Serving a life sentence at San Quentin, Lee Umstretter (Nick Nolte) has little to live for -- a fact he demonstrates through multiple suicide attempts. But hope comes in the form of literature, which ultimately inspires him to write a play about jailhouse life. After a newspaper critic (Rita Taggart) sees his work, she secures Umstretter's release, and he continues to pursue his theatrical dreams outside prison walls in this well-acted drama.

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