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.
General Irwin and Yates were portraying military academy graduates. Graduates of a military academy generally wear their academy rings on the left hand. See more »
[while in his office]
See, I too share the burden of command. You may not think that I've ever set foot on a battlefield, but that's because you've never sat behind this desk. This desk! My men and I are vastly outnumbered. We spend every day behind enemy lines because, make no mistake about it, Mr. Irwin, they are the enemy! But then, I don't have to justify myself to YOU, do I, Mr. Irwin?
I don't know. Do you?
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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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