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The Last Castle (2001)

A court-martialed General rallies together twelve hundred inmates to rise against the corrupt system that put him away.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Duffy (as Samuel Ball)
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Cutbush
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George W. Scott ...
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Maurice Bullard ...
Nick Kokich ...
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Storyline

When three star General Irwin is transferred to a maximum security military prison, its warden, Colonel Winter, can't hide his admiration towards the highly decorated and experienced soldier. Irwin has been stripped of his rank for disobedience in a mission, but not of fame. Colonel Winter, who runs the prison with an iron fist, deeply admires the General, but works with completely different methods in order to keep up discipline. After a short while, Irwin can feel Winter's unjust treatment of the inmates. He decides to teach Winter a lesson by taking over command of the facility and thus depriving him of his smug attitude. When Winter decides to participate in what he still thinks of as a game, it may already be too late to win. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A castle can only have one king

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

19 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Castle  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,088,213, 21 October 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,208,078, 16 December 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,642,707, 31 December 2001
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main score of the movie, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, was named "September 11th 2001", because it was recorded on that day. Also, the movie's posters were changed after 9/11, because they showed an American flag flying upside-down (which is a signal for distress). A new poster was put up featuring faces of the cast. See more »

Goofs

If Aguilar was a Marine, he should have been familiar with how to salute and the history behind the salute. See more »

Quotes

Winter: [while in his office] See, I too share the burden of command. You may not think that I've ever set foot on a battlefield, but that's because you've never sat behind this desk. This desk! My men and I are vastly outnumbered. We spend every day behind enemy lines because, make no mistake about it, Mr. Irwin, they are the enemy! But then, I don't have to justify myself to YOU, do I, Mr. Irwin?
Irwin: I don't know. Do you?
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Connections

References Brute Force (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Chiseled in Stone
Written & Performed by Dean Hall
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User Reviews

Filled with both strengths and weaknesses

Most of the raves and pans you will read of this movie are equally true in their own respects. For my money, the film's weaknesses slightly outweigh its strengths but I can easily see someone else's scales tipping the other way.

The performances are splendid all around. Most especially, James Gandolfini (who had the inside track with the most richly drawn character) excels as the ambiguous villain who is actually right more than half the time.

The message which deals with the value of pride and the importance of identity and self-worth is certainly admirable. The fact that this occurs among men who have marred their own self-worth through violent crime makes the concept that much more interesting. It almost (but never quite) raises the idea of reclaiming integrity, once lost. If it had gone this extra mile, it may well have been a better film.

The weaknesses lie in the hundreds of stupid little inaccuracies which culminate into one stupid BIG inaccuracy: This place doesn't feel like a prison!

It is difficult to make a prison movie within ten years of 1994 without inviting comparisons to "The Shawshank Redemption." Rather than belaboring the obvious, I want to note one detail that is exemplary of the earlier film's superiority. Even the jolliest, funniest, most easy going prisoners in Shawshank had an underlying sense of danger about them. You didn't want to get on their bad side. You never doubt that they belong in prison (except, of course, for Andy Dufresne). But this is not so in "The Last Castle." No matter how often someone reads from a prisoner's file and discusses the horrible things he has done, none of the words, actions, or other moods conveyed by the men in this film make them seem in any way dangerous. Maybe it's a case of mass miscasting but I doubt it.

Compounding this problem is the lack of scholarship to be found in the little details. Robert Redford shaves with a safety razor in spite of the fact that no prisoner would be allowed such a tool. Razor blades, like belts and shoelaces, are potential suicide tools and, thus, prohibited in prisons. Also, people keep referring to an officer's side arm as his "gun" instead of his "weapon." These mistakes were easy to avoid and yet they remained in the film.

All of this makes a potentially fascinating film, filled with talent, seem a touch removed from reality. Like in "The Contender," director Rod Lurie has shown that his view of reality is based on his opinions rather than the other way around.

With all it had going for it, it's a shame really.


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