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A Very Open Prison (1995)

The Home Secretary has his eye on the Prime Minister's job. But an experiment in the way the prisons are run leads to embarrassment - and escaped murderers!
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Credited cast:
Andrew Castell Andrew Castell ... SAS Captain
Lucy Cohu ... Reporter
Julian Fellowes
Neil Rogers Neil Rogers ... Prison Officer
Stephen Tompkinson
Tom Wilkinson ... Home Secretary
Peter Wingfield ... Dominic Casement


Can prisons make a profit? Not when the alarms are turned off! When the Home Secretary comes to visit the first prison to be run this way, pigeons keep touching off the alarms, and the decision is made to turn the alarms off for the remainder of his visit. They forget to turn them back on, and several prisoners escape. From then on, the very witty cast tries to cover up their mistakes, but are foiled at every turn. Written by A Cronin

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Release Date:

9 December 1995 (UK) See more »

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Precursor to Crossing the Floor
4 August 2004 | by ANearySee all my reviews

David Hanratty (Tom Wilkinson) makes his debut as a self-serving, venal Home Secretary dealing with a breakout from a private prison (run by the Alcatraz Prisons company..) Anyone who remembers the mid-1990s in the UK may recall how frequently this appeared to happen to the Tory Home Secretary at the time.... The cast also includes Stephen Tompkinson as a Psychotic escapee and Emily Mortimer as the minister's aide. Ronald Pickup also appears as the head of the Alcatraz group who has made a miraculous recovery from Alzheimers' (brought on by prosecution....) Written & directed by Guy Jenkin from "Drop the Dead Donkey" and includes a cameo by Andy Hamilton (co-writer).

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