Riot in Cell Block 11


Action / Crime / Drama / Film-Noir


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Downloaded 12,253 times
April 29, 2014 at 06:50 AM



Paul Frees as Monroe
Dabbs Greer as Schuyler
William Schallert as Reporter
Neville Brand as James V. Dunn
720p 1080p
695.62 MB
Not Rated
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 1 / 8
1.24 GB
Not Rated
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Wilbur-10 7 / 10

Not to be confused with 'Prisoner Cell Block H'.

Gritty, realistic, semi-documentary style, early film from Don Siegel - two years before 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. Essentially a social comment film about the poor conditions in prisons, 'Riot in Cell Block 11' doesn't force its point with cliches and manages to be an effective 'B' Movie.

The storyline starts quickly with a group of prisoners taking their warders hostage and barricading themselves in their cell block. Narrative then follows the proceedings to their conclusion, the action never straying from the prison itself.

Film succeeds mainly as a result of not having any forced characters - none of the prisoners are particularly likable and there are none of the usual dumb characterisations usually found in prison movies. The various authority figures deal with the situation they are presented with in a matter of fact way, and the films stark style remains through to the end.

As I was watching 'Riot in Cell Block 11' I was dreading some wise old sage prisoner coming out of the woodwork, due for parole the following week, who was somehow going to contrive to get himself shot just as the riot was coming to a close, to enjoy a lengthy death scene in someone's arms. Thank goodness nothing like this occurs.

Film made me think of 'Killer's Kiss', in that they are both 1950's low-budget movies with great potential, from a soon-to-be famous director. 'Riot in Cell Block 11' succeeds in all areas, and while its targets may be low it certainly deserves more recognition.

Reviewed by gavin6942 8 / 10

Early Siegel

Several prison inmates, to protest brutal guards, substandard food, overcrowding and barely livable conditions, stage an uprising, in which most of the inmates join, and take several guards hostage. Negotiations between the inmates and prison officials are stymied, however, by politicians interfering with the prison administration, and by dissension and infighting in the inmates' own ranks.

The producer Walter Wanger (known for Ford's "Stagecoach" and Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent") had recently been in prison for shooting his wife's lover, and his experience there motivated this production. The film was shot on location at Folsom State Prison with real inmates and guards playing background roles.

"Riot in Cell Block 11" was the first film work for Sam Peckinpah, who was hired as a third assistant casting director by Don Siegel. Wanger and Siegel would team up again two years later for "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

The Criterion release is a must-have, with plenty of background information on those involved, the inspiration, related writings and an excellent audio commentary from a noted film historian.

Reviewed by bmacv 7 / 10

Don Siegel's shockingly temperate issues movie under cover of prison-break actioner

Riot in Cell Block 11 comes as a bit of a shock, but not because of its brutality (it's a cuddly little puppy compared to Jules Dassin's Brute Force). The shock is that Don Siegel, later to become inextricably associated with such violent and/or reactionary movies as his remake of The Killers, Madigan and Dirty Harry, turned out a temperate, balanced and humane look at prison conditions; another shock is that the movie emerged in the middle of a complacent decade not remembered for its sympathy to marginalized groups in American society.

The droning voice-over that opens the movie doesn't bode well: It warns of a wave of riots throughout penitentiaries across the country and even takes us to a criminal-justice convention in Toronto where the topic is aired. But soon we're inside Cell Block 11, part of a run-down, overcrowded institution whose warden (Emile Meyer) has been campaigning for reforms, to no avail. (Standing up for convicted criminals, then and now, is political suicide.) When opportunity knocks, the inmates take over the asylum. What they want is press coverage of their quite moderate demands: More elbow room, separate facilities for the mentally ill among them, job training. But they've taken guards as hostages, and threaten to execute them if their demands aren't met.

Leader of the rebels is Neville Brand, who tries to negotiate in good faith, but Meyer has one hand tied behind his back – by Frank Faylen, a hard-line state bureaucrat. Brand, too, has trouble keeping the prisoners in line, particularly those who see the riot less as a cause than as a chance for some cheap thrills. Siegel manages to keep the story taut within the claustrophobic confines of the prison and without too much in the way of splashy incident, until he brings it to a surprisingly rueful end. Somehow, he has managed to make an issues movie told almost solely through action.

Siegel's career proved that he had more sides to him than he's generally known for. He started out cutting montages in other directors' movies (Blues in the Night and The Hard Way among them); when he moved into directing, his early work showed range in style and tone: The period thriller The Verdict, the light-hearted noir The Big Steal, the eschatological drama Night Unto Night. Too bad we can't remember him by saying that he just got better and better, because, unfortunately, it just isn't so.

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