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Brute Force (1947)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  30 June 1947 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,582 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 56 critic

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

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Title: Brute Force (1947)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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
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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:

MEN CAGED ON THE INSIDE..driven by the thought of their women on the loose! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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

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 »

Quotes

Warden A.J. Barnes: [At the meeting in the Warden's office] But it's not as easy as all that, Mr. McCollum. This prison... this prison has almost twice as many men as it was built to accomodate. There's not enough work to keep the inmates occupied.
McCollum: Why not?
Warden A.J. Barnes: The world we live in. Yes, we can give them real work. Teach them trades. Produce things. But the civilian manufacturer says we're competing with him. Trade unions say we're putting their people out of work. Nobody wants to help. Not us.
McCollum: [Scoffing] Manufacturers....
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scum (1979) 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

 
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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