Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Inspired by the 1946 Battle of Alcatraz in which a riot ran out of control in the prison for two days. See more »
During a scene in the cell, Jeff Corey's character is washing his hair. His hair alternates between lathered and not lathered. See more »
[Guards are taking roll call at the prison cells, calling each inmate's name. When he's called, Calypso, instead of a simple "here," answers with a musical verse, sung Calypso-style]
"I'm here Mr. Man, I can't tell no lie. And I'll be right here till the day I die."
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It's the overcrowded tough Westgate Penitentiary. Capt. Munsey (Hume Cronyn) is the hard-nosed guard who actually runs the prison. Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster) refuses to bend to his will. He's let out of solitary after getting set up by Munsey. Joe's wife Ruth is unwilling to get an operation for cancer without Joe being there. He has a plan to escape.
The prison movie has been done all the time. This is an early brutal vision of incarceration. The flashbacks of various prisoners are unnecessary and distracting. In fact, most of the flashbacks can be eliminated. Prison is a tough place where there is little hope. Lancaster and Cronyn serve as good foils and it has an action packed battle in the end.
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