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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the Group Theater (1931-40)--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 had been 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' 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 »
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 »
Those gates only open three times. When you come in, when you've served your time, or when you're dead!
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For the era it was made(late 1940's),BRUTE FORCE is surprisingly brutal and vicious in places,pre-dating similar antics from James Cagney two years later in WHITE HEAT. The majority of Hollywood prison movies seem to have riots in them and this is no exception,but BRUTE FORCE has arguably the most explosive of the lot,with tear gas,shootings,and killings galore. Mind you,with a warder as brutal as Hume Cronyn(who sadly died recently)in charge,it's no wonder.His psychological bulling of mild-mannered inmate Whit Bissell leads to the former's suicide,and savage beating of Sam Levene results in near death. The misery,waste,and isolation of prison life is well observed here,with fine performances all round,but especially from Cronyn and Jeff Corey,as a cringing,cowardly informer,both of whom incur the rage of the intense Burt Lancaster.
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