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Brubaker (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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W.D. Richter (screenplay)
W.D. Richter (story) ...
View company contact information for Brubaker on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 June 1980 (USA) See more »
The most wanted man in Wakefield prison is the warden! See more »
The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Corruption and Murder told with cathartic style. See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Redford ... Henry Brubaker

Yaphet Kotto ... Richard 'Dickie' Coombes

Jane Alexander ... Lillian Gray

Murray Hamilton ... John Deach

David Keith ... Larry Lee Bullen

Morgan Freeman ... Walter

Matt Clark ... Roy Purcell
Tim McIntire ... Huey Rauch
Richard Ward ... Abraham Cook

Jon Van Ness ... Zaranska

M. Emmet Walsh ... C.P. 'Woody' Woodward

Albert Salmi ... Rory Poke
Linda Haynes ... Carol

Everett McGill ... Eddie Caldwell

Val Avery ... Wendel
Ron Frazier ... Burl Willets (as Ronald C. Frazier)

David Harris ... Duane Spivey (as David D. Harris)

Joe Spinell ... Floyd Birdwell

James Keane ... Pinky
Konrad Sheehan ... Glenn Elwood
Roy Poole ... Dr. Gregory
Nathan George ... Leon Edwards - Prison Board
Don Blakely ... Jerome Boyd
Lee Richardson ... Warden Renfro

John McMartin ... Senator Charles Hite
Alex Brown ... Fenway Park (as Alex A. Brown)
John Chappell ... Captain Cleaves

Brent Jennings ... Mr. Clarence (as Brent N. Jennings)

Harry Groener ... Dr. Campbell
William Newman ... Dunfield - Prison Board (as William M. Newman)

Noble Willingham ... Dr. Fenster

Wilford Brimley ... Rogers - Prison Board
Jane Cecil ... Bea Williams - Prison Board

Ebbe Roe Smith ... Pavitch
Young Hwa Han ... Leonard Ng

Vic Polizos ... Billy Baylock
Jack O'Leary ... Floor Walker
James Dukas ... Oafish Rankman
J.C. Quinn ... Barber
Jerry Mayer ... Barber
Ivy Featherstone ... Peterson
Kent Broadhurst ... Whitley
Hazen Gifford ... Partridge
Elane Rower Richardson ... Mrs. Renfro
John R. Glover ... Ackroyd
Bill McNulty ... Richards

Linda Milligan ... Female Reporter
Rob Garrison ... Pretty Boy
James E. Fraunfelter Jr. ... Barracks Trusty
Ritch Brinkley ... Gate Guard Ruben
David E. Williams ... Rank Server
E.J. Pearcy ... Transfer Guard
J.K. Mahle ... Bus Driver
Vivian P. Bass ... Waitress
Greg Martin ... Trusty
Philip Bartlett ... Young Reporter (as Philip E. Combs)
Richard L. Denny ... State Trooper
Michael Holiday ... Gate Trusty
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nick Baldasare ... Prisoner with Shovel (uncredited)
Allison Caine ... (uncredited) (voice)

Gary Jones ... Investigative Reporter (uncredited)
Monty Jordan ... Inmate Wrangler (uncredited)
Rob Liotti ... Prisoner (uncredited)

Hank Salas ... Inmate in Chow Line (uncredited)

Directed by
Stuart Rosenberg 
Writing credits
W.D. Richter (screenplay)

W.D. Richter (story) and
Arthur A. Ross (story) (as Arthur Ross)

Thomas O. Murton (suggested by) (book "Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal") and
Joe Hyams (suggested by) (book "Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal")

Produced by
Ted Mann .... executive producer
Ron Silverman .... producer
Gordon A. Webb .... associate producer (as Gordon Webb)
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
Cinematography by
Bruno Nuytten (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert Brown 
Casting by
Terry Liebling 
Art Direction by
J. Michael Riva 
Set Decoration by
John Franco Jr. 
Makeup Department
Zoltan Elek .... additional makeup artist
Gary Liddiard .... makeup artist
Mike Moschella .... additional makeup artist
Marina Pedraza .... hair stylist
Production Management
Gordon A. Webb .... unit production manager (as Gordon Webb)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jon C. Andersen .... assistant director
D. Scott Easton .... second assistant director (as Scott Easton)
Robert E. Rody .... additional second assistant director (as Robert E. Rooy)
Art Department
Hendrik Wynands .... construction coordinator
John Zemansky .... property master
John Rozman .... set dresser (uncredited)
'Dangerous' Bob Widin .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
William Hartman .... sound effects editor
David M. Ice .... sound effects editor (as David Ice)
Godfrey Marks .... dialogue editor
Theodore Soderberg .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Sperber .... sound effects editor
Paul Wells .... sound re-recording mixer
Charles M. Wilborn .... sound mixer (as Charles Wilborn)
Douglas O. Williams .... sound re-recording mixer (as Douglas Williams)
John S. Coffey .... boom operator (uncredited)
Gordon Webb .... cable person (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Al Wright Jr. .... special effects
Jay King .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Mickey Gilbert .... stunt coordinator
John Ashby .... stunts (uncredited)
Monty Jordan .... assistant stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Enrique Bravo .... camera operator
Lou Noto .... assistant camera (as Louis Noto)
Joe Pender .... gaffer (as Joseph Pender)
Vincent Saizis .... additional photographer
Stephen Wever .... still photographer
Doug Willis .... key grip
Oscar Barber .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
William D. Barber .... assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Mary A. Gaffney .... extras casting
Gretchen Higgins .... extras casting
Garrison True .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tom Bronson .... costumer
Bernie Pollack .... costumer
Aida Swinson .... costumer: ladies
Editorial Department
Michael Jablow .... supervising assistant editor
Willie Navarro .... assistant editor
Pam Sharp .... assistant editor (as Pamela Sharp)
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Robert H. Raff .... music editor
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Aram Betkijian .... transportation coordinator
James Nordberg .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Chip Fowler .... production coordinator
Jack Hirshberg .... publicist
Rick Horwitch .... assistant: producer
Harry Kohoyda Jr. .... production accountant (as Harry Kohoyda)
Kenneth Lee .... head wrangler (as Kenny Lee)
Patrick Markey .... location supervisor: Ohio
Thomas O. Murton .... technical advisor
Julie Pitkanen .... script supervisor (as Julie D. Pitkanen)
Helen Taini .... assistant: producer (as Helen Taini Nayfack)
Lydia Telo .... production timekeeper
Cullen G. Chambers .... stand-in: Morgan Freeman (uncredited)
Richard Ward .... tribute: for a lifetime of very special work
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
131 min
Color (DeLuxe)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The nickname of Richard Coombes (Yaphet Kotto) was "Dickie".See more »
Errors in geography: In a restaurant scene, a Conn's Potato Chip sales display can be seen. Conn's are only made and sold in Ohio, not Arkansas.See more »
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes:What you gon' do about Abraham?
Henry Brubaker:I've got Purcell filling out forms in triplicate, and I'm going to get him released just as soon as I-
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes:Now why do you wanna go and do that?
Henry Brubaker:Do what?
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes:Look, why don't you just leave him be. I mean, all he knows is this place.
Henry Brubaker:You - You knew that he had been in here as long as he'd been in here.
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes:Just leave him alone. He's not- He's not botherin' nobody here.
Henry Brubaker:Hey... You can't hide in prison forever, Coombes.
See more »
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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Corruption and Murder told with cathartic style., 4 March 2008
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

It's odd that whenever talk of Prison base films crops up you rarely see Brubaker mentioned as a viable piece of work, which to me personally is a dam shame because it's origin source provides a worthy story to be involved in.

Based on the writings of Tom Murton a Prison Farm Reform Warden in Arkansas in the late 60s, the corruption and murder the film deals with is a very frightening reality, and although this film is obviously fictionalised to a degree, the evidence of its main themes can be found from many sources.

Robert Redford plays the title character who chooses to go into the prison farm as a convict to see at first hand how the Farm is run, what he sees shocks him to the core and so should it shock the viewer as well, after learning all he needs to, he comes forward to take control of the Farm and tries to put an end to the torture, corruption and dank depression that is rife at the Farm. He has to deal with many obstacles along the way and it's the strength of the man that has the viewer firmly onside all thru the film.

The acting is spot on, the title role calls for a cool persona to not get flustered when faced with mounting resistance, and Redford delivers in spades, the main supporting cast of Yaphet Kotto, David Keith, and Jane Alexander do very good work, whilst the direction from Stuart Rosenberg is paced to perfection. The story is grimy and gnaws away at you, and then we get the ending that frustrates as much as it lifts the spirit, this is in my opinion is a criminally undervalued piece of work. 8/10

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