Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  28 February 1954 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 871 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 29 critic

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 »



(story), (screenplay)
0Check in
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
The Verdict (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After an innocent man is executed in a case he was responsible for, a Scotland Yard superintendent finds himself investigating the murder of his key witness.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Joan Lorring
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
The Killers (1964)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Surprised that their contract victim didn't try to run away from them, two professional hit men try to find out who hired them and why.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 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 7.1/10 X  

George Taylor returns from WWII with amnesia. Back home in Los Angeles, while trying to track down his old identity, he stumbles onto a 3-year old murder case and a hunt for a missing $2 million.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A scientist haunted by the incurable illness epilepsy meet a beautiful woman haunted by the voice of her dead husband.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Ronald Reagan, Viveca Lindfors, Broderick Crawford
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Remake of "To Have and Have Not" based on Hemingway short story. Plot reset to early days of Cuban revolution. A charter boat skipper gets entangled in gunrunning scheme to get money to pay... See full summary »

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Audie Murphy, Eddie Albert, Patricia Owens
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

George "Babyface" Nelson becomes one of the most important gangsters of 1930's Chicago by making brutal robberies. In order to compete with Al Capone he allies himself with John Dillinger...

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Carolyn Jones, Cedric Hardwicke
Hound-Dog Man (1959)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Fabian, Stuart Whitman, Carol Lynley


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 ...
Alvy Moore ...
James Anderson ...
Guard Acton
Guard Captain Barrett
Harold J. Kennedy ...
Jonathan Hole ...
Reporter Russell


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les révoltés de la cellule 11  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the time this was produced (1953-54), the Production Code was in full force. The Code prohibited any direct references to homosexuality. That's why the dialog subtly refers to keeping young inmates away from "certain prisoners." See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

'Watch Those Itchy Fingers'
6 September 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Producer Walter Wanger wanted to make a film that exposed the appalling conditions of the prison community - and having been incarcerated himself after shooting a man he was sure was having an affair with his wife - had plenty of personal experience.

The resulting 1954 80 minute gritty drama, almost an unprecedented certificate 15, even now, was directed by Don Siegel. Following a popular format in those days, it starts off with a social documentary approach, complete with concerned voice-over - that this is a public announcement, part expose, part drama. It is not based on fact, at least not from one singular incident.

As you might expect, we follow prison guards (my title is the warning given to them, as they arm-up to thwart the riot), politicians and those who shape policy and of course, a handful of inmates. These provide everyday backbone; their tales are simple and uncomplicated and it's impossible to not side with them, or at least their plight. As ring- leaders take guards hostage, it becomes a nail-biting cat and mouse scenario, with Dunn (Neville Brand) producing ultimatums. Warden Emile Meyer wants negotiation, state officials want only swift force.

The film is well made and tautly directed, efficient but doesn't feel rushed. The version I saw on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) had a slight green cast but was generally good. I imagine that Riot In would have been compelling and possibly controversial viewing for cinema goers. It would have found favour especially amongst those who liked the hard crime film-noir type of dramas of the day, but without any of the glamour of femme fetales.

My guess is that whilst many prison dramas had been made at this point, they were character-lead and not out to socially comment. This would have been as hard-hitting as any TV '60 Minute' (etc) documentary and because it's still a good and credible film, it's still within the public domain, though is rarely shown and expensive to buy.

2 of 2 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: