A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's ... See full summary »
An epic tale about a supremely intelligent young African-American male who rises from the ferocious and oppressive streets of North Philadelphia to being a shining star in the lucrative ... See full summary »
Mr. T's first starring made-for-TV movie role has him playing a tough and scowling, but softhearted, nightclub bouncer who finds himself involved with a bunch of kids after being conned into taking over a youth center.
Three college seniors who are thinking about nothing but graduation and going out with a bang from college, harshly discover that a culmination of four years of hard work can lead to a ... See full summary »
Thomas Braxton Jr.,
A dock worker becomes a prizefighter, but gets mixed up with a crooked manager. A sympathetic L.A. detective tries to set him straight, but he won't listen. His manager, who is also a drug ... See full summary »
Bruce D. Clark
Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson), a hip, articulate, black high-school girl in Brooklyn, is determined not to become "just another girl on the IRT" (the IRT is one of NYC's subway lines). ... See full summary »
Ariyan A. Johnson,
Respectable lawyer Peter picks up Anna, an Italian woman of dubious virtue, from the club and takes her back to his Uncle's place. They soon discover they are not alone. A gunman Quill (Julian Mateos), is waiting for them.
Avery (Jones) returns to college as a competitive swimmer after getting his life back on track. But his life takes another unexpected turn when he and his two friends (Bonds, Casseus) are wrongly accused of murder and end up in prison.
Richard T. Jones,
A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's boxing team in an effort to secure an early parole and to establish his dominance over the prison's toughest gang. Written by
A man is wrongly imprisoned for murder. While in the penitentiary he gets involved in a boxing competition that the prison hosts.
Penitentiary is a somewhat odd blaxploitation movie. It seems to be a curious mix of realism and ridiculousness. While on the one hand, the idea of a prison boxing competition where the male and female inmates can get together is a very silly idea. But on the other hand, the movie also deals with issues of institutionalisation and the tone overall is often quite sombre. So it's a strange combination. It has to be said though that the best moment is the excellent fight scene between the hero and his psychotic cell mate. It's a pretty ferocious and exciting affair and I suppose just emphasises that Penitentiary is definitely a fight film over and above anything else.
This is definitely a good example of its type. It's certainly not a typical prison drama though that's for sure. It even spawned a couple of sequels that recycled the same idea to ever more ridiculous extents. It's certainly one of the least likely franchises you could imagine.
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