A group of criminals are trapped in a prison where the authorities are arguably worse than prisoners themselves.
Not gonna lie, when the film started I actually thought I was watching the whole jail section of I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang and Cool Hand Luke. Not only because of the genre, but also many of the performances. Burt Lancaster, as to be expected, steals the show as the sort of leader of group of man trying to find their freedom.
The use of flashbacks to helps audiences understand what lead each and one of our men to that place was great, plus it helped us both hate and sympathize with each, so we get to feel the punches when the ending happens.
All in all, an early example of a prison break movie done right that plays against type while setting some tropes and ideas that will be later used in other pictures within the genre.