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Brute Force (1947)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  30 June 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,899 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 59 critic

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



(screenplay), (story)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gina Ferrara
Cora Lister
Anita Colby ...
Sam Levene ...
Louie Miller #7033
'Freshman' Stack
Jack Overman ...
Kid Coy
Roman Bohnen ...
Warden A.J. Barnes
Sir Lancelot ...
Vince Barnett ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 June 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brutalidade  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The second of three films that Burt Lancaster made for Mark Hellinger, the writer-producer who discovered the former acrobat and turned him into a movie star. The first of these was _The Killers_ and the three-picture contract was completed with Criss Cross (1949), a film Hellinger never lived to see as he died before production began. His widow insisted that Lancaster honor the contract he had with her husband. See more »


When Munsey talks to Gallagher in the dining hall, the position of the hands of Jackson (the guard standing behind) change between shots. In the longer shot he is holding the baton with his hands on top of the baton; in the closer shot, his right hand is still on top and his left hand holds the baton from underneath. See more »


Captain Munsey: I'm a realist, I don't believe in coincidence. Especially when it happens more than once.
See more »


Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Classic Movie!!
4 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Without a shadow of a doubt, Brute Force is a classic movie that still stands today, as a powerful piece of film-making. Everything about this movie is top notch - the acting, the direction, the cinematography, the pacing are all essential ingredients in this superb film. Although there's not a weak link in the entire film, special mention must go to Burt Lancaster, Art Smith, John Hoyt, Charles Bickford, Sam Levene, and Hume Cronyn as the evil & sadistic Munsey. The deft touch of Jules Dassin is there for all to see, and the film builds to a tremendous climax. In 1947 this must have been an extremely powerful and hard-hitting film, and it remains so to this day. For anyone who appreciates movie-making at its best, this is hard to beat.

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