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Penitentiary (1979)

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White ...
Sweet Pea
...
Martel 'Too Sweet' Gordone
Thommy Pollard ...
Eugene T. Lawson
Hazel Spears ...
Linda (as Hazel Spear)
...
Jesse Amos
Floyd 'Wildcat' Chatman ...
Hezzikia 'Seldom Seen' Jackson (as Floyd Chatman)
Gloria Delaney ...
Peaches
...
'Half Dead' Johnson
...
Lieutenant Arnsworth
Cepheus Jaxon ...
Poindexter
Dwaine Fobbs ...
Lying Latney Winborn
Ernest Wilson ...
Cheese
Will Richardson ...
Magilla Gorilla
Elijah Mitchell ...
Nut #1
Tony Andrea ...
Mook
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Storyline

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 page8701

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's only one way out, and 100 fools stand in the way! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jamaa Fanaka's Penitentiary  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$287,000, 10 May 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fight in the jail cell between Badja Djola and Leon Isaac Kennedy took three days to film. Neither Djola nor Kennedy used stunt doubles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: True Grits (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Kissy Face
Written, Produced and Performed by Mark Gaillard and the Slim and Trim Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rowdy prison film offers more strange attitude than drama.
3 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

Xenon deserves a big nod for releasing these long lost 70s blaxploitation movies on home video. PENITENTIARY does have some enjoyable moments, including the wild boxing matches. This one obviously takes the sleaze-o route than being a fulfilling and motivating drama about prison life, something this really should've been meant for. A good story, but it drags miserably in acting performances and a sense of weirdness. If you want to see how cheap production values do exist, then don't blink when a close-up view of an inmate actually isn't holding the knife to thrust the guy's chest in. Good fun for "blaxplo" fans, but the majority of us would pass this up and stick to the ROCKY movies.


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