The best film of Don Siegel's career to date, this surprisingly intelligent B-picture describes the dramatic arc of an organized rebellion at Folsom prison. The inmates, who are sick of living conditions which include rundown cells, brutal guards, dreadful food, and the presence of the seriously deranged in the general prison population, decide to stage a riot to demand change. Neville Brand stars as Dunn, the vocal prisoner who leads the uprising. After the inmates take some guards hostage, Dunn makes the prisoner's demands for reform known to the warden Emile Meyer. While acknowledging the validity of their grievances, for which he's already harangued politicians without success, he warns them that there's nothing that can be done immediately. As Dunn contacts media outlets to further publicize his cause, word of the riot spreads to other cell blocks, and they too become involved. Fearing a bloody mass insurrection, Meyer reluctantly calls in the militia. Dunn, who thus far has been able to restrain his disturbed cohort Carnie (Leo Gordon) from inciting violence, is beginning to lose control. Considering its limited budget, the film's impressive sense of authenticity derived partly from the experience of veteran producer Walter Wanger, who had spent four months in a minimum security facility for shooting the agent and lover of his wife, Joan Bennet. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi
|Series||Criterion collection ; 704.|
Prisons -- Drama.
Prison riots -- Drama.
Male prisoners -- Drama.
Prison administration -- Drama.
Video recordings for the hearing impaired.
|Publisher|| [Irvington, New York?] :The Criterion Collection,2014
|Edition||Blu-ray and DVD, Full screen.|
|Other Titles|| Riot in Cell Block Eleven
Walter Wanger's Riot in Cell Block 11
Collins, Richard, 1914-2013, screenwriter.
Siegel, Don, 1912-1991, director.
Brand, Neville, 1920-1992, actor.
Meyer, Emile, 1910-1987, actor.
Faylen, Frank, 1905-1985, actor.
Gordon, Leo V., 1922-2000, actor.
Osterloh, Robert, actor.
Gilbert, Herschel Burke, composer.
Allied Artists Pictures Corporation, production company.
Criterion Collection (Firm), publisher.
Neville Brand, Emile Meyer, Frank Faylen, Leo Gordon, Robert Osterloh.
Music, Herschel Gilbert ; editor, Bruce B. Pierce ; art director, David Milton ; director of photography, Russell Harlan.
With optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH).
Title from container.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1954.
Accompanying booklet (27 pages : illustrations ; 17 cm) includes an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by producer Walter Wanger, and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah.
Special features include: audio commentary by film scholar Matthew H. Bernstein; excerpts from the director's 1993 autobiography, A Siegel film, read by his son Kristoffer Tabori; excerpts from Stuart Kaminsky's 1974 book Don Siegel: director, read by Tabori; excerpts from the 1953 NBC radio documentary series The challenge of our prisions.
Blu-ray Disc; region A; full screen (1.37:1) presentation; Dolby Digital mono.
DVD; NTSC; region 1; full screen (1.37:1) presentation; Dolby Digital mono.
Blu-ray Disc requires a Blu-ray Disc player.
1 Blu-ray Disc (80 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 DVD (80 min. : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.)