John Resko’s Life Featured In The Film Convicts 4

Posted by on Aug 1st, 2010 and filed under Featured, Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Directed by Millard Kaufman, Convicts 4 is a known 1962 prison film based on the autobiography of John Resko “Reprieve”.  In real life, Resko had tried to rob a pawnshop and accidentally killed the owner with his gun. According to Resko, he only did that in order feed his young daughter and it wasn’t his intention to kill anyone. Unfortunately, Resko was convicted for murder and sentenced to die in the electric chair. Similar thing transpired in the movie, when Ben Gazzara (who portrayed Resko’s character) was bestowed with the death penalty at Sing Sing prison.

Luckily, he (Resko) was granted an official pardon by Franklin Roosevelt – who was the governor of New York that time. However, Resko still stayed in prison for twenty years. While in prison, Resko had shown his talent as a painter and fascinated several people including writer Carl Carmer and Nelson Rockfeller. These people went to visit him in prison and helped him work his way out. They thought that Resko should be released since he was totally rehabilitated.

After several years in prison, he was able to gain his freedom and started living a normal and fruitful life. He was able to make several paintings which were placed in the permanent collections of museums around the country and became a successful writer in Hollywood during the 1950s. John Resko died at the age of eighty.


Leave a Reply