“If you disobey the rules of society, they send you to prison; if you disobey the rules of the prison, they send you to US. Alcatraz is not like any other prison in the United States. Here, every inmate is confined ALONE… to an individual cell. Unlike my predecessors, Wardens Johnson and Blackwell, I don’t have good conduct programs, I do not have inmate counsels. Inmates here have no say in what they do; they do as they’re told. You’re not permitted to have newspapers or magazines carrying news; knowledge of the outside world is, ah, what we tell you. From this day on, your world will be everything that happens in this building. ” – Warden
Number of Times Seen – 2 (TV in the 80’s and 23 Aug 2015)
Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of the most successful prison break from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island in the early 1960’s
My Take on it – I remember seeing this movie as a kid on TV and enjoying it, but it somehow slipped my mind for neatly 3 decades until my good friend Mutant over at Cinema Parrot Disco reviewed it last week and reminded me that I should rewatch it.
I really enjoyed watching this but had a nagging feeling throughout that there are very familiar scenes, actions and characters.
This movie despite being made 15 years prior gives off a vibe of Shawshank where we get very invested in the lives of convicted criminals and get comfortable watching them and actually root for them to succeed in their escaoe endeavors.
This is a great example of a movie with likeable criminals eventhough we know they committed crimes.
Clint Eastwood is amazing here as a lone wolf criminal (in place of his lone wolf cop or cowboy persona that we so much care about ) and gives us a subdued yet intelligent performance that one probably wouldn’t expect from a man of his talent.
This is definitely among the best prison break movies because it plans everything so perfectly and is so interesting that we can just sit back and enjoy with no cares in the world.
Bottom Line – A very good prison break movie that eventhough it was made 15 years before Shawshank is very reminiscent of it. Eastwood is great in this somewhat subdued role and proved that he doesn’t always need to be a lawman or a cowboy to win hearts. One of the most interesting prison break movies ever made. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The television show, MythBusters (2003) proved that this escape worked (or was at least plausible). They recreated the entire escape right down to using the same materials to which the cons had access. They even used the same type of raincoats from which the boat was made. The makeshift raft crafted and crewed by the MythBusters team did indeed reach the shore, but at the Marin Headlands instead of Angel Island. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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