Thursday, March 31, 2011

Salvation Lies Within


It's an interesting thing, prison. Throughout the ages of cinema, they have been markings of the time. From hardened war heroes to somber misunderstood loners arrested for crimes they didn't commit. They can contain the worst of us, and the best. For some they are mediums through which life is understood. For others they are brooding walls of judgment and control. Then, for those last few it is a place of udder absurdity, failing to maintain the highest honor for our dreams of rehabilitation. Corruption, love, loss, death, retribution, all exist beyond their walls... well, at least in the world of Hollywood.


So, what are some of your favorite 'prison' movies? How about favorite prison scenes from movies? Perhaps you lean towards the comic styling of jail in Modern Times or the somber presentation of I Want to Live!?

7 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

Dude - I was just thinking about BROKEDOWN PALACE the other day! I haven't seen thirty seconds of it since the theatre but somehow got to wondering who it was that played the father in that film...he's David Strathairn-esque, but not Strathairn.

As for me, you referenced it above - it's always come back to COOL HAND LUKE. "What we have here..." and all that noise.

Great idea for a post, mate.

Rich said...

I don't know if I have a favorite prison movie, but I thought 'Hunger' with Michael Fassbender was one of the most original, visually breathtaking prison films I've ever seen.

Colin said...

There's a website (http://www.prisonmovies.net/) dedicated ONLY to prison movies. Talk about a niche market...he's doing a great job there, though.

Castor said...

I think The Hurricane is really underrated as a movie. The Shawshank Redemption will always be one of the first to come to mind while A Prophet was a great addition to the genre a couple years ago.

Jack L said...

Shawshank Redemption, One Few Over The Cuckoo's Nest are great.
I think A Prophet is probably one of the best though, I really enjoyed that film it was so intense and gripping.

Bronson was brilliant yet very strange, definitely original but I was slightly disturbed at times.

I notice you didn't mention Papillon...

Univarn said...

@Mad The only other person I can remember from that movie outside the core two is Bill Pullman :\

@Rich Hunger was quite amazing, especially given the gut-wrenching nature of its tale.

@Colin Yeah, I saw that and quickly realized I hadn't seen nearly as many prison movies I would like to claim I have.

@Castor I've always loved The Hurricane. It's nice to see Denzel in a role where he combines his natural charisma with some more fatherly and intellectual moments.

@JackL Papillon was on the long list I had written up before compiling the images, but I bumped in favor of displaying as much variety with respect to prison films as I could.

Paolo said...

Which made me realize that prison movies are kind of like war films in the sense that both idealize the men enduring war or prison. Fassy, Paul Newman...

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