Down 391 this week

Murder in the First (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  20 January 1995 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 20,575 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 39 critic

An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 01 Nov 2011
a list of 35 titles
created 13 Jan 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 17 Jan 2014
a list of 40 titles
created 13 Mar 2014
a list of 34 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Murder in the First (1995)

Murder in the First (1995) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Murder in the First.

User Polls

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Criminal Law (1988)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Oldman plays a lawyer who defends a killer, but, soon after he wins he finds out that the killer is guilty.

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Tess Harper
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn
The Contender (2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for US Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to de-rail her confirmation.

Director: Rod Lurie
Stars: Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Detective Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) takes us through his shattered life after encountering the most deadly (and deceptive) criminal he has ever had to deal with. It doesn't help that ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Wallace Wood
Sleepers (1996)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized; over 10 years later, they get their chance for revenge.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope, Kathryn Erbe
The Woodsman (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A child molester returns to his hometown after 12 years in prison and attempts to start a new life.

Director: Nicole Kassell
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Yasiin Bey
Kuffs (1992)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

George Kuffs didn't finish high-school, just lost his job and his girlfriend who still is in college is pregnant. Since he can't see how he can support her, he thinks she is better off ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce A. Evans
Stars: Christian Slater, Milla Jovovich, Ric Roman Waugh
Murder in the First (TV Series 2014)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A single murder case is dissected from the committing of the crime through to the investigation, arrest and trial.

Stars: Taye Diggs, Kathleen Robertson, Ian Anthony Dale
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry... See full summary »

Director: Phil Joanou
Stars: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman
Nobody's Baby (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An outlaw, a waitress and her misfit neighbor come upon a baby in the midst of car wreckage. With his former partner in crime out to get him, the outlaw and his new friends put their lives on the line to protect the infant from danger.

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Skeet Ulrich, Gary Oldman, Radha Mitchell
Sin (2003)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

When his sister is brutally raped, an ex-cop goes after a mysterious man from his past.

Director: Michael Stevens
Stars: Gary Oldman, Ving Rhames, Kerry Washington


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary McCasslin
D.A. William McNeil
Mr. Henkin
Byron Stamphill
Adult Rosetta Young
Ben Slack ...
Jerry Hoolihan
Warden James Humson
Blanche, Hooker
Alex Bookston ...
Alcatraz Doc (as Alexander Bookston)
Richie Allan ...
Jury Foreman
Herb Ritts ...
Mike Kelly


Henri Young stole five dollars from a post office and ended up going to prison - to the most famous, or infamous, prison of them all: Alcatraz. He tried to escape, failed, and spent three years and two months in solitary confinement - in a dungeon, with no light, no heat and no toilet. Milton Glenn, the assistant warden, who was given free reign by his duty-shirking superior, was responsible for Young's treatment. Glenn even took a straight razor and hobbled Young for life. After three years and two months, Young was taken out of solitary confinement and put with the rest of the prisoners. Almost immediately, Young took a spoon and stabbed a fellow prisoner in the neck, killing him. Now, Young is on trial for murder, and if he's convicted he'll go to the gas chamber. An eager and idealistic young attorney, James Stamphill, is given this impossible case, and argues before a shocked courtroom that Young had a co-conspirator. The true murderer, he says, was Alcatraz. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They locked him up. They crushed his spirit. But they couldn't hide the truth. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong images of prison brutalities, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alcatraz - kohtaloni  »

Box Office


£804,934 (UK) (15 December 1995)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The broadcaster on the game where Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak ends is Mel Allen from the original broadcast. See more »


The position of the spoon in Henri's hand changes while he's at the table just before murdering Rufus. See more »


[first lines]
Prison Barber: They're coming! Run!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This Film is Inspired by a True Story See more »


Referenced in The Very Very Big Company (2008) See more »


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen!
Traditional English Christmas, earliest known publication 1833
Sung by Alcatraz wives and children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

17 February 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This movie didn't do well, in fact drove a talented filmmaker away from directing.

Its because it has powerful characters and powerful actors that viewers snap to one of the six viewing modes they have and read it as a "character-driven" drama. Others were upset that the story deviates from real events rather drastically.

My own view is that this is one of the very few films we have that features a building as a character. This is a traditional trial form, where conflicting and synthesized realities are understood to exist by ordinary viewers. Usually this form is used to support battling stories, or versions of reality. Powerful characters can exist ("Mockingbird," "Few Good Men"), but they are there only as representatives of conflicting realities.

What makes this so interesting is that it is the building itself that is on trial. This is exploited by Rocco to an extraordinary extent. Fincher tried to take this notion to the next level in "Panic Room," but got fired. Too bad, because it is a cinematic thrill of sorts to see someone try to present a space as a character.

Sure, it is unusual and many viewers thought the man was going crazy with his odd camera angels, his swoops, his unusual blocking. But I ask you to watch this and see how the prison is introduced to us, and the supposed core, its antebellum dungeons. Then see the contrasting "open" space of the courtroom where it is to be tried. Slater's opening statement is an amazing exploration of space with one multi-encircling movement.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

20 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Lie from Beginning to End jreeb
Gary Oldman jeroenmoons
So Underrated!!! yotaxi
American flags and patriotism misterpurple
Young + Stamphill's names different in book GIRobotJAKE2
Discuss Murder in the First (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: