7.9/10
644
15 user 9 critic

Scared Straight! (1978)

The filmed depiction of a program where convicts tell troubled kids about the horrors of prison life.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Himself - Host
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Doug Cronin
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Storyline

This film shows the Scared Straight program that has hardened convicts from maximum security prisons tell their stories about the truth about prison life in order to convince kids that no crime is worth the risk of being incarcerated Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Crime | Documentary

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1978 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was broadcast uncensored when aired on television in the late 1970s. For many commercial broadcasters, this was the first time the f-word was willingly allowed on TV. See more »

Quotes

Convict: I don't like nothin' in the first place and I don't like you!
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Connections

Referenced in Shameless: Cascading Failures (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrific documentary classic
8 April 2002 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

I've watched "Scared straight!" couple of times and I've always been stunned by it. The idea is definitely exceptional. At the beginning film interviews group of cocky juvenile delinquents, foolish youthful low-lifes, proud self-satisfied rascals and rebellious brats who are feeling no remorse of anything they've done. On the contrary these little rogues have decided to make a living out of criminality. They make a little trip to jail where a bunch of furious, hard-boiled convicts tell 'em what it's like to be behind bars and like the title says practically scare 'em straight.

And afterwards we can see the miraculous change. I'm sure over the decades mere experience of watching "Scared straight!" has made hundreds and hundreds of juvenile offenders walk the narrow way. It is so simple, yet so effective. Friends of prison flicks will also get extra kicks out of the fact that this is not a movie, this is reality. I don't know if it's appropriate to call this documentary entertaining but hell: that's exactly what this is! As long as you're not in there. Don't miss "Scared straight!" if you get a chance to see it. After 24 years it's still shocking. I have to recommend this terrific timeless classic to everybody. 10/10.


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