Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
The true story of three inmates who attempt a daring escape from the infamous prison, Alcatraz Island. Although no-one had managed to escape before, bank robber Frank Morris masterminded this elaborately detailed and, as far as anyone knows, ultimately successful, escape. In 29 years, this seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and "Birdman" Robert Stroud, was only broken once by three inmates never heard of again. Written by
Alcatraz was America's toughest high-security prison, and has been much beloved by film-makers since it closed and became available as a set. Don Siegel's film is based on the true story of an attempted escape. Some aspects are clichéd (the psychopathic homosexual, for example) and by concentrating on the brutality of the regime the film gets you on the side of the escapees at the price of suggesting that prison break-outs are actually a good thing. But in general, this is a successful film that has aged well, with no sickly sentiment or overdone melodrama; by concentrating on the unadorned details of the story, the film allows each one to count. A strong, uncompromising movie, gripping even if you know the ending before it starts.
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