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2014 | 2012 | 2010 | 2009

5 items from 2014


Blu-ray Review: Dated ‘Riot in Cell Block 11’ is Beautifully Filmed

2 June 2014 1:13 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – The Criterion Collection has added “Riot in Cell Block 11” (1954) to their stellar Blu-ray family, and the transfer is absolutely gorgeous, especially if you’re an admirer of the stark cinematography of the late black & white film era. Although dated, it still packs a gritty wallop.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Directed by Don Siegel – best known for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956) and “Dirty Harry” (1971) – this prison riot film is framed as a cautionary tale regarding the conditions of prisons in the mid-1950s. Packed with noir beauty, the tick-tick-tick of the tensions in the film underscore the use of shadow and light. Shot in Folsom Prison in California, Siegel makes great use of the weird perspectives of long hallways and old timey prison walls. Some of the corny dialogue and hey-you-mugs interplay is silly in the modern era, but I’m sure the adventurous folks who saw this at the time were transfixed. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Trailers from Hell Starts a 'Riot in Cell Block 11'

30 April 2014 8:17 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Today on Trailers from Hell, director Joe Dante talks up 1954's prison-based drama "Riot in Cell Block 11," starring Neville Brand and Frank Faylen. An intelligent, well-acted “message” melodrama hides behind that hard-nosed title. Directed by Don Siegel at his most primal, the film’s violence erupts in compelling contrast to the quiet intelligence of the screenplay by Richard Collins ("My Gun is Quick"). Its empathetic attitude is due in some part to veteran producer Walter Wanger whose recent stint in the slammer moved him to advocate for improved prison conditions. Starring Neville Brand as the firebrand who instigates the protests and, as “Crazy Mike Carnie”, real-life ex-con Leo Gordon, who Siegel described as “the scariest man I have ever met ” but went on to a long career as a dependable character actor. This was the beginning of Siegel’s longtime friendship with Sam Peckinpah who served as dialog director »

- Trailers From Hell

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Riot in Cell Block 11

29 April 2014 10:00 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

An intelligent, well-acted “message” melodrama hides behind that hard-nosed title. Directed by Don Siegel at his most primal, the film’s violence erupts in compelling contrast to the quiet intelligence of the screenplay by Richard Collins (My Gun is Quick). Its empathetic attitude is due in some part to veteran producer Walter Wanger whose recent stint in the slammer moved him to advocate for improved prison conditions. Starring Neville Brand as the firebrand who instigates the protests and, as “Crazy Mike Carnie”, real-life ex-con Leo Gordon, who Siegel described as “the scariest man I have ever met ” but went on to a long career as a dependable character actor. This was the beginning of Siegel’s longtime friendship with Sam Peckinpah who served as dialog director on this and several other Siegel films including Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The post Riot in Cell Block 11 appeared first on Trailers From Hell. »

- TFH Team

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Criterion Collection: Riot on Cell Block 11 | DVD Review

29 April 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The inspiration behind the making of Riot in Cell Block 11 is as equally fascinating as the end product. Producer Walter Wanger (who famously produced Hitchcock’s 1941 film, Foreign Correspondent, among others) was sentenced to a brief stint in prison after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his then wife, actress Joan Bennett. The dramatic scandal would force Wanger into an experience that apparently changed his life, as leaving prison immediately saw his intense interest in getting this project off the ground, basing it on an actual event that happened in Michigan. Undeniably a semi-documentary message film, it’s an arresting prison drama that features believable performances and striking cinematography. Serving as director Don Siegel’s first major hit at the box office despite lack of female stars and subject matter, it’s his first definitive example of the themes that would mark him as Clint Eastwood »

- Nicholas Bell

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Reviews: Criterion's "Riot In Cell Block 11" (1954) And "The 400 Blows" (1959)

13 April 2014 9:38 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

Blu-ray/DVD Review

Riot In Cell Block 11” (Don Siegel)

The 400 Blows” (Francois Truffaut)

(The Criterion Collection)

Two Gems From The 50s

By Raymond Benson

Two new releases from The Criterion Collection spotlight low-budget filmmaking in the 1950s—American and European—and couldn’t be more stylistically and thematically diverse. And yet, there is a personal stamp on the pictures that is very similar. Both films also tackle social problems with brutal frankness and feature anti-heroes as protagonists.

Riot in Cell Block 11 was produced by longtime Hollywood independent producer Walter Wanger (he was also responsible for two earlier Criterion releases, Stagecoach and Foreign Correspondent) as a hard-hitting, gritty, realistic picture depicting the inequities and maltreatment prisoners receive in American prisons. Wanger had a personal reason to make a film like that. He had barely missed spending some time in one. He’d caught his wife with another man, »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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2014 | 2012 | 2010 | 2009

5 items from 2014


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