Straight Time

Synopsis: After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole officer. When he is released again, he assaults the parole officer, steals his car, and returns to a life of crime.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Open the gate.

You guys wanna step up to the table?

Open the gate, please.

-Can I help you?

-A dog.

Everything on it?

Hey. Hey. Sixty-five cents.

Mr. Frank, please.


Well, my name's Dembo, A-20284.

Dembo, A-20284. Okay?

Just tell him that I'm here and I'll just--

I'll see him tomorrow morning.

I got an appointment with him.

Nothing important.

Yeah, okay. Thank you.

-Hi, Max.


Earl Frank.

Come on in.

Have a seat.

-You're a little late.

-I had some trouble getting down here.

-Want a coffee?

-Yeah, thanks.


So fill me in. How was the trip?

On the bus down? It was a little long.

-We made about 27 stops.

-Yeah, it's a real milk train.

Go ahead. Put it down on the floor.

So, what'd you do last night?

Oh, walked around.

-Meet anybody?

-No, nobody I know.

Where'd you stay?

You didn't go to the halfway house.

-I called. Didn't you get the message?

-You called here?

Last night. I left a message

with your answering service.

-I didn't get it.

-I left it.

So where'd you sleep?

In a motel.

The conditions of your parole

were that you were to go to the house.

That's a way to help you save money.

Now, you agreed to that

before your release.

Why didn't you go there?

Because I just spent six years

in prison.

I just wanted to look at the lights.

I wanted to feel free.

I wanted to walk around...

...and not have somebody tell me

that I gotta get in bed at 1 0:00.

Max, I think you've got

a serious attitude problem.

I don't have an attitude.

Can you tell me what kind of attitude

you want me to have?

Well, you don't decide whether or not

you go to a halfway house.

I mean, you come to me,

we discuss it, then I decide.

I'm just trying to make you understand that

I'm aware of the realities of my situation...

...that I'm not fated

to be a menace to society.

I'm not gonna go out

and hit somebody over the head.

My friend, I see that you're gonna

force me to deal with you.

I see that you've got juvenile offenses

dating back to when you were 1 2.

I see you've got auto theft,

you've got breaking and entering.

All this leading up to

a burglary warrant.

I just served six years

for that chickenshit rap.

Chickenshit? You had a gun.

Yeah, but I didn't use it

and I didn't hurt nobody.

What was in your mind

when you put it in your pocket?

I just took it along.

I'm due in court.

I'm aware that you have this power,

that you represent the state...

...but, you know, I think that

you can give me a little leeway.

You can be flexible.

I was just hoping

to get some trust from you.

You've gotta earn the trust.

I have. I just wanna

be like everybody else.

I just want a decent job.

I want a decent place to live.

I want somebody to love me,

I want some clothes on my back...

-...have some self-respect.

-I gotta get going now.

I tried to be straight with you, sir.

I know I shouldn't have done that last night

without checking with you first.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I'll make a deal with you, Max.

If you find a place to sleep today

and a job by the end of the week... don't have to go

to a halfway house. Fair?

That's fair. I appreciate that.

When you find a place, you call

Miss DeVeccio and give her the address.

I'm gonna see you one day this week.

That's okay.

Here's the other hundred

you've got coming to you.

I want you to sign for it.

Now, do you understand

the conditions of your parole?

-Yes, I do.

-You have to attend all meetings.

You must heed the advice

and the counsel of your agent.

-Now, do you know what that means?

-Yeah, I think I do.

I gotta get along with you

or you're gonna throw me back in jail.

That's it in a nutshell.

-You're a tough man.

-No, I'm not, Max.

All right, I gotta go now.

-Good luck with it, now, huh?


I'm gonna do my best.

I know you're gonna do it.

-How much?

-Eighteen dollars a week.


-Here's your key.

-Clean sheets?

No. Bathroom is over there.

Parole office. May I help you?

Could you leave a message

for Mr. Frank?

-Who's calling?

-My name is Max Dembo, A-20284.


-I got that.


-Thank you.

Could you tell him I'm

at the Garland Hotel?

That's G-A-R-L-A-N-D.

And you'd better give him

the phone number. It's 321 -1 321 .

-I'll give him the message.

-I'd appreciate it if he gets it today.

-I'll give him the message, sir.

-Okay, thank you. Bye-bye.

Time's up.

Time's up.

-Time's up. I'm sorry.

-I just wanted to finish that sentence.

Bring those score sheets.

You did great

on your intelligence test.

Yeah, well, you know.

I could have told you that.

One moment.

Wilshire Agency.

Yes, she is. Hold on.

Pat, it's for you.

-Did you put it on hold, honey?



Disconnected. I lost the call.

You're supposed to push down ''Hold''

before you use these other buttons.

-There's ''Hold,'' there's the buttons.


I'm sorry.

-Did you just get this job?

-Yeah. I've had it about a week.

-Is she your boss?


Does she really like you

as much as she seems to?

I guess. I don't know.

You got a 61 on your typing test.

-Is that bad?

-I'm afraid it's a little low.

Well, I'm not used to the electric.

What was your last

place of employment?

Were you self-employed

or in the armed services?

No. I didn't know whether to put down

''state penitentiary.''

I was a convict.

And how long

did you hold that position?

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Alvin Sargent

Alvin Sargent (born April 12, 1927) is an American screenwriter. He has won two Academy Awards in 1978 and 1981 for his screenplays of Julia and Ordinary People. His most popular contribution has been being involved in the writing of most of the films in Sony's Spider-Man film series (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first exception to this). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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