Power Packed Picture!
Prison inmates revolt against a sadistic guard.
Prison inmates revolt against a sadistic guard.
Between the sadistic guard captain and the intense escape sequence, this could have been a great film. Unfortunately, it wastes a lot of time on cheezy backstories for several of the prisoners that all seem to suggest they all went to prison for love. It seemed like a cop out after the brutality the film presented to show these as misunderstood, romantic men who just went too far for their women.
Still, Munsey is a vicious villain. This film features some fairly gruesome moments of violence and death, and Munsey is at the root of all of them, one way or another. He's menacing, cold, and prim. He would not have been out of place in a film about Nazis.…
Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write - don't fuck with Hume Cronyn!
Admittedly, I've probably not seen all that many films with him in but my experience of him has generally been of quite gentile characters. But in Brute Force? What a bastard!
I really did enjoy this film but I think older prison films suffer perhaps as much as any genre compared to their younger counterparts. This is a genre of film that needs violence and sadism to get its point across a lot of the time and, made as it was in 1947, there was only so much that Jules Dassin could show. Yet like Don Siegel would manage several years later in Riot In Cell…
Those gates only open three times. When you come in, when you've served your time, or when you're dead!
After being blown away by Rififi I decided to check out something from Jules Dassin from his "pre-blacklist" period. Enter Brute Force, a film that more then lives up to it's name with the unlikely Hume Cronyn cast as it's heavy who shockingly proves he's up to the task of being an evil bastard.
Cronyn is Capt. Munsey, who runs the prison like a dictator with a uniform that reflects that. His opposite is prisoner Joe Collins played by Burt Lancaster, who's entire portrayal is almost just different levels of rage throughout the film as he's a desperate man that…
"I'm a realist, I don't believe in coincidence. Especially when it happens more than once."- Captain Munsey
Brute Force is my second film from director Jules Dassin (the first was Rififi) and much like the first one I quite enjoyed this one. This film is a prison drama with Burt Lancaster in one of his earliest roles. Lancaster is badass in this film and makes for a strong lead character. The rest of the cast does a good job as well, but of the supporting players I was most impressed with Hume Cronyn. He was brilliant in the role of an extremely unlikable character.
Brute Force features some exceptional Black and White photography throughout, capturing its prison setting well. The…
"Nobody escapes.Nobody ever really escapes"
Jules Dassin does something very smart here..Besides the regular scenes set within the prison wall he infuses the movie with some vulnerability..Lancaster in only his second role gives an indication of things to come! Joins the list of my favorite prison movies!
"Nobody escapes. Nobody ever really escapes."
A tough as nails prison noir only the 40s could produce, with doomed, damned men fighting with everything they've got to see the other side of prison walls and head back to their sweethearts. Perfectly composed with consistently amazing cinematography, lighting, set pieces, and performances, and boasting some of my favorite black and white photography of any noir. One of the meanest, angriest crime films I've ever had the pleasure to watch - with some extra shockingly intimidating Hume Cronyn on top.
Love this one.
It is interesting to see a prison film that has noir film sensibilities, but I found myself wishing that this was just a straight up prison flick. All the stuff with the warden and the head guard I wasn't crazy about, and same goes for the flashbacks as to why the guys each ended up in prison. I did like when they had the guy tied to the front of the mine cart though. That was pretty full on.
Jules Dassin is excellent at building to intense brutality and maintaining it without a hint of schlock. A++
Oh baby I love this, give me more greasy men in my movies. Very heavily loaded with backstory for such a reasonable runtime, but it works for me throughout the whole film. The last 15 minutes are absolutely vicious, I gasped a few times.
Despite occasional moments of cheesey melodrama, overall this is a beautifully shot, effectively acted portrayal of the barbarity of the US prison system.
i'm sweating now bYE
A tremendously exciting, gritty prison drama courtesy of Jules Dassin, with Burt Lancaster and Charlies Bickford as cons plotting an escape, and Hume Cronyn as the sadistic prison guard determined to stop them. The big action finale is an all timer, or ought to be. Could've done without the flashbacks, and the one inmate who insists on singing throughout the movie was pretty intolerable, but otherwise this is great.
Burt, baby. Script gets a little too "Let's discuss this thing that is wrong" at times, but the remarkable cast and Dassin's fine direction carry the day.
Jules Dassin, prison noir, with lots of metaphorical content, a dark world of men without women, and the grim pronouncement that "we are never free!" Brutal