James Cagney played the role of reformist warden in the 1933 film The Mayor of Hell, of which this is a remake. Humphrey Bogart has the same role here; it clearly requires a tough guy to bring some credibility to the task of prison reform. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 12th, 2015 at 10:03 pm. Updated on May 12th, 2015 at 10:03 pm.
Wow. A prisoner of uncertain heritage is introduced into a crucifix-shaped spaceship and heals all with supernatural powers before fulfilling his special destiny. A little heavy on the religious symbolism, perhaps. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 28th, 2015 at 8:25 pm. Updated on April 28th, 2015 at 8:25 pm.
This documentary-style film by Jonas Mekas is based on a play by Kenneth H Brown. A former Marine, Brown had himself spent thirty days in such a brig at Camp Fuji in Japan for being absent without leave; no doubt the film’s authentic feel can be traced back to those thirty days.
Posted on April 26th, 2015 at 2:31 pm. Updated on April 26th, 2015 at 2:32 pm.
Just at the moment I can’t think of a more oddball prison movie; two parts serious gangster flick, one part comedy and one part farce. Does it work? Not entirely, but it’s three parts entertaining. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 11th, 2015 at 6:33 pm. Updated on April 11th, 2015 at 6:33 pm.
I love the Wikipedia entry on Lewis E Lawes. It starts, “Lewis Edward Lawes was a prison warden and a proponent of prison reform. During his 21 year tenure at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, he supervised the executions of 303 prisoners.” That’s one way of doing prison reform, I guess. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 3rd, 2015 at 6:01 pm. Updated on April 3rd, 2015 at 6:05 pm.
Why does a supernatural being, capable of passing through walls and furiously intent on avenging past horrors, wait until someone opens up its resting place before wreaking havoc on the world? You won’t find the answer here. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 28th, 2015 at 8:57 pm. Updated on March 28th, 2015 at 9:19 pm.
To say that this is the best prison zombie movie I’ve seen is not saying much. But it is, even if it doesn’t contain any zombies. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 16th, 2015 at 7:35 pm. Updated on March 16th, 2015 at 7:35 pm.
This, I think, is the first movie I’ve put on this site that has absolutely nothing to do with prisons… although it does include a prisoner or two. I made the mistake, you see, of reading other reviews that suggested that it is about a prison guard who embarks on a relationship with a man who is the bereaved partner of a woman in whose execution she played a part. Not quite. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 9th, 2015 at 9:24 am. Updated on March 9th, 2015 at 9:24 am.
It would be hard to imagine a movie called Gaolbreak with less prison content; we get to see a visit cubicle, the door to the visit cubicles, and the outside of the wall. That’s it. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 9th, 2015 at 8:55 am. Updated on March 9th, 2015 at 8:55 am.
There are so many genres that Born American tries to cover, it’s exhausting. There’s the road-trip-that-goes-horribly-wrong movie, the patriotic, xenophobic Cold War movie, the prison fight club movie, and the old fashioned blow-up-the-bad-guys action movie… with a little romance (and some counterbalancing cynicism about world powers’ espionage agencies) thrown in for good measure. It finishes as a bit of a messy disaster on all counts. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on March 1st, 2015 at 4:50 pm. Updated on March 2nd, 2015 at 7:57 pm.