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With only 6 months left of his prison sentence inmate Frank Leone is transferred from minimum security to maximum security by a vindictive warden.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Lilla ...
Ernie (as Dean Duval)
Jerry Strivelli ...
Louie Munafo
David Anthony Marshall ...
Kurek Ashley ...
Chink's Gang


Frank Leone is nearing the end of his prison term for a relatively minor crime. Just before he is paroled, however, Warden Drumgoole takes charge. Drumgoole was assigned to a hell-hole prison after his administration was publicly humiliated by Leone, and has now arrived on the scene to ensure that Leone never sees the light of day. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How much can a man take...before he gives back? See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Condena brutal  »

Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)


$22,099,847 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fourth and final [to date, September 2015] of four films that actors Sylvester Stallone and Frank McRae have collaborated on. McRae, who plays Eclipse in this movie, portrayed the meat packaging plant foreman who lays Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) off in Rocky II (1979). The pair have both also appeared in F.I.S.T. (1978) and Paradise Alley (1978). See more »


An electrical cable Dallas used to electrocute Officer Manly and himself changes position between shots after Dallas rips it from the circuit panel. It alternates between being attached to the railing and laying on the floor, completely detached from the railing. See more »


Warden Drumgoole: This is hell, and I'm going to give you the guided tour.
See more »


Written by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik
Published by WB Music Corp./Easy Action Music!
Holy Moley Music Rude Music Inc.
Performed by Jimi Jamison
Courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records, Inc.!
CBS Records, Inc., Music Licensing Department
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User Reviews

"Nothing is dead around here until its buried."
28 June 2011 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Great… just look at the cast who director John Flynn gets us locked up with. Sylvester Stallone plays the ideal prisoner - a rock, Tom Sizemore an edgy inmate, Larry Romano the naïve kid, Frank McRae the friendly man mountain, Sonny Landham dominates with a snake-like turn, John Amos a hardened prison officer captain and finally Donald Sutherland looking down on them as the menacing prison warden using his inmates like chess pieces "That's no game man. It's a lesson". You'll love to hate him, as Sutherland is picture-perfect in his delivery. The cast are outstanding, as the performances of all simply engage. Also making the cut is Darlanne Fluegal, William Allen Young, Jordan Lund and Danny Trejo makes a brief appearance here or there. The story follows that of Frank Leone having only 6 months of his sentence to serve, but then one night he's whisked away and he finds himself in a high security penitentiary with a warden Drumgoole (who he shares a past with) that tends to break his spirit within that time by using brutality, intimidation and humiliation. However despite Drumgoole's grudge to see Leone's spirit smothered, he'll find out it won't come too easy. Habitual structure, but quite a tense, grim and barbaric prison-yard story with director Flynn's durably taut handling rising above the predictability. It does seem to move from one sadistic act to another (as the warden tries about anything to break his man), but the plot installs some genuine companionship's between the characters and provides a mind-set of how these inmates truly get through the days so to keep from sinking in to insanity. Unpleasant, but also affecting. Bill Conti strings together an effective music score.

"You won't break me."

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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