Brute Force (1947)

Brute Force
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Director: Jules Dassin
Actors: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth, Ella Raines

For the men of Westgate Penitentiary, life is lived on a knife's edge, ruled by violence and fear in a war fought between the guards and the toughest prisoners. Warden A.J. Barden is a weak man who is powerless compared to the chief guard, Captain Munsey, an ambitious and sadistic petty dictator who uses fear and treachery to control the prisoners. Munsey's arch enemy is the charismatic and discontented prisoner Joe Collins, whose girlfriend is unaware that he is in prison and who refuses to have a life saving operation unless he is by her side. Joe's desperation and restlessness is shared by his five cellmates, all of whom found themselves in prison either in spite of or thanks to the love of a woman on the outside.

Status: Normal
Run time: 98mins
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 2.0

Member Reviews (2)

Art S.
Exceptionally gripping prison drama directed by Jules Dassin and featuring a large cast of bit players,some of whom (like Dassin) would go on to be black-listed a couple years later. The film does show the prison's inhumanity to man (and Hume Cronyn plays the stereotypic Wagner-loving petty tyrant to perfection) but the social message doesn't overwhelm the action, which builds to a violent climax. Raw! Rough! Ruthless!
Posted Tuesday, 6 December 2011 See my other reviews
Nigel W
Above average prison escape drama which has its moments. Lancaster is good as usual but the ending is indicative of the times. Would have been quite hard hitting in its time. 3.5 stars.
Posted Tuesday, 1 December 2009 See my other reviews
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