Best Prison Film.

Having recently re-watched Papillon and Scum I got to thinking what's the best film about prisons/prisoners or with prison/prisoner scenes in it. For me it's:

The Great Escape (1963) Directed by John Sturges
Papillon (1973) Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Directed by Miloš Forman
Midnight Express (1978) Directed by Oliver Stone
Scum (1979) Directed by Alan Clarke
The Green Mile (1999) Directed by Frank Darabont


Quite obviously though its The Shawshank Redemption, imho
Even allowing for it's patent political statement, 'The Birdman of Alcatraz' was a winner in it's generation.

Eastwood's 'Escape From Alcatraz' was passable enough.
Would have thought The Hill must be up there
Dittto, to shawshank, watched it again last night.

Just recalled, William Holden in the movie 'Stalag Luft 13' That had a good storeyline for it's time and was original in showing that the inmates were ruthless to each other,not following the usual all mates together formula.

James Clavell's 'King Rat' both book and film.
pompey said:
Papillion is not a scratch on the book.
Agreed. Nor was One Flew Over ... The book was written by Ken Kesey in 1962 after he had not only worked in a mental institue but undergone electrotherapy treatment and treatment using LSD. The book is actually written through the eyes of the schizophrenic indian Chief Bromden and in parts is as mad as a barking hatstand.

The title is derived from an American children's folk rhyme.

Wire, briar, limber-lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew east, one flew west
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest.

It loses a bit of the significance it has in the novel, where it is part of a rhyme Chief Bromden remembers from his childhood. This detail was not included in the film, but the line retains its relevance since the story ends with two patients dead from different causes and one who escapes from the hospital
Detmold_Drunk said:
Would have thought The Hill must be up there
A good call. That's the winner for sure :D


Book Reviewer
Brubaker - IIRC Robert Redford is the new governor but goes in as an inmate to see what it's really like

Just found this on t'interweb
The film is based on the 1969 book Accomplices To The Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal by Tom Murton and Joe Hyams. Murton was a warden at the Tucker and Cummins Prison in Arkansas. The abuses detailed in the film and the discovery of unmarked graves are based on fact.

Murton served as technical advisor to the film.

Filmed in Bremen, Ohio and The Junction City Prison Farm in Junction City, Ohio. With additional scenes filmed at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds in Lancaster, Ohio.
My Favs: (not in any particular order)

The Last Castle: Cheesy in parts and a bit over the top on being a patriot.. but I did love the explosions...
The Rock: Yummy eyecandy of Connery, Cage and Harris made up for the cheesy lines of patriotism.
Lockdown: Loved the car doing doughnuts scene.
Faceoff: Again it had Cage in it...cheesy stuff can be excused.
Shawshank Redemption: Brilliant story by Steven King
Greenmile: Same as King's writing
Jailhouse Rock: It has the King...does it need anything else?
Deadman Walking: Robbins was amazing in his deathrow inmate character
Monster: Theron was also amazing in her role.
Cool Hand Luke: Love the egg scene.
Bridge Over the River Kwai: doesn't need a reason to like it, fabulous film
The Great Raid: loved the story line
The Hurricane: The film is an appellate lawyer's wet dream.
My Cousin Vinny: Hilarious spoof on southern USA law/judges.
The Great Escape: Classis film of all time
Stalag 17: Loved Holden in the lead role.
The Colditz Story: Love John Mills in this film.

Although not films.. have to add, Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues and Skid Row's, I'm 18 as awesome prison songs.
Without ant shadow of a doubt it has got to be Two Way Stretch (Peter Sellers) followed by the Shawshank Redemption (best film NEVER to win an Oscar)
Unless - Question - did they ever make a movie version of that great Ocker TV series Prisoner Cell Block H?
I liked this one.

'Shawshank' by a country mile, followed by 'Chopper' and 'The Hill' a close third.
k13eod said:
Alec_Lomas said:
James Clavell's 'King Rat' both book and film.
Just finished re-reading it :D
There's a film version too?

Is it any good (in comparison to the book)?
Although not a film, I must include the Aussie `drama` Prisoner Cell Block H. The quality of acting, scriptwriting and indeed the props, were nothing short of outstanding!

Does anyone else remember this 80`s bag of hammers?
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