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 »
Victor Frandsen is a domestic tyrant. His wife Ida has to work as a slave for him and the rest of the family. She rises early to prepare everything for the day, she toils all day long, and ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Favraux, an unscrupulous banker, receives a threatening note, signed by "Judex", demanding that he pay back the people he has swindled. He refuses, and apparently dies after a midnight ... See full summary »
In the turn-of-the century Texas town of Cottownwood Springs, marshal Frank Patch is an old-style lawman in a town determined to become modern. When he kills drunken Luke Mills in ... See full summary »
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
Leo Gordon had once served time for armed robbery at Folsom Prison. The guards remembered him as a troublemaker, and always made him enter and exit the prison separate from the cast and crew, and always strip-searched him. See more »
RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11 is an unusual film in that there are no heroes as such, the film is confined to one location, and there are no female characters. It's social significance is timeless, however - prisoners still riot today, ostensibly for the same reasons depicted in this movie: mistreatment, frustration, lack of stimuli - only the techniques used to quell the riots have changed (I don't think any commissioner would attempt to halt a riot these days by threatening the rioting prisoners with the noose!).
The film moves briskly along throughout it's short running time, and follows an intelligent and believable arc; prison guards are taken hostage, the initial riot spreads to other blocks within the prison, the prisoner's initial euphoria at overcoming the guards gradually dissolves as factions and in-fighting develop, and a psychopathic bully attempts to take control. The threat of violence is never far away in this film, and when it flares it is explosive and brutal.
While the acting is sometimes a little overwrought - which I guess is par for the course for a 50's B-movie - Neville Brand gives a convincing performance as the leader of the rioters; a violent pyschopath who has spent most of his adult life in prison, he is probably the closest this movie comes to a (anti-)hero.
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