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Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 February 1954 (USA)
Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.

Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

Richard Collins (story), Richard Collins (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Neville Brand ... James V. Dunn
Emile Meyer ... Warden Reynolds
Frank Faylen ... Commissioner Haskell
Leo Gordon ... Crazy Mike Carnie
Robert Osterloh ... The Colonel
Paul Frees ... Monroe
Don Keefer ... Reporter
Alvy Moore ... Gator
Dabbs Greer ... Schuyler
Whit Bissell ... Snader
James Anderson ... Guard Acton
Carleton Young ... Guard Captain Barrett
Harold J. Kennedy Harold J. Kennedy ... Reporter
William Schallert ... Reporter
Jonathan Hole ... Reporter Russell
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Storyline

Producer Walter Wanger, who had just been released from a prison term after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, wanted to make a film about the appalling conditions he saw while he was incarcerated. He got together with director Don Siegel and they came up with this film, in which 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. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU ARE CAUGHT IN THE SCORCHING CENTER OF A PRISON RIOT! YOU feel the savage frenzy of 4000 caged humans! YOU see the horror of the wolf pack on a vengeance kick! YOU sweat out every second with tortured hostages! YOU rock with the impact of brute force against bullets! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les révoltés de la cellule 11 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$298,780 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,531,755
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Glenn Ford and Van Heflin were both considered to play roles in this film. See more »

Goofs

When the state police force the convicts back into the prison by launching a barrage of tear gas at them, the police move forward, into the area being bombarded. The convicts are overcome by the gas, but the police aren't - even though they're not wearing gas masks and are enshrouded by the same gas the convicts are. See more »

Crazy Credits

The following acknowledgment appears after the opening credits: "We wish to thank Mr. Richard A. McGee and his staff of the California Department of Corrections, Warden Heinze, Associate Warden Ryan, Correctional officers and the inmates of Folsom Prison for their co-operation." See more »

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User Reviews

 
The toughest cases
11 January 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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.


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