The Best Prison Filmsby dimampr | created - 12 Dec 2011 | updated - 04 Aug 2018 | Public
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1. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.
3. Papillon (1973)
R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Votes: 113,870 | Gross: $53.27M
4. Le Trou (1960)
Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.
Votes: 13,027 | Gross: $0.03M
7. Interrogation (1989)
118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Tonia goes out drinking. She wakes up in prison, not having a clue why she's there. She is tortured to encourage her to confess to a crime she is not aware of.
8. The Confession (1970)
GP | 139 min | Drama, History, Thriller
Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »
9. Midnight Express (1978)
R | 121 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.
Votes: 66,422 | Gross: $35.00M
11. Each Dawn I Die (1939)
Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.
12. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
PG | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.
Votes: 106,138 | Gross: $43.00M
14. Prison Break (2005–2017)
TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Due to a political conspiracy, an innocent man is sent to death row and his only hope is his brother, who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out, from the inside.
15. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
R | 120 min | Drama
A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.
Votes: 13,106 | Gross: $17.04M
17. Bronson (2008)
R | 92 min | Action, Biography, Crime
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
Votes: 111,115 | Gross: $0.10M
20. The Hill (1965)
Approved | 123 min | Drama, War
In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.
21. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Sport
A juvenile offender (Sir Tom Courtenay) at a tough reform school impresses its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.
22. Murder in the First (1995)
R | 122 min | Drama, Thriller
An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
Votes: 24,975 | Gross: $17.38M
24. Passenger (1963)
62 min | Drama, War
While being aboard a transatlantic ship, German woman Liza notices someone who looks like Marta, the former inmate at Auschwitz, where Liza used to be the guard.
25. Seven Beauties (1975)
R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War
The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and his effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.
Votes: 4,422 | Gross: $0.01M
26. La Chartreuse de Parme (1948)
170 min | Drama, Romance
Fabrice del Dongo, a young archbishop, gives his all to romance rather than to the Church, creating complications for everyone around. The Countess of San Severina, is but one of the women ... See full summary »
29. Komediya strogogo rezhima (1992)
78 min | Comedy
The action is set in 1970 as the Soviet Union (and the entire progressive world) are preparing to celebrate Lenin's centenary. Not to be outdone, the camp commander decides to have the ... See full summary »
30. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
Not Rated | 147 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.
31. Let Him Have It (1991)
R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, History
In 1950s England, slow-witted Derek Bentley falls in with a group of petty criminals led by Chris Craig, a teenager with a fondness for American gangster movies. Chris and Derek's ... See full summary »
32. Sleepers (1996)
R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized. Thirteen years later, they get their chance for revenge.
Votes: 176,450 | Gross: $49.10M
33. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
R | 123 min | Drama, War
During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.
Votes: 13,493 | Gross: $2.31M
34. Triumph of the Spirit (1989)
R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History
Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,041 | Gross: $0.41M
36. Freedom Is Paradise (1989)
76 min | Drama
Young Sasha is brought into a state-run children's home because his mother died early and his father spends most of his life in prison. The conditions are like in a penal institution. Sasha... See full summary »
37. Lady Vengeance (2005)
R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After being wrongfully imprisoned for thirteen years and having her child taken away from her, a woman seeks revenge through increasingly brutal means.
Votes: 65,159 | Gross: $0.21M
38. The Grey Zone (2001)
R | 108 min | Drama, History, War
A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkommando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone.
Votes: 9,831 | Gross: $0.52M
39. Carandiru (2003)
R | 145 min | Drama, Crime
Brazilian MD Drauzio Varella starts AIDS prevention in Brazil's largest prison, Carandiru, in São Paulo, where the population is nearly double its 4,000 maximum. Doc learns from experience ... See full summary »
Votes: 16,599 | Gross: $0.21M
42. Il Generale Della Rovere (1959)
Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, War
Bardone, a petty con man, is arrested by the Gestapo and coerced into impersonating a partisan leader in order to expose another resistance organizer.
43. The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)
Approved | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.
44. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1970)
G | 100 min | Drama
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov has been sentenced to a camp in the Soviet gulag system. He was accused of becoming a spy after being captured briefly by the Germans as a prisoner of war during ... See full summary »
45. A Prayer Before Dawn (2017)
R | 116 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand's most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom.