A riot in a state prison is staged to cover up an escape attempt, during which many inmates and guards are killed. Shot on location at Arizona State Prison.



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Complete credited cast:
Cully Briston
Red Fraker
Ben Carruthers ...
Mary Sheldon
Bill Walker ...
Jerry Thompson ...
Ricky Summers ...
Gravel Gertie
Mr. Gerri ...
Queen #1
John Neiderhauser ...
Queen #2
Frank Eyman ...
The Warden (as Warden Frank A. Eyman)


Cully Briston is serving a 5 year sentence in an Arizona prison.He's not getting along well with the Sergeant of the guards who, on finding a bottle of moonshine near Cully, sends him to the isolation block.Arriving there Cully discovers that inmates have taken over the block and have taken the guards as hostages.Inmate Red Fraker is the leader of the revolt and asks Cully to join them in a mass escape.Cully tries to temper the inmates and avoid the killing of the guards who could be more useful as hostages during negotiations with state officials.Riot leader Red Fraker asks Cully to join the escape attempt and Cully reluctantly agrees.They decide to pretend negotiating better living conditions for the prison inmates in order to gain time for their real aim which is escaping.When Cully asks Red how would this even be possible, Red reveals the existence of an old tunnel, built under the prison auditorium. Very few inmates and no prison staff members know about the tunnel's ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | arizona | escape | inmate | riot | See All (29) »


Freedom ... by any means necessary. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 May 1969 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Motín  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Arizona State Penitentiary warden Frank Eyman and 600 inmates and prison staff appear in the movie. See more »


Words and Music by Johnny Lee Wills and Deacon Anderson
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User Reviews

More of the Pool Scene, Please!
9 May 2016 | by (Fly-Over Country) – See all my reviews

Buzz Kulik's pulpy, lurid Riot, an R-rated glob of clichéd prison- flick trash shows us two things:

1. Since this would be PG-13 now, with almost dirty language, sort- of naked prisoners being beaten, sparing gouts of blood, and way, way too much of a gay prisoner doing a bump and grind in his cell, one can marvel at how our tolerance of crudity has risen over the last five decades. Kulik must have been in constant combat with the standards and practices folks at Paramount, either to put more movies-sure-are-different adult stuff in this story of a riot masking an escape in an Arizona prison, or to clean this thing up, now!

2. Kulik's ability to take such a nasty, ugly, and pretty-much stupid prison-break story and infuse it with a professionalism the movie doesn't deserve is a testament to his talent. Jim Brown and Gene Hackman, along with a number of recognizable character actors and a whole bunch of real-life inmates are either catatonic or chew up scenery at an alarming rate. The stuff that comes out of their mouths could only be called dialogue in the most general sense of the word. In other words, Riot is a blob of sweat-covered clichés that, for some reason, is watchable enough to keep watching. Go figure!

I saw Riot the first time in, I think, 1973 when ABC showed it during the summer down-time. I could tell the movie had about a third lopped out for all the crudities and nudities and other prisonese. I could only imagine what the little old ladies with the pinking shears and the blue hair at ABC were snipping out, but I thought it was a pretty fearsome movie anyway.

Now, I just marvel at how far Riot pushes the edge of the envelope.

It's still a crappy movie, but it's also a snapshot of what a movie studio was willing to allow for public consumption, way back when you couldn't say "damn" on TV.

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