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Brute Force (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 June 1947 (USA)
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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:
...
...
...
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:

HUMAN DYNAMITE! Told the Raw, Ruthless "KILLERS" Way! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired by the 1946 Battle of Alcatraz in which a riot ran out of control in the prison for two days. See more »

Goofs

During a scene in the cell, Jeff Corey's character is washing his hair. His hair alternates between lathered and not lathered. See more »

Quotes

Calypso: [Scene in Dr. Walters office: Dr. Walters is getting ready to go to an important meeting at the Warden's office] Sounds like a very important meeting you're going to this morning, Doc.
[Pours Dr. Walters a small serving of liquor]
Calypso: Is, uh, Captain Munsey gonna' be there?
Dr. Walters: [Nods his head affirmatively] Mm-hmm.
Calypso: [Nods his head knowingly] Mm-hmm.
[Accordingly, he proceeds to pour Dr. Walters a much bigger shot of liquor, then sings some musical verse, Calypso-style]
Calypso: Brandy's the very best drink in the ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Tannhäuser Overture
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
Heard when Munsey is interrogating the convict
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User Reviews

 
Powerful, dark drama. Great performance by Cronyn.
26 February 1999 | by (Maryland) – See all my reviews

BRUTE FORCE This intense, powerful drama stars Burt Lancaster as Collins, a prisoner who's got to find a way out, and Hume Cronyn as the sadistic Captain Munsey, who delights in torturing the inmates. Cronyn is masterful -- cast wonderfully out of character, his slick, soft delivery takes on a skin-crawling menace. Lancaster is appropriately hard and driven, but the fact that he's breaking out to be by his dying girlfriend's side seems facile. The weakest elements of this film are the flashbacks to how his cellmates got locked up. (It seems obvious these scenes are contrived to introduce women into an otherwise all-male cast.) It turns out none of them are really bad guys except Lancaster, who appears to be some kind of gangster. We aren't given much insight into his character; we know he's smart and a leader, but he's clearly got a tendency toward violence. Ultimately, however, it's not about how they got there, but who they are when they get there. It's about what pushes a man past his breaking point and what happens after that. Weaknesses aside, this is a worthwhile, thought-provoking film with excellent performances all around.


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