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 & 2 nominations. 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:

One man against a cruel system. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bob Rafelson started as director, but was replaced by Stuart Rosenberg. See more »

Goofs

When Brubaker is eating a '70s-style TV dinner, multiple items change position/orientation in successive cuts. Specifically, the Tar-Tar sauce jar (closed/opened) and the bag of vegetables (changes position). See more »

Quotes

Henry Brubaker: Mess with me now; you're gonna regret it later.
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes: We don't work this thing out fast, mister, you're not gonna be around later.
Henry Brubaker: Do you want ID?
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes: Listen, man. All I have to do is raise my right hand and that tower guard's gonna blow you out.
Henry Brubaker: ...or you can continue walking with me, like the smart escort I figure you to be.
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Crazy Credits

"We wish to pay tribute to Richard Ward, who played 'Abraham,' for a lifetime of very special work." See more »


Soundtracks

All for the Love of Sunshine
(uncredited)
Written by Mike Curb, Harley Hatcher and Lalo Schifrin
Performed by Hank Williams Jr.
Heard when the steer is dropped off at the diner
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User Reviews

 
The best prison picture ever
16 June 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Though Shawshank Redemption has gotten the critical raves and the box office receipts that could make it the best prison story ever filmed, my personal choice for the best film ever done about the penal system is Brubaker.

Based on the true life experiences of Thomas Murton, the co-author of the book the film is based on, Brubaker captures the realities of prison life, the complexities of trying to "reform" the system without sacrificing one iota of entertainment.

Robert Redford leads a great ensemble cast in this film. The people here are real, dealing with complex issues for which there are no simple answers. The corruption of the penal system runs deep and helped in part by the prisoners themselves who don't want to see too much change at once or have a vested interest in seeing things run just as they are. Yaphetto Kotto and Tim McIntire are two such prison trustees, both of them showing very different reasons why they don't like some or all of what Redford is doing as warden.

Among the supporting cast, I'd like to single out David Keith who was the best as the prisoner whose life Brubaker saves and ultimately becomes his biggest booster in the joint. A really outstanding job by David Keith as this simple country kid who just got caught up in "the system."

Rare you can say a film is informative as well as entertaining, but Brubaker definitely fits in both categories.


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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

Gross USA:

$37,121,708

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,121,708
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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