Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
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>
The unsettling "calendar girl" everywoman the inmates have pinned up in their cell was painted by John Decker, who, among other things, did the paintings in Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street. See more »
The character Soldier is in prison after taking the blame for a murder that took place when he was serving in Italy with the U.S. Army. Therefore, he would not have been in a civilian state prison. He would have been sent to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, as he would have been court-martialed while still being a member of the U.S. Army. At the very least, he would have been sent to a federal prison if he'd somehow (highly unlikely) been able to get sent to a civilian facility. See more »
[to Captain Munsey]
That's why you'd never resign from this prison. Where else whould you find so many helpless flies to stick pins into?
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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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