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Film Class: Prison Film

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  1. Blood In, Blood Out

    Blood In, Blood Out (1993)

    18,067 views

    Bound By Honor (also known as Blood In Blood Out) is a 1993 American crime-drama film directed by Taylor Hackford. It follows the intertwining lives of the three Chicano relatives, Miklo, Cruz, and Paco from 1972 to 1984. They start out as members of the street gang Vatos Locos in East Los Angeles, and as dramatic incidents occur, their lives and friendships are forever changed. Bound By Honor was filmed in 1990 throughout the Spanish-speaking areas of Los Angeles and inside California's San Quentin State Prison.


  2. The Green Mile

    The Green Mile (1999)

    11,933 views

    The Green Mile is a 1999 American drama film directed by Frank Darabont adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey with supporting roles by David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, and James Cromwell. The film also features Dabbs Greer, in his final film, as the old Paul Edgecomb. The film tells the story of Paul's life as a death row corrections officer during the Great Depression in the United States, and the supernatural events he witnessed.


  3. Life

    Life (1999)

    10,431 views

    Life is a 1999 American comedy-drama film directed by Ted Demme, and starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. The supporting cast includes Obba Babatundé, Bernie Mac, Anthony Anderson, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Bokeem Woodbine, Guy Torry and Barry Shabaka Henley. The film's format is a story being told by an elderly inmate about two of his friends, who are both wrongly convicted of murder and given a life sentence in prison. The film was the last R rated role to date for Eddie Murphy who has stuck mainly to family friendly films for the past 15 years of his career.


  4. The Shawshank Redemption

    The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    4,355 views

    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Currently, it's ranked #1 in IMDb's "Top 250" list and is known as one of cinema's best movies of all time.


  5. Cool Hand Luke

    Cool Hand Luke (1967)

    3,874 views

    Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and featuring George Kennedy in an Oscar-winning performance. Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system.


  6. I Love You Phillip Morris

    I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

    3,270 views

    I Love You Phillip Morris is a 2009 romantic comedy-drama film based on the 1980s and 1990s real-life story of con artist, impostor, and multiple prison escapee Steven Jay Russell, as played by Jim Carrey. While incarcerated, Russell falls in love with his fellow inmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). After Morris is released from prison, Russell escapes from prison four times in order to be reunited with Morris. The film was adapted from I Love You Phillip Morris: A True Story of Life, Love, and Prison Breaks by Steve McVicker. The film is the directorial debut of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. It grossed a little over $20 million worldwide after its limited theatrical release.


  7. Jailhouse Rock

    Jailhouse Rock (1957)

    3,033 views

    Jailhouse Rock is a 1957 American musical drama film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, and Mickey Shaughnessy. Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and dramatized by Guy Trosper from a story written by Nedrick Young, the film is about a young man sentenced to prison for manslaughter who is mentored in music by his prison cellmate who realizes his musical abilities. After his release from jail, while looking for a job as a club singer, the young man meets a musical promoter who helps him launch his career. As he develops his musical abilities and becomes a star, his self-centered personality begins to affect his relationships.


  8. Chicago

    Chicago (2002)

    2,374 views

    Chicago is a 2002 American musical comedy-drama film adapted from the satirical stage musical of the same name, exploring the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Jazz Age Chicago. The film stars Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and also features Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, and Mýa Harrison.


  9. The New Guy

    The New Guy (2002)

    2,156 views

    The New Guy is a 2002 American teen comedy directed by Ed Decter. The film tells the story of a high school loser Dizzy Gillespie Harrison. Dizzy is an unpopular, high school band geek going through a hellish senior year. In an attempt to make a new identity for himself, Dizzy gets himself expelled from his high school, learns how to be cool from a prison inmate, and enrolls at a new high school under the alias Gil Harris. He is quick to make new friends and soon gains respect from jocks and geeks alike, uniting a once divided school and greatly improving its football team. Eventually, Gil has to face his demons from his old school when they face each other in a football game.


  10. Out of Sight

    Out of Sight (1998)

    2,089 views

    Out of Sight is a 1998 American crime comedy film based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard and directed by Steven Soderbergh. The first of several collaborations between Soderbergh and star George Clooney, it was released on June 26, 1998.


  11. Autumn Born

    Autumn Born (1979)

    1,980 views

  12. The Last Castle

    The Last Castle (2001)

    1,959 views

    The Last Castle is a 2001 drama film directed by Rod Lurie, starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini.


  13. Mean Machine

    Mean Machine (2001)

    1,855 views

    Mean Machine is a 2001 British comedy-drama film directed by Barry Skolnick. It stars former footballer Vinnie Jones. The film is an adaptation of the 1974 American film The Longest Yard, featuring association football rather than American football. It also reunites most of the cast who have starred in the Guy Ritchie blockbusters Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.


  14. Brokedown Palace

    Brokedown Palace (1999)

    1,818 views

    Brokedown Palace is a 1999 American drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, and starring Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman. It deals with two American friends imprisoned in Thailand for drug smuggling. Because it presents a critical view of the Thai legal system, most scenes were filmed in the Philippines; however, some panoramas and views were filmed in Bangkok. Its title is taken from a Grateful Dead song written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter from their 1970 album American Beauty.


  15. Bronson

    Bronson (2008)

    1,814 views

    Bronson is a 2008 British fictionalised biographical crime film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Tom Hardy. The film follows the life of notorious prisoner Michael Gordon Peterson, who was re-named Charles Bronson by his fight promoter. Born into a respectable middle class family, Peterson would nevertheless become one of the United Kingdom's most dangerous criminals, and is known for having spent almost his entire adult life in solitary confinement. Bronson is narrated with humour, blurring the line between comedy and horror.


  16. Bad Boys

    Bad Boys (1983)

    1,801 views

    Bad Boys is a 1983 American crime drama film primarily set in a juvenile detention center, starring Sean Penn, Esai Morales, Clancy Brown and Ally Sheedy in her film debut. The film is directed by Rick Rosenthal. The original music score was composed by Bill Conti.


  17. Chained Heat

    Chained Heat (1983)

    1,773 views

    Chained Heat (alternate title: Das Frauenlager in West Germany) is a 1983 exploitation film in the women-in-prison genre. It was co-written and directed by Paul Nicholas for Jensen Farley Pictures.


  18. Felon

    Felon (2008)

    1,662 views

    Felon is a 2008 American prison film written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh. The film stars Stephen Dorff, Val Kilmer and Harold Perrineau. The film tells the story of the family man who ends up in state prison after he kills an intruder. The story is based on events that took place in the 1990s at the notorious California State Prison, Corcoran. The film was released in the United States on July 18, 2008.


  19. Brubaker

    Brubaker (1980)

    1,572 views

    Brubaker is a 1980 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg about a prisoner in distress and the Warden Henry Brubaker (Robert Redford) who attempts to reform the system. The screenplay by W.D. Richter is a fictionalized version of the 1969 book, Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal by Tom Murton and Joe Hyams, detailing Murton's uncovering of the 1967 scandal. The film boasts a large supporting cast of stars including Yaphet Kotto, Tim McIntire, Nathan George, David Keith, Everett McGill, Murray Hamilton, Matt Clark, M. Emmet Walsh and Jane Alexander, with an early appearance by Morgan Freeman. Rosenberg replaced Bob Rafelson, who was removed as director early in production. This would become his second major film picturing prison life, after Cool Hand Luke.


  20. Undisputed

    Undisputed (2002)

    1,501 views

    Undisputed is a 2002 American sports film written, produced and directed by Walter Hill. The film stars Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames. The film was released in the United States on August 23, 2002.


  21. Midnight Express

    Midnight Express (1978)

    1,499 views

    Midnight Express is a 1978 American/British film directed by Alan Parker and produced by David Puttnam. It is based on Billy Hayes' 1977 book Midnight Express and was adapted into the screenplay by Oliver Stone. It starred Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey and John Hurt. Hayes was a young American student sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. The movie deviates from the book's accounts of the story – especially in its portrayal of Turks – and some have criticized the movie version, including Billy Hayes himself. Later, both Stone and Hayes expressed their regret on how Turkish people were portrayed in the movie. The film's title is prison slang for an inmate's escape attempt. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated the film "R".


  22. Dead Man Walking

    Dead Man Walking (1995)

    1,426 views

    Dead Man Walking is a 1995 American crime drama film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, and co-produced and directed by Tim Robbins, who adapted the screenplay from the non-fiction book of the same name. It tells the story of Sister Helen Prejean, who establishes a special relationship with Matthew Poncelet (played by Sean Penn), a prisoner on death row in Louisiana.


  23. Prison Heat

    Prison Heat (1993)

    1,175 views

  24. Half Past Dead

    Half Past Dead (2002)

    1,168 views

    Half Past Dead (aka "Dead-Thirty") is a 2002 action movie in which a criminal infiltrates a prison to interrogate a prisoner about the location of a fortune in gold while an undercover FBI agent has to stop him. The film stars Steven Seagal, Morris Chestnut, Ja Rule, Nia Peeples, Kurupt, and Claudia Christian. It is written and directed by Don Michael Paul and produced by Elie Samaha, Uwe Schott and Allison Semenza. Distribution and copy rights are held by Columbia Pictures.


  25. Birdman of Alcatraz

    Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

    1,143 views

    Birdman of Alcatraz is a 1962 film starring Burt Lancaster and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a largely fictionalized version of the life of Robert Stroud, a federal prison inmate known as the "Birdman of Alcatraz" because of his life with birds. In spite of the title, much of the action is set at Leavenworth prison where Stroud was jailed with his birds. When moved to Alcatraz he was not allowed to keep any pets.


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