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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director John Flynn has said of this movie, in a 2005 interview with Harvey F. Chartrand for Shock Cinema: "Lock Up (1989) is a strange lesson in how Hollywood movies are made. Stallone had a 'window' which means the guy was available for a certain window of time. Larry Gordon [Lawrence Gordon] had a terrible script set in a prison. Stallone calls James Woods and asks if I'm any good as a director. Woods says yeah, he's a good director and you ought to work with him. So we have a director and a star, but no script. All we have is a theme - a guy escaping from prison. So we hire Jeb Stuart, who was then one of the hottest writers in Hollywood, to rewrite the script and we go off looking for prison locations. Now we have a star, a theme, a shooting date, a budget, a studio, but we still have no script. So we all go back to New York City, and move into a hotel where Larry 'tortures' Jeb and Henry Rosenbaum into writing a script in record time. Meanwhile, I'm going around scouting prisons. We finally found one in Rahway, New Jersey. Jeb and Henry were writing the script as we were making the movie. New pages would come in every day. There was one day when I was on the third tier of a cell-block in Rahway Penitentiary and I had nothing to shoot. I had my movie star, all these extras and a great location - and the pages were on their way. So we sat around and bullshitted with the prisoners. Stallone is a smart guy and a very underrated actor. If I ever needed a better line, he'd come up with one. Stallone is a really hard worker. I had no problem whatsoever with him". See more »
The amount of mud on the players clothes throughout the football game. See more »
[after Leone has gotten Drumgoole to confess, and then revealed that the electric chair's fuse had been removed beforehand]
... Take him to the Hole, Mister Meissner.
[Meissner doesn't move]
And *somebody get me out of this chair*... Thank you. Mister Meissner, *I said take him to the Hole*.
Can't do that. Take the warden into custody.
[Braden cuffs up Drumgoole]
...Stop that! I am warden of this institution, and you will obey my - Stop it! - That was just a stupid confession I made to try and ...
[...] See more »
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."
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