Poll Suggestion: Favorite Prison Movies

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Which of these prison movies is your favorite?

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls049012882/
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Paok-Kilkis

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Posted 5 months ago

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Breumaster

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I guess there were several prison polls before, but my suggestion would be:
'Le trou' (1960)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054407/

I already know the winner of this run: 'Shawshank Redemption'. I would exclude it, but mention it in the intro. Else you will have a large bar on the top of the results, some smaller in the middle and maybe 2 or three zeros at the bottom of the results. Shawshank is to mighty, it will grab too many votes. Just my prediction. ;D
(Edited)
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Paok-Kilkis

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'Le trou' (1960) added
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Paok-Kilkis

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ElMo

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Not sure about some inclusions, "American History X" has a prison segment but so does "Goodfellas", "Oldboy", "White Heat" or "A Clockwork Orange"

I think you're missing great classics that really focus on prisoners:

Grand Illusion
Midnight Express
A Prophet
In the Name of the Father
Birdman of Alcatraz
Brubaker
Each Dawn I Die
i am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
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Paok-Kilkis

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All the suggestions added!
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ElMo

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I think we saw the same thing, that's what I meant when I said that he got a taste of his own medicine... since you brought up the case of Hitler, I guess you can draw a similar parallel with Rohm who wasn't a better fellow but who was also "sacrificed" by the Nazis when they saw him as a threat or a weakling. The guy and his men were brutally eliminated although they pledged allegiance to the party.

Maybe I'm too harsh on the film because it does raise some relevant questions about racism, I just wish it wasn't that superficial (for lack of a better word) in Derek's character arc, especially his path to redemption. Maybe I was so focused on Derek (you've got to hand it to Norton's outstanding performance) whereas the film was more of a study on racism rather than Derek himself. I think I couldn't get over the curb stomping thing, Derek has lost me at that point and nothing could possibly redeem him in my opinion, of course, he was a "better" man when he got out of jail, but given the crime that put him there in the first place, for me he had already reached a no return point.

SPOILERS

Maybe the final killing was the kind of "immanent" justice that closed his arc, that's pretty ugly a statement because Daniel didn't deserve what he got, but Derek had to know what it meant to lose someone dear like those who lost the man he killed. Maybe the film should have shown whether Derek would have stayed the same after that ultimate test for Karma or surrendered to 'hatred' again... the interrogation mark can be an interesting way to end a story, but in regard to the statement the film makes about racism, I wish we could have a final idea on Derek's mindset after tragedy struck him.
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Breumaster

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Well, Elmo. That's a harsh view on Derek. The character is still a former prisoner that has completed his sentence. (Sorry I have no better words for it). In sake of peace and harmony his guilt was proven, but he also is redeemed by law after his punishment. In this case the character had to "taste his own medicine" - what ever this means, because Derek raped no one. He had a mirror in prison which showed him the truth about his inner setting. This mirror were his "brothers".

He had to double-learn at the end, because he saw to what all this violence he himself spreaded leads. He lost his beloved brother - violence causes violence. So he had a second and maybe more bad and harder punishment. Racism can be on both sides. None of them is good!

You know how you turn bad people to good people? By experience, by contact in any form and by keeping quitters safe from their old "brothers". In G we have several quitter programms for people like this which turned around after learning their lesson. They get new identities, names, places where they life, and, and, and. But the worst and most bad part is to clear their mind from racist state to normal without brain-washing. It's much work to convince someone about the fact, that his way is wrong. The movie showed that in a shorter form, else it would have a playtime about 3 or 3,5  hours.

I like the story like it is, even though it has long jumps in time. The prison time is strongly shortened, but I think it's good, they concentrated it to the little daily scenes that reveal enough about his environment in prison and then the cruel conclusion.

Don't forget the flashbacks. As I think I remember, the dinner scene with Derek showing his swastica to his stepfather was a flashback - before his experience in prison. But you know what? I will watch that movie again, soon. maybe I can explain better then. I guess I watched it 8 years ago. It might be that I have not all proper in mind.

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ElMo

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I wish I could have your interpretation of the svastika scene because as I said, it's one of these moments that I wish it was done differently.

See, when they broke up into that grocery store (or was it a mini market?) and they humiliated that Mexican lady, it was a brutal and disturbing moment, illustrating the ugliness of racism, but while Derek was in command , he didn't touch the woman and it didn't look like something he would have done anyway... not saying the guy had a code of honor but the thing looked so 'raw', so disgusting it served to show that behind his eloquence and charisma, Derek brought up the worst of people, that this was all bull*****. 

Now, during the dinner, the same thing happens, Derek's speech, if not articulate, is consistent in the way he quickly finds counter-arguments, he strikes as a quick mind with extreme political views but that could incidentally shake a dubious mind, he might have a point or too (by the way, what he says in the beginning can be found in any Youtube comment in not-so controversial videos) and then it's like the director needed an incident: Derek had to attack his sister, he had to show his tattoo, and it was like the whole discussion was just a facade and Derek said "the hell with it!", then Derek who didn't technically lose the debate almost throws a towel by proudly harboring his svastika as his last word.

Maybe the film wanted so much to handle the issue of racism from the scope of these neofascist skinhead groups that it forgot about the sneakiest forms of racism, when it's not displayed through violence but through words and ideas, when the perpetrator of racism plays the accuser, maybe that was the point of the basketball scene after all, because it's the one moment where the bad guys win in a puzzlingly "clean" way, I just wish the film was more subtle at some moments and cared for the viewers more than the story itself. Of course, if you make a film about racism, you're supposed to side against it, if you're going to play in this turf, you've got to do it responsibly. It's like the director was too responsible for the film's own good.

The 'market' attack was bad enough, and it was only a "foretaste" to the curb stomping moment, did we need another scene that concludes with a blatant "see how racism is bad" note? Derek's mother would have kicked him off the house anyway so he could have been the same scary hateful dude just by going on his racist rant... but no, it had to end with a moment that almost tells the viewer "remember, he's the bad guy, don't think too much of him", I found it a bit patronizing as if the script didn't trust our intelligence and capability to take some perspective.
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Breumaster

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But it also is a movie that shows up, that these guys are not that big or strong as they think. Dealing on the dangerous ground like these guys do is not only dangerous for their  environment (the black/foreigner community). It's as dangerous for them as for the people around, who don't want to deal with this. The social isolation of these people brings the most danger! It's like when you suppress toothache. You can hold it a while, maybe you take painkillers, but the problem will come back more bad and more serious. Social inclusion is the weapon bad leaders fear the most. Their subordinates could turn human and all their lies are void. It's not a fast action. On those problem there are so many people working. Social workers, probation officers, ... it takes time. Movies do their part to look at the problems. There are some movies linked to that field. Two of them:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1063669/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1890373/
(Edited)
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ACT_1

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https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/the-best-prison-movies
Poll Suggestion: The Best Prison Movies

What is the best prison movies?

List: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls073192325/

28 titles


Le Trou
A Man Escaped
Tatar Ramazan
Starred Up
The Shawshank Redemption
Escape Plan
The Green Mile
Stalag 17
The Bridge on the River Kwai
A Prophet
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
Shutter Island
Cool Hand Luke
The Great Escape
Hunger
The Wall
American History X
Escape from Alcatraz
Camp X-Ray
Don't Let Them Shoot the Kite
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Birdman of Alcatraz
Brute Force
King of Devil's Island
Shot Caller
Down by Law
Cell 211
Papillon

by ilyas Kutlu
Posted 3 weeks ago
.

(Edited)
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dgranger

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I agree with everyone that this has been done before. But every year a new film comes out that makes the idea of a poll about this subject renewable (for lack of a better term).
However, I would suggest to remove “The Great Escape” and “Stalag 17” because they are prisoner of war camp movies and there is a difference between the two movies. I think a movie about concentration camps like “Schindler’s List”, and “Empire Of The Sun” might be fine.
- I would suggest replacing the Adam Sandler “The Longest Yard” and use the older Bert Reynolds 1974 version which was higher rated.
If you want to take this into a different angle, sci fy prisons f the future, I believe “Minority Report”, “Demolition Man”, “Judge Dredd” , “The Chronicles Of Riddick” , and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” all have segments of a futuristic prison. And to stretch farther, “The Matrix”.
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Breumaster

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I understand that from your point of view. But please let me tell you that the concentration camps run by Germany weren't prisons at all. They were simply one way facilities to death. From normal prisons a prisoner can be released by law. In German concentratation camps there was no way out. If the alied wouldn't have freed Germany from it's regime, all would have faced death without an exception. The camps were like a forecourt to death and oblivion. Even prisoners in war prisons can have hope to be released some times later. But the German plan was the final extermination of all jewish life and all "unworthy" life, which had a very flexible meaning. They've also put in homosexuals, Gypsys, people of  political opposition and all they considered as unworthy based on crude Nazi-sciences rules. One didn't have to break rules or the law to get interned into such a camp. There are criminals in any kind of moiety, but mostly all of the jews that were interned were innocent. So I wouldn't consider the concentration camps as war prisons, they were more like the forecourt of a slaughterhouse run by an insane regime.
(Edited)
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dgranger

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Understood. Thank you, Breumaster. It is always good to learn. No concentration camp movies on this list.
I was thinking about the science fiction movies with prison for a awhil after I had posted and was trying the save it for later because I have work to do now. But there was sentiment that you had posted, “One didn't have to break rules or the law to get interned into such a camp.” drew my mind right back to the subject. In “Minority Report”, people were getting arrested not for what they have done, but for what they may be thinking. Talk about thought police!
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Breumaster

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I read that in G there was some Software tested to prevent crime. It's based on statistics of former burglaries and calculates the probabilities to get burglared pro place and pro time. So the police can be more present at that places and times. It's not the same like in the movie, but the same direction. I thinks it's the right way.

The scenario of 'Minority Report' reaches too far. It's not ok to be convicted for something one didn't do. But maybe the try should be convicted. So there could be lower sentences. That would be the moderate way. So to say:
"in flagranti ante supplicium"

Sorry for being so upper pedantic about concentration camps, but for most people in G the concentration camps are a big shame. I learned about it in school and was instantly ashamed about what happened in our country and all around Europe that time. I'm not guilty about what happened there, but I'm in charge to never forget.
(Edited)
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dgranger

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You don’t need to apologize. The shame went beyond the borders. All branches of my family were in America well before WW2. My father, who was of German and Irish decent, (my mother was all German), my father had started to claim he was all Irish and started to deny he was part German because shame from the news reaching the U.S.A. of what Hitler and the Nazis were doing. I told my father to stop doing that and start taking pride in all the good thinks Germans had brought to America and become ingrained our culture, besides beer, which is the most famous. For example: the covered wagon which is so much a part of the history of U.S.A.’s western expansion, and the Christmas (and Christmas tree ornaments too), some of the finest cars in the world, and a German piano builder Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later known as Henry E. Steinway of “Steinway and Sons” grand pianos).
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Breumaster

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Yes. We better lean on the very positive things of our countrys before and after. :D
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Con Air
(1997)
It is about prisoners. But not Prison.

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Paok-Kilkis

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Con Air deleted
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Ed Jones (XLIX), which is funny, because popular Russian alternate title translates as "Air Prison". :)

Paok-Kilkis, your comment was somehow caught in the spam filter. 
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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FYC


Brubaker (1980)


Attica (1980) (TV Movie)


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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Yes it was good. I have not seen it either since 1995.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Fortress blew me away in the late 90's. A very well-paced sci-fi thriller with some interesting concepts.
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Paok-Kilkis

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Added, thanks!
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Breumaster

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If there was one more option, i would have suggested 'Lock Up', which was a pretty nasty prison movie with Sylvester Stallone and Donald Sutherland.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097770/

And there was anotherone called 'Tango and Cash'. But that wasn't realy good, even though it was popular for some time for action fans. It also was not really about prison. The prison thing was more for pushing a crude story.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098439/

I just linked it for remembering. ;)
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Breumaster

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If there was one more option, i would have suggested 'Lock Up', which was a pretty nasty prison movie with Sylvester Stallone and Donald Sutherland.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097770/

And there was anotherone called 'Tango and Cash'. But that wasn't realy good, even though it was popular for some time for action fans. It also was not really about prison. The prison thing was more for pushing a crude story.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098439/

I just linked it for remembering. ;)
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Yudhistira Bayu

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For me Papilon is still the great prison movies. Even the remake in 2017 also:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5093026/
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Gitte Løyche

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Well, since you have predicted the winner, I might as well join in saying 'Shawshank Redemption'!
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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I have a feeling with so much heavy-hitters in the list they will occupy the top spots... But that won't stop me from suggesting personal favorites. :) 

FYC: 
Mean Guns (1997) (I really hope that it counts, since, well, prison is the main setting and symbolic point, even if not yet opened)
The Running Man (1987) (main plot of the film begins with a prison break)
Runaway Train (1985)
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Paok-Kilkis

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Added, thanks!
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riverotter

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no The Great Escape????
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Paok-Kilkis

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I originally had The Great Escape in the list, but dgranger suggested to remove it because they are prisoner of war camp and it's different.
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dgranger

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The largely unknown “There was a Crooked Man” - a western.
- half of “The Dark Knight Rises” takes place in a prison.
While I had said that this list has been done before but since new films appear every year that this list can be done again and again, I going to show you how you can do variation of this and give it a new twist - What Is the Worst Prison In Science-Fiction or Fantasy movies You Don’t Want Be An Inmate Of?”
It will include prisons from and a crossover of six in this list
- “Escape from New York”
- “Escape From L.A.”
- “A Clockwork Orange”
- “The Running Man”
- “Death race”
- “Fortress”
Not on your list
- Askisaban from Harry Potter
- Black gate and Peña Duro (Of Santa Prisca) from “The Dark Knight Rises”
- Crematoria from “The Chronicles Of Riddick”
- both “the Temple” ( Yeah, the chamber of the pre-cogs is a prison if they can’t leave it.) and Department Of Containment from “Minority Report”
- the prison in “Demolition Man”
- “Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country” Rura Penthe
- Bell island in “Suicide Squad”
- I don’t know the name of it, but the prison in “Captain America: Civil War”
- The prison in “Judge Dredd”
And last but not least, the updated Debtors prison, known as I.O.I. Loyalty Centers, in “Ready Player One”.
All of them are hellholes.
(Edited)
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Paok-Kilkis

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There was a Crooked Man and The Dark Knight Rises added to the list. As for some other films you suggested I prefer not to include them because they have very limited time in prison. Thanks anyway, cheers!
(Edited)
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Paok-Kilkis

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bump
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Paok-Kilkis

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bump
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James The Movie Guy

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FYC- Brawl in Cell Block 99
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Paok-Kilkis

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Added, thanks!
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riverotter

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suggestion  The Great Escape
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Paok-Kilkis

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The Great Escape is a war camp movie
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Arkas16

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Paok-Kilkis

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bump