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.
Originally, Colonel Winter was supposed to smoke cigars. James Gandolfini pleaded with Director Rod Lurie to drop the idea, because he felt smoking cigars would remind audiences too much of Tony Soprano, his star-making role in The Sopranos (1999). See more »
There is a common misconception that the law requires actors portraying military personnel to wear the uniform improperly (so as to not be "impersonating" military personnel). This is simply not so. 10 U.S.C. 772(f) does authorize the wear of an armed forces uniform by an actor in a theatrical or motion picture production "if that portrayal does not tend to discredit that armed force." SCHACHT v. UNITED STATES was a Supreme Court case in 1970 which found the preceding quote unconstitutional. As such, actors may wear the uniform in a theatrical or motion picture production without fear that it must reflect well on the military. Short version: Any movies which depict improperly worn uniforms can't use this excuse. They just screwed up. See more »
[declining fellow inmates' suggestion to have Col. Winter reported to his superiors for his crimes]
I'm not fighting anyone or anything, anymore.
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Written by Jim Sumber, Dave Jay (as Dave Bumpstead) & Austin Reynolds
Performed by Soul Hooligan
Courtesy of Maverick Recording Company
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
The Last Castle is a fine if somewhat predictable jail movie of redemption and determination against the odds. Having seen the previews I thought nothing of ever seeing the film, but saw it on the shelf in the video store and thought it would pass an evening.
It did that very well, and is worth seeing for at least one reason. Although Robert Redford puts in a solid performance, James Gandolfini steals this movie with his simpering, bully-boy performance. Despite knowing from the opening scene that he will undoubted lose against Redford's disgraced general, Gandolfini's depiction of a man in authority but with little power is very subtle and worth watching.
The rest of the film has some clever moments, but you see everything coming - Redford inspiring the other prisoners, the inevitable conflicts and the finale. The Last Castle is worth seeing once.
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