Blu-ray Riot in Cell Block 11 [Blu-ray/DVD] (Blu-ray 17124504),
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Riot in Cell Block 11 [Blu-ray/DVD]

  • Blu-ray/DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Don Siegel's classic B picture stars Neville Brand as prison inmate Dunn. A group of prison convicts are fed up with the conditions they are forced to endure, which include terrible overcrowding, enforced idleness, wretched food, and the billeting of prisoners suffering from severe mental illnesses with the relatively normal. They elect Dunn, the most intelligent of the bunch, to lead them in a revolt for better conditions. The prisoners' efficient plan unfolds with military precision, from the first ambush of an unsuspecting guard to the deafening crescendo of a full-blown prison riot. As the violence progresses, Dunn uses the available media outlets, hoping to gain public sympathy for the prisoners' cause. The warden (Emile Meyer), surprisingly enough, is in full sympathy with the convicts' demands, having futilely called for the same reforms himself--yet he's obliged to suppress the riot. Made almost in the style of a documentary, this highly intelligent drama benefited greatly from producer Walter Wanger's intimate knowledge of life behind bars. Eschewing the good guy/bad guy formula of most prison movies, it explores the difficulties of incarceration for both sides, investing even minor characters with considerable complexity. Meyer is outstanding as the warden, and Brand, Frank Faylen, Paul Freed, and Whit Bissell also give fine performances. Russell Harlan's gritty camerwork also contributes greatly to the overall power of the film.
  • Credits
    Neville Brand, Leo, V. Gordon, Leo Gordon, Emile Meyer, Frank Faylen, Paul Frees, Don Keefer, Alvy Moore, Dabbs Greer
  • Critic Reviews
    "Like many of the movies Wanger produced earlier in his career, RIOT was topical; it was filmed on location at Folsom State Prison and inspired by a rash of recent prison uprisings..."
    New York Times

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