5.8/10
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Penitentiary (1979)

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4:09 | Trailer

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A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's ... See full summary »

Director:

Jamaa Fanaka

Writer:

Jamaa Fanaka
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White ... Sweet Pea
Leon Isaac Kennedy ... Martel 'Too Sweet' Gordone
Thomas M. Pollard Thomas M. Pollard ... Eugene T. Lawson (as Thommy Pollard)
Hazel Spears Hazel Spears ... Linda (as Hazel Spear)
Donovan Womack ... Jesse Amos
Floyd 'Wildcat' Chatman ... Hezzikia 'Seldom Seen' Jackson (as Floyd Chatman)
Gloria Delaney Gloria Delaney ... Peaches
Badja Djola ... 'Half Dead' Johnson
Chuck Mitchell ... Lieutenant Arnsworth
Cepheus Jaxon Cepheus Jaxon ... Poindexter
Dwaine Fobbs Dwaine Fobbs ... Lying Latney Winborn
Ernest Wilson Ernest Wilson ... Cheese
Will Richardson Will Richardson ... Magilla Gorilla
Elijah Mitchell Elijah Mitchell ... Nut #1
Tony Andrea Tony Andrea ... Mook
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Storyline

A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's boxing team in an effort to secure an early parole and to establish his dominance over the prison's toughest gang. Written by page8701

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's only one way out, and 100 fools stand in the way! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jamaa Fanaka's Penitentiary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$287,000, 10 May 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jamaa Fanaka Production See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director Jamaa Fanaka was still a student at UCLA when he made this film. The prison yard scenes were shot at the UCLA cinema department quadrangle. See more »

Connections

Featured in Too Sweet on the Outside (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Kissy Face
Written, Produced and Performed by Mark Gaillard and the Slim and Trim Band
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User Reviews

A clinker about the clink.
17 November 2000 | by mrdaytonohSee all my reviews

I saw this film with a pal over twenty years ago at the theater, first-run. I sat there amazed at how wincingly terrible it was from start to finish. After about forty-five minutes my friend (who was a drama student at the time) wanted desperately to leave the theater. I refused, explaining that in the years to come we would both look back at this film as a standard for cinema awfulness. I was right.


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