7.3/10
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126 user 45 critic

Murder in the First (1995)

An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.

Director:

Marc Rocco

Writer:

Dan Gordon
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Slater ... James Stamphill
Kevin Bacon ... Henri Young
Gary Oldman ... Associate Milton Glenn
Embeth Davidtz ... Mary McCasslin
William H. Macy ... William McNeil (as Bill Macy)
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Mr. Henkin
Brad Dourif ... Byron Stamphill
R. Lee Ermey ... Judge Clawson
Mia Kirshner ... Adult Rosetta Young
Ben Slack Ben Slack ... Jerry Hoolihan
Stefan Gierasch ... Warden James Humson
Kyra Sedgwick ... Blanche
Alex Bookston Alex Bookston ... Alcatraz Doc (as Alexander Bookston)
Richie Allan ... Jury Foreman
Herb Ritts Herb Ritts ... Mike Kelly
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Storyline

Henri Young stole five dollars from a post office and ended up going to prison - to the most famous, or infamous, prison of them all: Alcatraz. He tried to escape, failed, and spent three years and two months in solitary confinement - in a dungeon, with no light, no heat and no toilet. Milton Glenn, the assistant warden, who was given free reign by his duty-shirking superior, was responsible for Young's treatment. Glenn even took a straight razor and hobbled Young for life. After three years and two months, Young was taken out of solitary confinement and put with the rest of the prisoners. Almost immediately, Young took a spoon and stabbed a fellow prisoner in the neck, killing him. Now, Young is on trial for murder, and if he's convicted he'll go to the gas chamber. An eager and idealistic young attorney, James Stamphill, is given this impossible case, and argues before a shocked courtroom that Young had a co-conspirator. The true murderer, he says, was Alcatraz. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"I accuse Alcatraz of crimes against humanity." - The lawyer "I was a weapon, but I ain't no killer." - The accused "I am not on trial here." - The warden See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong images of prison brutalities, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The broadcaster of the game, where Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak ends, is Mel Allen from the original broadcast. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Christian Slater's character is running down the hill after the Trolley in San Fransisco, you see many cars that are appropriate for the period lining the streets. If you look closely, however, you'll see Red-Zones. There weren't Red Zones in San Fransisco during this time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prison Barber: They're coming! Run!
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Crazy Credits

This Film is Inspired by a True Story See more »

Connections

References Meet John Doe (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Tuxedo Junction
Written by Erskine Hawkins, William Johnson, Julian Dash, and Buddy Feyne
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

Brilliant Movie : Truly Uplifting
12 September 2008 | by OlgaLednichenkoSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite movies;; and I have a not about this on my Electrifying performances by both Kevin Bacon and Slater.

Very few movies come across that are that gripping.Moves you up to your seat. And then there is always this tension and drama, anxiety about what's next to come.

The fact that this is based on a true life story makes it a more powerful saga. A saga that smells courage, conviction and commitment. How many movies like this exist. This movies falls under the ranks of Shaw Shank redemption.. Pappion, The Holocaust, Its a wonderful life.. et all..

really a bone of a movie. I have watched it so many times that each and every scene is tattooed on my brain. I can even close my eyes and see the trail unfold.

If you haven't watched it - you are not just missing an American Classic but also you are missing examples and stories to tell your kids - what happened once upon a west.. Cheers Olga Lednichenko


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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder in the First See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,719,188, 22 January 1995

Gross USA:

$17,381,942

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,381,942
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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