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Brute Force (1947)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  30 June 1947 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,922 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 46 critic

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Capt. Munsey
...
Gallagher
...
Gina Ferrara
...
Ruth
...
Cora Lister
Anita Colby ...
Flossie
Sam Levene ...
Louie Miller #7033
...
'Freshman' Stack
...
Spencer
Jack Overman ...
Kid Coy
Roman Bohnen ...
Warden A.J. Barnes
Sir Lancelot ...
Calypso
Vince Barnett ...
Muggsy
...
Hodges
Edit

Storyline

At overcrowded Westgate Penitentiary, where violence and fear are the norm and the warden has less power than guards and leading prisoners, the least contented prisoner is tough, single-minded Joe Collins. Most of all, Joe hates chief guard Captain Munsey, a petty dictator who glories in absolute power. After one infraction too many, Joe and his cell-mates are put on the dreaded drain pipe detail; prompting an escape scheme that has every chance of turning into a bloodbath. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mark Hellinger's POWER PACKED PICTURE! (re-release print ad - mostly caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brutalidade  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the Group Theater (1931-1940)--the first American acting company to attempt to put the Russian Konstantin Stanislavski's principles into action--disbanded, many of the actors who had participated in its revolutionary realistic productions on Broadway ("Awake and Sing" "Waiting for Lefty") made their way to Hollywood in search of work. Two of them--Roman Bohnen ("Warden") and Art Smith ("Dr. Walters")can be seen in this film. As several of the actors in The Group were members of the Communist Party or leftist organizations, they would soon be blacklisted during the "Red Scare" era of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's search for "subversives" in the entertainment industry, one of whom was the director of this film, Jules Dassin. A year before this film was released, Kazan--who had appeared before the McCarthyite House Unamerican Activities Committee and "named names", happened to be in Hollywood and saw a production of one of Tennessee Williams's early plays, "Portrait of a Madonna" directed by Hume Cronyn--who plays the sadistic Capt. Munsey in this film. Kazan was so impressed by the work of Cronyn's wife, Jessica Tandy, that he offered her the role of Blanche Dubois in his Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire." See more »

Goofs

During the fight in the guard tower between Munsey and Collins, guard Tom seems to have been killed, but the stunt actor Tom Steele who plays him is very clearly doubling Hume Cronyn. See more »

Quotes

Cora Lister: [Flashback scene: Tom Lister is in his prison cell, recalling how he had given his wife Cora an exquisite fur coat] Tom... oh, Tom! It's the most beautiful thing in the whole world!
Tom Lister: It belongs on you.
Cora Lister: [Putting the coat on and admiring herself dreamily in the mirror] It makes me feel so... I don't know... like I was "somebody." Oh, Tom...
Cora Lister: [Suddenly coming to her senses] Where'd you get it? Where'd the money come from? Where'd you get it!
Tom Lister: Cora, I stole the money. I juggled the books and took three ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Castle (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Tannhäuser Overture
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
Heard when Munsey is interrogating the convict
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Check the attempted breakout!
1 April 2001 | by (Indianapolis) – See all my reviews

Ok, ok, I will give away a tad bit of the ending here, but not much. This movie builds decently towards the eventual climactic ending. But wow, what an ending!

Rewind and check the camera shot of Burt giving the go-ahead to begin the escape, and see Jeff Corey (the fink) tied to the front of the tram (and thus first to take the machine gun bullets).

Also don't miss the smoke that comes out the back of Jeff Corey's shirt as he is riddled with those bullets. And it takes a quick eye to catch the guard's shotgun blast actually pierce part of the iron cell bar as he kills Duff from above. How about the bleeding bullet hole in Burt's back as he fights with his new warden? And the strength he shows when tossing him off the tower. The small stuff helps the realism of this oldie!

Burt, you were so cool! I wish you had accepted the Ben Hur and Patton role you were offered!


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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