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Short Eyes (1977)

 -  Drama  -  20 July 1979 (Norway)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 563 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 17 user | 20 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

A child molester sent to prison finds that criminals exact harsher justice than society.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
José Pérez ...
Juan
Nathan George ...
Ice
Don Blakely ...
El Raheem
Tony DiBenedetto ...
Tony (as Tony Di Benedetto)
...
Paco
Tito Goya ...
Cupcakes
...
Longshoe
Bob Maroff ...
Mr. Nett
Keith Davis ...
Mr. Brown
...
(as Luis Guzman)
Miguel Pinero ...
Go-Go
Bob O'Connell ...
Mr. Allard
...
Mr. Morrison
Richard Matamoros ...
Gomez
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Storyline

A young man who is charged with child molestation is placed in New York City's infamous Tombs prison. When the other inmates in his cell block find out what he is charged with, life becomes extremely difficult for him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Jesus, help me, 'cause man won't."

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 July 1979 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Slammer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miguel Pinero, the author of the play upon which this film is based (and the actor who plays Go-Go), wrote the play as part of an inmate writers' workshop while incarcerated at Sing Sing Prison for armed robbery. He missed the premiere of the film because he had been arrested for armed robbery. All of the money he received for the film ($40,000) he gave away to homeless friends and former prison-mates. He reportedly lived on the street even after the film's acclaimed release, using a pay phone as an office. See more »

Quotes

Clark Davis: God help me...
Juan: Cause man won't do!
Clark Davis: Cause man won't do!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Piñero (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Do Do Wap Is Strong In Here
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Curtis Mayfield
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forgotten art house film
9 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A movie about prison life. It deals with the inmates--their lives, hates, sexual feelings and the rituals that happen in prison. Clark Davis (Bruce Davison) is thrown in with them--he's suspected of being a child molester ("short eyes" in prison slang). The other prisoners want to kill him...but Davis has talked to one prisoner Juan (Jose Perez) who has serious doubts about his guilt. But can he convince the others?

This was a pretty big art house hit (here in Boston at least) back in 1977. It dealt with (for the time) a taboo subject matter. Then it completely disappeared. That's too bad--it deserves a wider audience.

It was shot in an actual closed-down prison (the Tombs) in NYC. That really helps the mood and feeling of the film. The acting is very good by all--especially Davison, Perez and Joseph Carberry (as Longshoe). But this is a very hard movie to sit through. Davison's confession to Juan is VERY explicit, a sequence where a prisoner is beaten up and tortured by the others is unpleasant and the ending is very disturbing.

It's not a perfect film. It was a stage play first--and it shows. The action never moves away from two areas and occasionally the inmates speak WAY too intelligentally for the characters they're playing. (I seriously doubt that the character Longshoe would ever know the word "quadroon"--or what it meant). Still a very powerful, disturbing drama. Well worth seeking out.

Accomplished character actor Luis Guzman plays one of the inmates (good luck finding him).


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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