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…
"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!
Film School Drop Outs – Weekly Challenge 2017
Week 11: Mar. 12-Mar. 18
Genre - Crime - Film Noir
Burt Lancaster and Charles Bickford run gangs in a prison that is slowly being taken away from the governor by Hume Cronyn's sadistic guard.
For some reason I never totally give in to Jules Dassin's work. There are undoubtedly some bravura sequences in all of his films, he creates films out of totally gorgeous images that live on in your mind. But he's also clunky and too on the nose and the stories he tells never feel alive to me.
I put this on my 100 film watchlist partially to give him another go, partially to include some noir and partially…
"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…
It has some weak spots, but that ending makes up for it.
An aptly named movie that blurs the line between good and bad; right and wrong. But there's never any doubt who director Dassin wants the viewer to root for - it's the big-hearted losers in cell R17, not the sadistic assistant warden, who are the "good guys" in this film. With the Production Code in full force at the time, however, you know that our prisoners will fail. The only hope is that they achieve some form of redemption in the process, and that their nemesis gets what's coming to him. Dassin gives the audience what it's hoping form.
"All my life, all I ever wanted was a fur coat."
Oddly structured and meandering prison picture with A little too much POV switching. That said, there are some nice performances and a solid 3rd act climax.
Side stories are good if unnecessary. Direction enjoyably dark and rainy.
Muscular, clear-eyed direction that effectively sets the template for the prison genre to come (Orange is the New Black, in particular, seems like a 60-hour riff on this). Haunting ending.
"Flossie had looks, brains, and all the accessories. She was better than a deck with six aces. But I regret to report that she also knew how to handle a gun."
This is the sort of movie that would be good for watching with a dad. The looks is very noir, the dialogue is very hard boiled, it's full of character actors with interesting-looking faces, there's a violent prison riot. It's just the sort of stuff that dads like. As long as it stays in the prison, that is. The middle of the movie suffers from the inclusion of a series of vignettes where we learn about the histories of the various inmates, and they're corny as hell. They feel…
Noir is the new black. ( Literally)
Burt Lancaster is a beautiful gem of an actor with his perfect everything and tough yet soft charisma, but it's Hume Cronyn that commands the prison and the screen with an iron fist. The finale is fantastic and the sets are marvelous. The acting is okay and the story itself comes and goes. It's not perfect but it sure as he'll isn't bad.
The first thing you'll notice in this film is the startling picture. Rain pouring down on stark wet prison buildings, combined with a soundtrack that sets a dire and bleak mood.
Among the many great performances, Hume Cronyn is a stand-out. His portrail of a twisted prison guard is one of the best performances of his I've ever seen.
a genre mix-prison pic mixed with film noir from director jules dassin