7.0/10
913
20 user 30 critic

Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 February 1954 (USA)
Producer Walter Wanger, who had just been released from a prison term after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, wanted to make a film about the appalling ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An unstable former French Sergeant commits many atrocities. A judge considers how this case could benefit or damage his career.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Michel Galabru, Isabelle Huppert
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

The year is 2021 AD. Women have been enslaved by a brutal army of men who survived the nuclear holocaust. Their only hope for freedom is in the hands of a nomadic band of fierce ... See full summary »

Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Stars: Rebecca Holden, Chuck Wagner, Lynn-Holly Johnson
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

The Future is now. There are no rules and no place to hide from the deadly Highway Warriors who ravage the roads in machines of destruction.

Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Stars: Gary Watkins, Laura Banks, Lynda Wiesmeier
Plunder Road (1957)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

On a dark night of pelting rain, five men stage a well-planned train robbery and get away with a $10 millionr, nine-ton gold shipment. Dividing the massive haul into three concealed truck ... See full summary »

Director: Hubert Cornfield
Stars: Gene Raymond, Jeanne Cooper, Wayne Morris
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

In a bleak, postnuclear future world, warring factions struggle to claim the Equalizer 2000, the one weapon powerful enough to guarantee survival.

Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Stars: Richard Norton, Corinne Wahl, Robert Patrick
The Lineup (1958)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Richard Jaeckel
May Fools (1990)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Like Vanya, in Malle's last film, Milou never left the family estate. His mother dies during the May 1968 student uprising in Paris. The brother who is the London correspondent for Le Monde... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Miou-Miou, Michel Piccoli, Michel Duchaussoy
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Five women explain to the police the events leading up to the murder of their roommate, an exotic dancer.

Directors: Tony Martinez, David F. Friedman
Stars: Tina Vienna, Janice Kelly, Peggy Ann
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

An American architect traveling in Madrid falls in love with his interpreter but is faced by a jealous lover who follows them.

Directors: Luis Marquina, Don Siegel
Stars: Carmen Sevilla, Richard Kiley, José Guardiola
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When 2 detectives steal $80,000 from a dead robber, one of them suffers from a guilty conscience which could lead to murder.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Ida Lupino, Steve Cochran, Howard Duff
Captured (1959)
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: John Krish
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Ray Brooks, Alan Dobie
H.M.P. (1976)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: John Krish
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
James V. Dunn
Emile Meyer ...
Warden Reynolds
...
Commissioner Haskell
Leo Gordon ...
Crazy Mike Carnie
Robert Osterloh ...
The Colonel
Paul Frees ...
Monroe
...
Reporter
Alvy Moore ...
Gator
...
Schuyler
...
Snader
James Anderson ...
Guard Acton
...
Guard Captain Barrett
Harold J. Kennedy ...
Reporter
...
Reporter
Jonathan Hole ...
Reporter Russell
Edit

Storyline

Producer Walter Wanger, who had just been released from a prison term after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, wanted to make a film about the appalling conditions he saw while he was incarcerated. He got together with director Don Siegel and they came up with this film, in which several prison inmates, to protest brutal guards, substandard food, overcrowding and barely livable conditions, stage an uprising, in which most of the inmates join, and take several guards hostage. Negotiations between the inmates and prison officials are stymied, however, by politicians interfering with the prison administration, and by dissension and infighting in the inmates' own ranks. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FILMED ON THE SPOT BEHIND PRISON WALLS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les révoltés de la cellule 11  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Walter Wanger served a four-month prison term for shooting agent Jennings Lang, whom he suspected of having an affair with his wife Joan Bennett. The experiences he had in prison so unnerved him that upon his release he resolved to make a film about what prison was "really" like, not the typical Hollywood prison film made by people who had never been anywhere near a prison or who had never had any experience with the justice system. He shot the film at California's Folsom Prison and used both guards and inmates as extras and technical advisers. Wanger's cast and crew also differed from the Hollywood "norm"; among them were actor Neville Brand, decorated Army veteran of WW II who earned a Silver Star in the Allied European campaign; actor Leo Gordon, another combat veteran who had once served a stretch in Folsom Prison for armed robbery; and then-production assistant Sam Peckinpah, whose father, Denver Peckinpah, was a widely known and respected law-and-order judge in northern California (and whose name alone was enough to get the warden to allow the film to be shot in Folsom). See more »

Connections

Edited into Crashout (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Don Siegel's shockingly temperate issues movie under cover of prison-break actioner
25 May 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Riot in Cell Block 11 comes as a bit of a shock, but not because of its brutality (it's a cuddly little puppy compared to Jules Dassin's Brute Force). The shock is that Don Siegel, later to become inextricably associated with such violent and/or reactionary movies as his remake of The Killers, Madigan and Dirty Harry, turned out a temperate, balanced and humane look at prison conditions; another shock is that the movie emerged in the middle of a complacent decade not remembered for its sympathy to marginalized groups in American society.

The droning voice-over that opens the movie doesn't bode well: It warns of a wave of riots throughout penitentiaries across the country and even takes us to a criminal-justice convention in Toronto where the topic is aired. But soon we're inside Cell Block 11, part of a run-down, overcrowded institution whose warden (Emile Meyer) has been campaigning for reforms, to no avail. (Standing up for convicted criminals, then and now, is political suicide.) When opportunity knocks, the inmates take over the asylum. What they want is press coverage of their quite moderate demands: More elbow room, separate facilities for the mentally ill among them, job training. But they've taken guards as hostages, and threaten to execute them if their demands aren't met.

Leader of the rebels is Neville Brand, who tries to negotiate in good faith, but Meyer has one hand tied behind his back – by Frank Faylen, a hard-line state bureaucrat. Brand, too, has trouble keeping the prisoners in line, particularly those who see the riot less as a cause than as a chance for some cheap thrills. Siegel manages to keep the story taut within the claustrophobic confines of the prison and without too much in the way of splashy incident, until he brings it to a surprisingly rueful end. Somehow, he has managed to make an issues movie told almost solely through action.

Siegel's career proved that he had more sides to him than he's generally known for. He started out cutting montages in other directors' movies (Blues in the Night and The Hard Way among them); when he moved into directing, his early work showed range in style and tone: The period thriller The Verdict, the light-hearted noir The Big Steal, the eschatological drama Night Unto Night. Too bad we can't remember him by saying that he just got better and better, because, unfortunately, it just isn't so.


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
An Underated Gem 42ndStreetMemories
Discuss Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?