John Herbert's stage play Fortune and Men's Eyes first enjoyed a sensational run on Broadway with Sal Minneo in the lead and was originally a fairly tame drama which used prison homosexual activity as a framework around which to base a plea for prison reform.
In this screen adaptation, Mineo's role as Smitty, the unfortunate naif sent to prison on a drug charge who becomes a brutal prison leader, is played by Wendell Burton. Basically, this is an earnest prison drama with some small amusement provided by its treatment of prison homosexuality.
Michael Greer offers a noteworthy performance as the extremely flamboyant and effeminate Queenie. While this film has strong language and some nudity, sexual situations are handled discreetly enough for the film to have merited an R rating at the time of its release.