Riot in Cell Block 11


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7 10 1283


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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.BLU 1080p.BLU
695.62 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 5
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by calvinnme 7 / 10

Inspired by a filmmaker who went to prison himself

Here is a jail flick made in sympathy to the prisoners, not that this was so rare before criminals became much more violent in the 1960's. Fed up with the inhumane conditions within the penal system, the inmates rebel. A guard is knocked out and locked up, his keys used to free the other prisoners, and the jail is overtaken in short order. The scene where the prisoners yell and empty the contents of their cells everywhere makes for powerful cinematography.

The prisoners make their demands known, and they want them printed in the papers for all the public to see. They want to be involved in a work program instead of sitting idle; they want the jail to be less crowded and better organized. If their needs are not met, guards will be killed, and the blame will be placed on the penal system authorities. The liberal warden of the prison actually wants to grant their demands, but his budget is constrained by politicians far removed from the system, and thus he is helpless as the clock ticks down.

The film is non-stop excitement and drama. I liked seeing the relationship between the prisoners, and their roles in the revolt. Neville Brand, with a gravelly voice and a build like a Sherman tank, is perfectly cast as the group leader and negotiator.

The movie is based on a story of an actual prison riot in the 1950s, and producer Walter Wanger's experiences as an inmate. Isn't it odd that celebrities get religion on the issue of prison reform AFTER they have been behind bars? Dan Rostenkowski comes to mind too.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

The toughest cases

Using nothing but character players and the personal recollections of what producer Walter Wanger saw while he did a stretch in the joint Don Siegel crafted a real masterpiece of a prison film in Riot In Cell Block 11. In fact the lack of star players gives this film a nice ring of authenticity to it.

Cell Block 11 in this particular prison is the solitary ward, the place where the toughest cases are assigned. With a pair like Neville Brand and Leo Gordon in that block would you think otherwise.

Anyway to protest the conditions they're in the prisoners led by Brand stage a riot where they take the guards assigned to that block hostage. When Brand is wounded in a quarrel, Leo Gordon takes over leadership and he's belonging in the psycho ward. But he's the toughest guy in the joint and nobody is going to argue with him.

Emile Meyer does a great job as the warden who is a decent and compassionate individual trying to affect a few reforms. His pleas fall on deaf ears because then as now, convicts don't have any votes and by definition they are an anti-societal group. Meyer's humanity is contrasted with that of Frank Faylen who is a political appointee and tries a grandstand play with the convicts that almost gets him killed.

This is as realistic a prison drama as you will ever get. Big accolades go here to Walter Wanger who had an incredible unique perspective of life on the inside and turned it with Don Siegel's help into a great motion picture.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 8 / 10

No-holds barred. Shooting first, asking questions never.

A cast of familiar character actors make up prison staff, inmates, reporters and government flunkies. Brutal living conditions get the inmates in an uproar and without unnecessary plot in the way, the riot erupts immediately. This is how to tell stories like this with minimal female intrusion, and just men needing to do what they need to do to fix a horrible situation with brutal conditions. There is also the human angle with prison employees having to open their eyes to see what has lead to this day. Certainly there had been prison movies before but they softened the conditions and minimized the brutality.

Among the cast in the huge ensemble are Neville Brand, William Schallert and Dabbs Greer who later played a retired prison guard looking back on his life in "The Green Mile". A brilliant script is aided with Don Siegel's fantastic direction, greatly influenced by what producer Walter Wanger had seen when he was in prison. Sltrady tense to begin with, this gets even more so as the film goes on. The film industry would greatly be influenced by these styles of filmmaking, a much needed transition as permissiveness opened up the story telling field to serious subjects like this.

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