Robert Redford stars in this action drama as General Irwin, a respected three-star tactician whose career ends in disgrace when he's court-martialed and sent to The Castle, a maximum security military prison. Irwin quickly butts heads with the facility's autocratic warden, Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), who runs his command with an iron fist, even killing prisoners when he deems it necessary. Irwin rallies his fellow convicts into a rag-tag army and leads them in a revolt against Winter, an action that the warden is ready to repel by violent means.
The main score of the movie, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, was named "September 11th 2001", because it was recorded on that day. Also, the movie's posters were changed after 9/11, because they showed an American flag flying upside-down (which is a signal for distress). A new poster was put up featuring faces of the cast. See more »
When General Irwin and Winter are talking about the battle of Shiloh, Irwin says that Grant lost 13.000 men. That number however includes men killed, wounded, captured or missing in battle. The real number of men that Grant lost (as in dead men) is 1,754. See more »
[while in his office, to captain Pertz]
, Do you see how easy it is to manipulate men?
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Redford's ability to fade into a character is profound. Sometimes an actor who has been in the business a very long time will become larger than any role he plays... John Wayne for example (with a couple of exceptions). He becomes Eugene Irwin in this movie. This movie isn't about Redford's character, just like "The Legend of Bagger Vance" isn't really about Bagger Vance. The Last Castle is about honor to one's self and honor among soldiers, even if they are prisoners. James Gandolfini's portrayal of a colonel who knows nothing of this honor or brotherhood is excellent. He makes you despise his character. Colonel Winters is a deeply disturbing study of corrupt power and jealousy of others' glory. A fine ensemble cast of characters make this movie well worth watching.
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