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Stir
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Stir More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A realistic look at Aussie prison life in the 70s

9/10
Author: Gerard Newham (keltic@zip.com.au) from Sydney, Australia
22 October 1999

This film is based around the wave of rioting and unrest that swept through jails in NSW in the 1970s over officer brutality and generally poor treatment. It depicts the incredible violence of the time without becoming excessively graphic and touches on situational homosexuality and other aspects of prison life realistically.

For anyone that is interested in seeing a side of Australia that doesn't get a look in that often in cinema, this is well worth a look.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nails!

8/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
28 March 2015

Directed by Stephen Wallace and written by Bob Jewson, Stir stars Bryan Brown, Max Phipps, Dennis Miller, Gary Waddell and Phil Motherwell. Music is by Cameron Allan and cinematography by Geoff Burton.

Stir is a tough Australian prison drama based on the real life prison riot that occurred at Bathurst Gaol 1974. Writer Bob Jewson was an inmate at the time and draws on his observations for the screenplay.

The standard rules of prison dramas are adhered to here, sadistic guards, homosexuality (though tenderly handled and not involving rape), poor conditions etc. Where Stir lifts itself into the upper echelons of similar genre pictures is with the characterisations, they are credibly written and performed. There are a number of human interest stories running through the plot, none of which involve outsiders, which is a bonus as we all are cemented in this concrete and iron jungle. While the mounting tension is unbearable at times, headed up by the terrific Brown who is pumped with snake eyed hardness and coiled spring intensity.

Criminally under seen, Stir is as tough as steel toe-capped boots and demands to be labelled as essential viewing for those interested in penal based movies. 8/10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Perhaps Not The Best Aussie Prison Drama After All

7/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
9 June 2015

This is a film I've wanted to see for a very long time indeed . I used to visit a site dedicated to prison movies and you can visit the same site by clicking on the external links on this very page . The webmaster thought STIR was "The best Australian movie by quite some distance" . This is a strong claim to make since the 1988 movie GHOSTS OF THE CIVIL DEAD is an outstanding , unforgettable piece of bleak nihilistic prison drama . Perhaps not the best feel good movie ever made , but a total antithesis to the wildly overrated THE SHAWSHANK REDEPTION but any movie that someone can claim is better than GHOSTS is well worth checking out . Unfortunately STIR seemed a contender for most obscure Aussie film ever made and searched online for it but no luck . Well until that was I chanced upon on a certain site - YT you know what I'm saying - earlier today and watched it . I'm guessing because I wanted to watch it for so long there was an ever so slight feeling of disappointment as the end credits rolled

I can see what the film is trying to do . There's an ambiguity at play and this is reflected in the title

Stir: Noun . Slang word for Prison

Stir: Verb . Slang word for To cause trouble

And yet everything ends up a little too black and white lacking in any ambiguity . The inmates "Crims" are by implication fairly low level criminals with the story focus centering on China Jackson who's doing a six month stretch for shoplifting while the guards are almost universally violent , fascistic brutes . There also rather one dimensional and their sadism seems over done to say the least . One can understand and perhaps even cheer such violence if it was inflicted upon child murderers and sex offenders but shoplifters and people helping themselves to a till ? The film does take sides a bit too easily . The credibility also takes a dive as to the amount of violence being inflicted upon the prisoners . If this happened in real life the average victim would have internal bleeding , broken bones and probably fatal injuries . I know Aussies pride themselves on a tough , butch image but the violence is totally over the top and means it ends up being an "Ozploitation" film

This is a pity because despite wanting more out of STIR it is fairly ( Pun alert! ) captivating . The cast led by a very effective Bryan Brown do their best with the slightly thin material they're given to work with . Best performance is by Max Phipps as a guard seeking a redemption of sorts but the rather black and white obvious screenplay that an environment of violence breeds violence and counter violence blunts the performances and means in my opinion GHOSTS OF THE CIVIL DEAD remains the greatest Aussie prison film I've seen so far

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