7.4/10
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19 user 6 critic

The Glass House (1972)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 4 February 1972
A young guard and a college professor convicted of manslaughter both start their first day in prison.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hugo Slocum
...
Jonathon Paige
...
Brian Courtland
...
Lennox
Kristoffer Tabori ...
Allan Campbell
...
Warden Auerbach
Scott Hylands ...
Ajax
Edward Bell ...
Sinclair
...
Officer Brown
Alan Vint ...
Bree
...
Bibleback
Tony Mancini ...
Steve Berino
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Storyline

Adapted from a story by Truman Capote ("In Cold Blood"), the world of the prison convict is open to the viewer. As the story develops, one thing becomes clear. As in the outside world, there is a "system"; and just as on the outside, there is accommodation, honesty, cynicism, violence and all the other factors that make up our society. Three new convicts act as the catalyst for the events that follow; a college teacher, convicted of accidental manslaughter; a young man, sentenced for possession of marijuana; a new guard, interested in changing the system. Inside prison, the 'establlishment' presents itself. The warden doesn't want to rock the boat of the small society within prison walls. A convict dictator controls activities among the inmates thanks to a control of the narcotics traffic. A leader of the black convicts seethes in his own world of racial tension when there is no difference between convicts and authorities. As the film follows the three newcomers, it records the grim, ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To the murderers, rapists and psychopaths, he was judge, jury and executioner!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glass House  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Alda on his autobiography "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed - and Other Things I've Learned" claims that this movie was shoot in real prison with real prisoners as extras. During the filming of the movie, its director Tom Gries made jokes with prisoners that they should take Alan Alda as their hostage because that is the only way they can escape from prison. On the last day of shooting, two prisoners approached Alda and put an improvised knife on his throat telling him that he is their hostage. Luckily prison guard arrived shortly after and carefully negotiated with prisoners to let Alan Alda go. They let him loose telling him that they were just joking. Alda also states that no prisoner was punished for the incident. See more »

Goofs

There is a scene where the young man is asked to buy cigarettes. He finds out why and begins to argue with the other 2 cons about it. As they all 3 walk into the corridor at the the top left area of the screen, clearly the Mic is seen for about 2 seconds. The same thing happens again near the end of the film, when the guard is talking to the warden in his office. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compelling but slightly undelivering prison drama
20 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits

Jonathan Paige (Alan Alda) is a bright young college professor who blows it all after accidentally killing the man who nearly killed his wife. When he enters the notorious prison known as 'the Glass House', he quickly comes to the attention of Hugo Slocum (Vic Morrow) a man who seems to have quite some influence over a gang of other inmates. Slocum is desperate to impose his will and make Jonathan aware of how powerful he is and for a while he is happy to playalong with this. However, when Slocum begins exploiting a vulnerable young prisoner, he takes a stand against this. What follows is a desperate power struggle that will build up to an electrifying climax where only one will come out on top.

Breakfast at Tiffany's author Truman Capote here delivers a prison drama entry. I didn't like it very much at first because I was mislead by the back cover a bit, but while I was watching it I knew I was watching a film that was too well made and well written to be written-off as a complete failure so I've watched it again.

Slocum's build-up from an easy-going, slightly friendly guy into the psychotic thug he really is is quite engaging but when his villainous turn comes round he's just not quite nasty and thuggish enough. And as well-written as Alda's part is, his character adapts to prison life a bit too easily for a man of his nature and it's hard to believe someone with his temperament could confront a gang like Slocum's so full-on. The most believable part is that of the young boy, who very honestly delivers a true portrayal of naivety and vulnerability. The black pharmacy worker (very well played bya young Billy Dee Williams) is also a significant part, portraying the standard repressed black character in a prison film made in the very early 70s.

For all this, though, as I said, it's just too well-made and well-conceived to be completely rubbish and it's very admirable how it's all pulled off at such a short length. ***


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