Just got Papillon from Netflix for me and the kids to watch (my 12 yo son will love it, my 10 yo daughter will be disgusted) and realized that one could do a "prison movie month" as there are a lot of good ones out there. The one-minute brain scan yields:
Papillon The Green Mile The Shawshank Redemption Andersonville Midnight Express Stalag 17 The Great Escape Bridge on the River Kwai Cool Hand Luke The Longest Yard Escape From Alcatraz
The Hill To End All Wars The Wooden Horse The One That Got Away Birdman of Alcatraz One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich I Was a Fugitive on a Georgia Chain Gang The Colditz Story The Long Way Home (or something sounding like that, about escaping from the Gulag. The truth of the story is in dispute. Starred Colin Farrell and Ed Harris).
There have been a few movies about the Alcatraz uprising of 1946 (or '47).
KDFINE wrote:After I finished my earlier post I noticed that "Holes" was on cable earlier tonight. I'd guess that your 12 and 10 year olds have seen it already, but if not they might enjoy it.
I don't think they've seen that one, neither have I, but the IMDB page on it looked good. To add, there is a limit to what I let them watch, but they have seen a lot of movies that many parents would not allow. The Godfather movies, Blazing Saddles, Saving Private Ryan come to mind. My son wants to watch Animal House, I told him give it a few years. I knew he'd be OK with "rough" movies or movie scenes at about age four. We had "The Fellowship of the Ring" on the DVD player, prepping my parents to go out to the second or third LOTR film at the theater. I had forgotten about the scene at the end of "Fellowship" where Aragon runs through the orc leader with his blade, then beheads him as he stands there, with the head bouncing to the ground. He's on the floor in front of the sofa and I'm thinking "ooops! He shouldn't be watching that!" when, after a few seconds of silence, he pipes up and says, "Well THAT worked out nicely." Ahhhh! We're OK here.
gh wrote:I've got a favorite prison movie that's also one of my favorite Xmas movies. Can anybody guess which one falls into that arcane pairing of categories?
Among the leads, one guy won two Oscars, another won one, and a third was nominated twice.
My add is one of my favorite prison movies, now on Netflix: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawerence. Kind of like Bridge on the River Kwai without the bridge. David Bowie as the main prisoner, Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto as the prison commander. Both surprising good in the rolls. Don't know anything about the Oscar connection.
There's also Kiss of the Spider Woman. William Hurt is one of those actors who had what it takes to get to the absolute top of the movie-star tree but never quite made it for some reason; James Garner was another.
I generally avoid prison movies or TV plotlines that revolve around prisons because they make me squirm on several levels -- claustrophobic pangs just one of them. Same with stories on submarines, caves and folks trapped in mines, sinking ships and burning buildings.
They're the kind of movies I watch bit-by-bit on TV, almost in reverse, until I'm satisfied they won't make me squirm too much and have an end I can live with (I do like happy endings). But I've seen over half the flicks on DrJay's list plus others mentioned. "Shawshank Redemption" has a way of sucking me in time after time. "Cool Hand Luke" is well, cool.
Off the top of my head, to the discussion I'll add "American History X" (not strictly a prison film), one of the very early film versions of "Count of Monte Cristo" (impressed me when I saw it on TV as a kid), and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (seemed like a prison to me).
I think there are at least two types of prison movies. Those that are really about escapes, some of which really ought to be called action-adventure, and those that are about acquiescing to the numbing tedium of prison life.
And there are a good number of movies which combine the two, with the escape providing the relief to the claustrophobia of what I could call the true prison movies.
In a way, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a prison movie, the raft being the prison, with the return on land upriver being the escape.