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Shakespeare Behind Bars (2005)

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Twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison form an unlikely Shakespearean acting troupe.


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Twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison form an unlikely Shakespearean acting troupe.

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Release Date:

January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare Atrás das Grades  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,347 (USA) (31 March 2006)


$48,194 (USA) (20 October 2006)

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References In Living Color (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

A fantastic documentary that everyone should see. Everyone.
21 March 2005 | by (Indiana) – See all my reviews

My father was the warden of the prison (he is retired now) showcased in this documentary and I've grown up around the prison life, so perhaps my views will be totally different from everyone else who watches this movie. I will say this, the filmmakers who brought us this 93-minute miracle are fantastic artists and even better people. They were brave enough to A) Show up and tell this story, B) Get inside these inmates minds and hearts, and C) Do all of this responsibly. Responsible to their art and, more importantly, responsible to the inmates and staff of Luther Luckett Correctional Complex. They should be commended without end for this work. To take 170 hours, yes HOURS, of footage and be able to cut and whittle it down to 93 riveting minutes is nothing short of extraordinary and they have my utmost respect.

I saw this film under circumstances that only a very, very few were able to see it. I was at the inmate screening. I was in the same room with these men as they watched their hearts being poured out on screen. I saw men crying on television crying in the chair in front of me and let me tell you, it was a very profound experience. These men have committed horrendous crimes in some cases, yet have found ways to try to redeem themselves, even if they view themselves as unredeemable. How many of us have the courage to do this? How many people could do what they have done in such a harsh environment? To see them react to the film was an experience I am eternally grateful for, and I will never forget that. I thank the men who allowed me this glimpse into their lives, I thank my father for making ALL of this possible, and I thank Philomath Films for taking the time to pour their blood, sweat, soul, and tears into this project.

This movie will change everything you think you know about prison life, and the inmates held within it. 'Oz' is not real, television is not real. 'Shakespeare Behind Bars' is.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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