but Duffy is still an interesting little almost-noir. Dru and Hayward have a solid chemistry, and the cinematography is soft and warm but still with deep focus, stark shadows and canted angles to make everything a little off kilter. Duffy of San Quentin has recently been released by Warner Archives.