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Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 18 May 1951 (USA)
Another in a unrelated series of Warner's penitentiary tours in three different decades. This one is California's notorious Folsom Prison prior to its 1944 reformation make-over. Ben Rickey... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Chuck Daniels
...
Mark Benson
...
Red Pardue
...
Warden Ben Rickey (as Ted De Corsia)
...
Jim Frazier
...
Leo Daly (as Lawrence Tolan)
Dick Wesson ...
Tinker
...
Jeff Riordan
...
Nick Ferretti
...
Sgt. Cliff Hart (as Eddie Norris)
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Storyline

Another in a unrelated series of Warner's penitentiary tours in three different decades. This one is California's notorious Folsom Prison prior to its 1944 reformation make-over. Ben Rickey, the prison's sadistic old-school warden who believes that the prison system if for punishment rather than reformation, rules Folsom with an iron-hand. He highly resents his university-trained assistant, Mark Benson, who does not share Rickey's beliefs. Rickey, hoping the results will be disastrous, gives Benson permission to try his modern method. He tolerates Benson's innovations until convict "Red" Pardue is killed by another prisoner. Benson blames Rickey, who had refused Pardue protection after he had reported an escape attempt. Benson resigns and Rickey brings back his concentration-camp program. Chuck Daniels, a hardened convict, then stage his long-planned prison break. A bloody riot ensues in which Rickey is murdered and the escapees are accidentally killed by a dynamite blast while taking... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meuterei im Morgengrauen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Cash has said that when he saw this movie he was inspired to write "Folsom Prison Blues". See more »

Goofs

When Benson is on a tour of the prison during his first day as the new captain, he climbs up into a tall guard tower. From the tower's windows we can see prisoners far below. But when Benson looks through a pair of binoculars, the view is from ground level. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator - Personification of Folsom Prison: I am Folsom Prison. At one time they called me "Bloody Folsom."
[laughs slightly]
Narrator - Personification of Folsom Prison: And I earned the name. I've been standing here in California since 1878. My own prisoners built me, shutting themselves off from the free world. Every block of my granite is cemented by their tears, their pain, and the blood of many men. This is a story from my rough, tough past. It happened not long ago after the turn of the century. At the time I tell about, I had within my walls a thousand dangerous...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Moderately interesting but routine prison drama in need of strong director...
8 July 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately, Crane Wilbur's direction is not strong enough to allow INSIDE THE WALLS OF FOLSOM PRISON to be anything more than a routine prison melodrama illustrating prison reform when a man with new ideas (DAVID BRIAN) is given a chance to change the brutal practices of Warden Rickey (TED DeCORSIA).

And fans of STEVE COCHRAN will be surprised that he has such a peripheral part when he's given top billing over David Brian. His part in the prison escape featured at the conclusion of the film is the only time he gets the spotlight. Otherwise, he's just one of the men unhappy with the prison system and looking for the right moment to make his move.

All of the brutal episodes featured in the story could have come across with greater effect as they have in many Warner prison melodramas featuring stars like James Cagney or Edward G. Robinson or Humphrey Bogart. Instead, the total effect is less than striking because the story ambles on in a way that never lifts it out of routine.

Disappointing. Ted DeCorsia has the meatiest role as the brutal warden and does fairly well with a villainous role. David Brian is merely adequate in a rather colorless role as the good guy.


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