7.1/10
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55 user 35 critic

Brubaker (1980)

R | | Crime, Drama | 20 June 1980 (USA)
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The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

W.D. Richter (screenplay), W.D. Richter (story) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Henry Brubaker
Yaphet Kotto ... Richard 'Dickie' Coombes
Jane Alexander ... Lillian Gray
Murray Hamilton ... John Deach
David Keith ... Larry Lee Bullen
Morgan Freeman ... Walter
Matt Clark ... Roy Purcell
Tim McIntire ... Huey Rauch
Richard Ward ... Abraham Cook
Jon Van Ness ... Zaranska
M. Emmet Walsh ... C.P. 'Woody' Woodward
Albert Salmi ... Rory Poke
Linda Haynes ... Carol
Everett McGill ... Eddie Caldwell
Val Avery ... Wendel
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Storyline

When the new warden comes in disguised as an inmate, he sees firsthand all the corruption and scams the guards and prison officials are running. When he reveals himself and starts to implement reforms to stop the corruption, the local business community, who had been benefiting from the scams, fights back, and the corrupt prison system starts making political trouble for the new warden. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most wanted man in Wakefield prison is the warden! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadow Walk See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbus, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,748,079, 22 June 1980, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$37,121,708
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The real-life prison, used to play the fictitious Wakefield State Penitentiary, was the Junction City Prison Farm in Junction City, Ohio, which was about fifty miles outside of Columbus. The prison was built in 1904, and had been decommissioned two years prior to filming, and had had its own history of riot and rebellion. The film's Wakefield Penitentiary, is based on both the Tucker and Cummins State Prison Farms, in Arkansas. See more »

Goofs

The movie supposedly takes place in Arkansas (although this is never explicitly stated, it is clearly indicated to be in the South, and likely near Texas and Louisiana). However, on the vehicles you can clearly see the OHIO license plates displayed. The movie was filmed about 3 miles west of Junction City, Ohio. See more »

Quotes

Larry Lee Bullen: I got picked up for vagrancy - a misdemeanor. Next morning, the toilet's broke clean off the damn wall. There's six men in the cell, and they stick me with destruction of city property over $50. Felony number three.
Henry Brubaker: Habitual. That judge gives you life for a toilet.
Larry Lee Bullen: Yeah, or give me the toilet for life. Same difference. Anyhow; here I am shoveling shit for dead men.
Henry Brubaker: Instead, how'd you like to be a trustee, and run my motorpool?
Larry Lee Bullen: Mr. Brubaker, I've been studying you since you first come in. And ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murphy's Law: Electric Bill (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Galveston
(uncredited)
Written by Jimmy Webb
Performed by Glen Campbell
Heard on Brubaker's car radio
See more »

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User Reviews

A true story...and things still ain't changed much.
13 November 2000 | by EscheteSee all my reviews

I saw this movie with my wife, who wasn't thrilled that I brought this back from the video store. She's the type that pulls movies off of the "new release" shelf without fail. But as we got into this movie, she changed her mind.

Robert Redford plays Henry Brubaker, a prison warden who is recruited to reform brutal Wakefield Penitentiary, in Arkansas. The conditions are terrible, with men sleeping in puddles of mop water and being regularly beaten, tortured, and murdered. Brubaker gets a handle on the conditions there by sneaking into the jail disguised as an incoming criminal.

When he finally begins his tenure as warden, he meets strong resistance from the community, which is used to the prison being the source of local income and slave labor. The scenes in which Brubaker has to deal with the morally corrupt prison board are powerful and captivating. A good view.

Cinematography is questionable, and the editing TV movie-like. Acting is superb, and the local color interesting. I give the film a B-.

Things to watch for: white trash sister, Morgan Freeman's debut, rape scene.


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