19 user 10 critic

The Glass House (1972)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 4 February 1972
A young guard and a college professor convicted of manslaughter both start their first day in prison.


Tom Gries


Truman Capote (story), Wyatt Cooper (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Vic Morrow ... Hugo Slocum
Alan Alda ... Jonathon Paige
Clu Gulager ... Brian Courtland
Billy Dee Williams ... Lennox
Kristoffer Tabori ... Allan Campbell
Dean Jagger ... Warden Auerbach
Scott Hylands ... Ajax
Edward Michael Bell Edward Michael Bell ... Sinclair (as Edward Bell)
Roy Jenson ... Officer Brown
Alan Vint ... Bree
Luke Askew ... Bibleback
Tony Mancini Tony Mancini ... Steve Berino


Adapted from a story by Truman Capote ("In Cold Blood"), the world of the prison convict is open to the viewer. As the story develops, one thing becomes clear. As in the outside world, there is a "system"; and just as on the outside, there is accommodation, honesty, cynicism, violence and all the other factors that make up our society. Three new convicts act as the catalyst for the events that follow; a college teacher, convicted of accidental manslaughter; a young man, sentenced for possession of marijuana; a new guard, interested in changing the system. Inside prison, the 'establlishment' presents itself. The warden doesn't want to rock the boat of the small society within prison walls. A convict dictator controls activities among the inmates thanks to a control of the narcotics traffic. A leader of the black convicts seethes in his own world of racial tension when there is no difference between convicts and authorities. As the film follows the three newcomers, it records the grim, ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To the murderers, rapists and psychopaths, he was judge, jury and executioner!




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Even though "The Glass House" is a TV-movie, the uncut released version features some brief male nudity, an "F-word," and the beginning of a gang-rape. See more »


There is a scene where the young man is asked to buy cigarettes. He finds out why and begins to argue with the other 2 cons about it. As they all 3 walk into the corridor at the the top left area of the screen, clearly the Mic is seen for about 2 seconds. The same thing happens again near the end of the film, when the guard is talking to the warden in his office. See more »


Lennox: That thing you did over there did sure took a lot of style. And I'm gonna tell you something: it's not gonna end there and you're gonna have to answer to some people.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[prologue] "This motion picture was filmed entirely in a state prison. Most of the faces and voices are those of actual prisoners. The story and characters are fictitious, but the situations are real". See more »

User Reviews

Take yourself to 1972 and this is a damn good genre piece.
4 March 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Anybody visiting this for the first time now who can't take themselves back to 1972 (the time of the film's release) are going to be screaming formulaic. Luckily as a fan of the genre and holding a steadfast belief that a viewer should always get a mindset of a film's original release period, I wouldn't dream of calling this formulaic.

This is something of genre perfection because the makers realise that incarceration should be stifling, the viewer should feel a level of oppression to get on side with the nature of the film, and here they achieve that with a feeling of simmering menace bubbling under the surface, you know that things are going to go pear shaped and it's the waiting that drives you on in an uneasy state.

All the pieces are in place for classic prison drama, tough nasty bad guy exuding menace (a wonderful creeper turn from Vic Morrow), the screw who is the lone voice of authority who cares (take a bow Clu Gulager), the good guy main protagonist who we are rooting for (a fine heartfelt turn from Alan Alda), and a story that doesn't veer to nonsense (from the pen of one Truman Capote).

The violence is shocking, and of course rape and suicide is prominent, all the things to make the viewer stunned and saddened in equal measure are here, but most of all the film triumphs with its ending, there is no cop out here and the makers were brave enough to not slip into maudlin pay off that so many prison genre films tend to do.

For this new modern era of film making there is nothing new here, but for 1972 and a TV movie, this is well worth support and sampling by any potential first time viewers. 8/10

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Release Date:

4 February 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Glass House See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tomorrow Entertainment See more »
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