Murder in the First (1995)


“Some men are broken by the laws that they break, unable to resist the forces that are pulling them down. Other men live by the rules that society sets down. You’re not one of them.” – Milton Glenn

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Video in ’95 and 8 Oct 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A young lawyer takes a case of a prisoner in Alcatraz who is accused of murdering another prisoner.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing not long after it came out on video in the mid-1990’s and recalled enjoying it quite a lot.

The premise itself is quite interesting and the fact that parts of this story are based on true events helps make things intriguing to see what will happen.

The story itself tho has too many lulls which make things drag along and that is partially a pacing problem yet it also proves that this story could probably have been more effective had it been trimmed down a bit.

Some scenes feel like they could carry on forever despite the fact that there is no need for that to happen at all.

The cast of this film is quite good and Christian Slater, Gary Oldman and Kevin Costner all give superb performances in their respective roles.

They do manage to present the story in a way where the viewer is able to fully understand everything that has transpired and most importantly, why it has happened that way, but ultimately it just feels too long.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that drags along a bit too much. The cast is superb and Slater, Bacon and Oldman are all spectacular with the roles they are given. The balance between the courtroom scenes and the backstory works quite well and they manage to give us enough information along the way for the viewer to fully understand what transpired and more importantly, why.  This films biggest issue is the pacing and certain scenes feel like they are going on forever despite the fact that there is no need for it.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – While filming courtroom scenes, the location was hit by the 6.7 Northridge, California, earthquake. Kevin Bacon was handcuffed to a large table, he took refuge underneath, while an enormous crystal chandelier swung overhead. The warehouse studio was later condemned. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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2 thoughts on “Murder in the First (1995)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1995 |

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