7.9/10
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46 user 63 critic

Punishment Park (1971)

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Boland ...
First Tribunal Defendant
Kent Foreman ...
Defendant in the tribunal
...
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant
Luke Johnson ...
Defendant in the tribunal
Katherine Quittner ...
Nancy Smith
...
James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant
Stan Armsted ...
Charles Robbins
Mary Ellen Kleinhall ...
Allison Mitchner
Mark Keats ...
William C. Hoeger, Tribunal Chairman
Gladys Golden ...
Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member
Sanford Golden ...
Sen. Harris
George Gregory ...
Mr. Keagan
Norman Sinclair ...
Alfred J. Sully - Tribunal Member
Sigmund Rich ...
Prof. Hazlett
Paul Rosenstein ...
Paul Reynolds - Tribunal Member
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Storyline

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game. The soldiers vow not to interfere with the rebels' progress and merely shepherd them along to their destination. At that point, having obtained their goal, they will be released. The film crew's coverage is meant to insure that the military's intentions are honorable. As the representatives of the 60's counter-culture get nearer to passing this arbitrary test, the soldiers become increasingly hostile, attempting to force the hippies out of their pacifist behavior. A lot of this film appears improvised and in several scenes real tempers seem to flare as some of the "acting" got overaggressive. This is a interesting exercise in situational ethics. The cinéma vérité style, hand-held camera, and ambiguous demands of the director - would the actors be ... Written by Dick Rockwell <dr1orok@atlas.moa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Büntető park  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whole movie was filmed using Eclair 16 mm camera. Theather cut and the version for released DVD is been blown up to 35 mm film. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, when the defendants of group 638 are listening their sentences and again when they are being asked if the prefer the Punishment Park instead of their original sentences, Allison Mitchner is being referred by the president/judge as Mary Ellen Mitchner. At the start of the film she is being referred as Allison Mitchner. The name of the actress that plays the role of Allison Mitchner is Mary Ellen Kleinhall. See more »

Quotes

Documentarist: [while the US-Flag is waving in the desert:] Under the provision of Title 2 of the 1950 Internal Security Act, also known as the McCarran Act, the President of the United States of America is still authorized, without further approval by Congress to determine an event of insurrection within the United States and to declare the existence of an "internal security emergency". The President is then authorized to apprehend and detain each person as to whom there is reasonable ground to believe ...
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits at all. The title doesn't appear until halfway through the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hagan Reviews: Punishment Park (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peter Watkins' Masterpiece.
14 October 2003 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Punishment Park is a brilliant piece of cinema. Shot in the Southern

California desert using his patent faux documentary style, Watkins

creates a film like no other. He follows two groups of prisoners (one

pre-sentenced the other post-sentenced) throughout the picture. After

they're tried by a military tribunal, they have the choice of either

serving out a prison sentence or they can participate in Punishment

Park (a grueling three day hike through the desert with nothing but the

clothes on their backs) whilst being hunted down by local law

enforcement officers who use the park as a live action training

ground). I can't say enough about this movie. Sometimes it feels as if

you're watching a real documentary. This is one of Peter Watkins most

accessible films. I advise you to look out for it. You wont regret it!

Highly recommended

A+


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