The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prison Movies ( #atozchallenge )

The Green Mile
The Green Mile (Photo credit: jaci XIII)

The films that I'll be listing in my April postings will not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.

         There are so many Prison Movies to choose from that this becomes a tough category to narrow down.   The prison movie has been highly popular throughout the era of talking pictures and remains popular to the current time.  It's an ugly and rough world where sometimes good guys end up and those are the ones we often root for.  I'm sure you'll have many favorite films to add to my list.

        Here are some of my favorites in the Prison Movie genre:


In Hell (2003)-- Recently my wife and I have become big fans of Jean-Claude Van Damme.  He has been much maligned as an actor and I'm not sure why.  We have yet to see one of his films that we haven't liked.  In Hell is no exception.   We sympathize with his character as he is sent to a brutal Russian prison where he becomes as vicious as the environment he is thrust into.  This a violent film with a message.

Midnight Express (1978) --One thing you never want to happen to you is to be an American thrown into a Turkish prison.  This film shows why.

The Count of Monte Cristo  (2002) --My wife and I both love this film.  What's not to like here?  The story of a guy falsely imprisoned in one of the worst places you can imagine.  He's a survivor and you can't help but cheer him on.

The Green Mile (1999) -- Much beloved film based on a story by Stephen King.  You've probably seen this film and agree with my choice.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- If you haven't seen The Green Mile I'm somewhat surprised, but if you haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption I'll be amazed.   Everyone has seen this film and if you haven't then you must be the only one.  Probably the best prison movie ever made, this one makes it into many a film fan's top ten list period.  A must-see film!

         Am I right about The Shawshank Redemption?   What do you think of this list?   Do you have any favorites that I've missed?



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59 comments:

  1. I would have amazed you three months ago then, when I hadn't yet seen Shawshank. I don't know why. That movie is so beautiful, I can't believe i didn't see it before.

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  2. Caged Heat!!
    Just kidding. There's also Escape From Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood. Or his Cool Hand Luke.

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  3. I enjoyed The Bird man of Alkatraz with Burt Lancaster,

    Yvonne.

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  4. I agree Shawshank Redemption is really good. I haven't seen any of the others on your list. I just saw Cool Hand Luke and enjoyed it.
    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

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  5. Thumbs up for Shawshank Redemption ... I'm following you now, via the challenge! See ya soon on www.disha-doshi.blogspot.com

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  6. Shame on me for not reading the book or seeing the movie "the Count of Monte Cristo." I must really correct this soon.

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  7. Wholeheartedly agree with Shawshank. Seen it numerous times. Talk about patience...man, I sure don't have it. Also, The Green Mile was amazing. I was going to add those to your list, but I was pretty sure you'd mention them and you did! I'd add, just for fun, Chicago. Catherine Zeta Jones is amazing, Richard Gere so tongue in cheek, and John C. Reilly heartbreaking.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  8. Dude, you are more than right. The S. R. is probably the best prison movie ever made. I still enjoy watching it. Loved the Green Mile. I was apprehensive when it first came out for two reasons. First, I am more into COPS and police "shows" than security or correctional guards or officers. I was thinking, a CO? Snoozer. Second, I don't like movies that "can't happen." I am not into SCI-FI, supernatural, etc. and I knew this had an element in it.

    I am so glad I over came my "prejudice" and watched it. Even though the "swallowing" of evil is out there, the movie was simply fantastic.

    Although it is kind of cheezie you didn't include Escape from Alcatraz.

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  9. I absolutely agree about The Shawshank Redemption. (I know, big surprise, right?) I also liked The Rock with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery.

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  10. I love Shawshank, but Cool Hand Luke is probably my favorite. We utter the line, 'What we have here is a fail-ure to communicate." pretty regularly around here : )

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  11. I agree with you on Shawshank - as soon as I saw Prison Movies it popped into my head.

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  12. I have not seen even ONE of the movies on your list!
    Cool Hand Luke, Bird Man of Alcatraz and Escape From Alcatraz are the only ones on my list.
    So you've found one...

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  13. I don't read King's book. Riveting but heh scary. But, the Green Mile, was really good. Now, how about Dead Man Walking (1995)Susan & Sean? Give it a look.

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  14. Be amazed Lee... I have not seen The Shawshank Redemption or any of the other movies you listed. lol
    Guess you can say that movies are not high on my list of things to do, though I thoroughly enjoy them when I do see one.

    I read about 3/4 of The Count of Monte Cristo years ago. Either I'll pick it up again, or most likely, just see it on the tube. :)

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  15. Oh, that's right... TVs don't have tubes anymore. :)

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  16. ...sorry of grid for a week or so... i must add "reform school girls"... it's bad, but good and in no way an oscar winning film.... how about tango and cash, most of it is on or inside a prison.

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  17. I'd agree with Shawshank at #1, with Cool Hand Luke a close second.

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  18. Thanks for the comments so far. As expected, I see that Shawshank is a big favorite. Some good additions to the list. I've seen all of them so far except for Dead Man Walking--somehow I've never gotten to that one though it's been oft recommended to me over the years.

    Lee

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  19. I rewatch those last three movies all the time. I think Jean Claude is maligned because of his drug use more than his acting. I haven't seen one of his movies for a long time.

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  20. I have only watched Shawshank Redemption on the list. However, I have read The Count of Monte Cristo and it was real nice... would be interesting to see its on screen adaptation.

    - Dishit from Only the Crazy Survive!!!

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  21. I had a hard time with Green Mile. It still haunts me when I think of it. However, it was an excellent movie of a powerful story.

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  22. The Shaw Shank Redemption is my best by far; I can watch it over and over. -Belinda.

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  23. All good movies, most of which i've seen. But I admit I prefer comedy fluff...the oldschool kind with a little romance thrown in.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  24. Shawshank Redemption. Definitely.

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  25. i love Shawshank and the Count of Monte Cristo :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  26. Once again, I preferred the book of Monte Cristo to the movie. You may be surprised but I saw Shawshank and I don't remember anything about it. Sinatra in the Man with the Golden Arm spent some prison time, I always remember those scenes and I was pretty young when I saw that.

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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  27. Lee-

    Sorry to prove you wrong, I have never seen Shawshank Redemption. It's a film I keep meaning to rent, and never seem to get to (unlike Grease, which I will NEVER watch....too much fun being the only person in America who has never seen it).

    I am curious why a classic like Caged Heat is not on your list...

    Unless you're saving "women in prison" movies for "W"

    That must be it....

    Larry

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  28. Shawshank is an awesome film, I also enjoyed green mile. The great escape is a classic old film, only dads faves.

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  29. Shawshank Redemption was great, of course. I also loved The Green Mile. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other prison movies, but my brain is moving slow today.

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  30. More Shawshank appreciation and we've located some of those few who haven't seen it yet.

    And Caged Heat? I don't guess I've seen it, though I have seen a few women's prison movies. Can't think of a great one offhand, but the old B movies can be fun.

    Lee

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  31. I've never seen In Hell (don't care for JCVD) but I've seen all the others many times. Great flicks! I also love The Great Escape and Alcatraz.

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  32. Hey Lee, yes! Jean-claude Van Damne is a favorite actor of mine also, and I loved The count of monte cristo as well as Shawshank . I can't think of any other prison movie better than these two. I haven't seen Green Mile or Midnight Express though.

    My AtoZ Challenge

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  33. I saw midnight express and the green mile. Both movies impressed me a lot.

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  34. Green Mile and Shawshank rule. You're the second blog I read with Prison Movies.

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  35. Have seen neither The Green Mile nor The Shawshank Redemption!

    I like comedies. :)

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  36. Looks like we have the makings of a JCVD debate here. I didn't know much about his films until recent. Have seen several and not a one that I didn't like. Have another scheduled for tomorrow (Friday)night.

    Now I want to find the other blog with prison movies.

    Lee

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  37. I love the Count of Monte Cristo, The Green Mile was filmed in my neck of the woods and Shawshank was really great-another Stephen King film!
    Hubby just watched Cool Hand Luke ;D
    I love how we see so many sides of life, in these films~

    Well Done Lee
    :D

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  38. I can relate to your choice of prison movies, Lee.

    One of my favourites in the "Birdman of Alcatraz".

    Have fun, Lee.

    Gary

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  39. I love both Shawshank and the Green Mile and the Count of Monte Cristo. I haven't seen the first two you mention -- I confess I'm surprised at the Jean-Claude Van Damme selection. It's been many years since I've seen any of his movies. Maybe I need to give him another shot.

    Love hearing your re-caps. thanks.

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  40. Green Mile - Great, great movie.

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  41. Love Shawshank Redemption, saw it again just last week. I'm a huge Jean Claude Van Damme fan, Death Warrant was his best prison movie and one of my all time favorites.

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  42. Ella-- Count of Monte Cristo is one of my wife's favorites. It's a wonderful film.

    Gary -- Birdman was on TV not long ago and I caught part of it. Need to watch it from the beginning again--it's been a long time since I watched the entire film.

    Thea --In Hell was pretty brutal, but I thought it was a good film.

    Cindy -- I probably need to watch Green Mile again--it's been a few years since I saw it.

    Cova -- I'll need to kick Death Warrant up a few notches on my Netflix list. We're going through all of his films.

    Lee

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  43. Alright, BOIDMAN OF ALCATRAZ, here comes the McContrarian view:

    I thought 'The Green Mile' was too contrived. Not a bad movie, but way overrated.

    'The Shawshank Redemption' - WTH?!
    I saw it once long, long ago and thought it was "OK". But for years afterwards people kept raving about it, which convinced me that I MUST HAVE missed the point somehow; maybe I was drunk at the first viewing and couldn't appreciate its greatness.

    So, in fairness to the movie, I rented it a second time and watched it again. I came away with pretty much the same opinion. I probably liked it slightly better after the second viewing, but I still wouldn't grade it above "OK". I would love for someone - you or anyone else - to explain to me in detail WHY that movie is so great. Because, seriously, I do NOT get it.

    So then what prison movies DO I like? Well, there are probably more, but the three that come immediately to mind are (the frequently aforementioned) 'COOL HAND LUKE' ["What we have here is a failure to communicate!"]; 'PAPILLON' [Wow! No one mentioned 'Papillon'? - That's a freakin' crime, man!]; and my Number One favorite prison film (as well as one of my Top Ten favorite sports films), the original version of 'THE LONGEST YARD' starring Burt Reynolds.

    Come to think of it, 'STALAG 17', with William Holden, would certainly also make my list of all-time favorite prison movies.

    I only scanned the comments above, but is it true that no person above mentioned 'Papillon', 'The Longest Yard', or 'Stalag 17'? If so,... whoah!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  44. Shawshank Redemption for sure! Love the Dumas/dumba-- scene.

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  45. StMc -- Maybe Shawshank was too optimistic for your tastes. The film is pretty universally rated high so you are in the minority on this one.

    The other films are older so maybe a lot of folks just didn't remember, although they did get Cool Hand Luke.

    Longest Yard was okay I guess but it's been decades since I've seen that one.

    It's been a while since I've seen Papillon so I don't remember much of that one either, but I do remember liking it.

    Not sure if I saw Stalag 17 or not, but if you're talking prisoner of war films I would include Empire of the Sun.

    Lee

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  46. Get the Gringo was entertaining. He wasn't a good guy all the way, but he was better than the bad guy. Oh and Con Air!

    Chontali Kirk
    chontalikirk.blogspot.com

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  47. I agree that both The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption were excellent movies. It's sad that Michael Clark Duncan from The Green Mile died recently.

    Julie

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  48. >> . . . Maybe Shawshank was too optimistic for your tastes. The film is pretty universally rated high so you are in the minority on this one.

    How unusual to find myself in "the minority" about something. (Still don't know what makes it so "great".)

    'Papillon' - Steve McQueen and the always popular (and great) Dustin Hoffman. How could it have become so forgotten?!

    'The Longest Yard' is absolutely hilarious!

    'Stalag 17' was so good it became the inspiration for a long-running TV series - 'Hogan's Heroes'.

    The entire modern American culture seems to have roots no deeper than about 1995.

    Incidentally, I also saw 'Empire Of The Sun' and thought it was pretty good.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  49. SHawshank Redemption was fantastic as was The Green Mile (written by Stephen King I believe and I've heard that for some it is their favourite book).
    Prison Break the TV series was great ..
    Thank you for this trip down prison lane ..

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  50. Thanks for the additional comments and for joining this trip "down prison lane".

    Lee

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  51. Jumping in here as well to join the people who haven't seen the The Shawshank Redemption yet although honestly from what I've heard I'm missing out, The Green Mile is amazing though, love this genre buddy.

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  52. I love the movie for The Count of Monte Cristo even though the book and movie are very different. I like Jim Caviezel as an actor and it was a good casting choice to put him here.

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  53. I've seen The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption several times. One that you didn't mention that I've seen a few times is Cool Hand Luke.

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  54. I absolutely love the Shawshank Redemption! I haven't seen the movie, but I absolutely love the book Count of Monte Cristo!

    Thanks so much for doing this theme for your challenge. I'm a total movie buff, but there are sure to be some in your lists here that I've missed!

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  55. Definitely Shawshank. Love the library scene:

    "Alexandre... Dumbass"

    "That's Dumas."

    Others? Too many to mention. Cool Hand Luke, Papillon. If we include war prison movies, The Great Escape, King Rat and Bridge on the River Kwai.

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  56. These are all awesome movies. I agree with most people about Shawshank being one of the best movies ever made. Even so The Count of Monte Cristo holds a special place in my heart just because I have a weekly assignment with Yahoo TV writing about "Person of Interest." And guess who's in that. :) I do tend to become a little bit attached to all the characters and actors involved with the shows that I write about.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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  57. the Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie of all time and I just talked to a kid at work who had never seen it or even heard of it. I was completely shocked.

    I don't know if it was mentioned in the above comments but it's based off a short story by Stephen King as well. It was called "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank" if I remember correctly. It was in one of those books he had that has 4 shorter stories in them.

    Loved the Green Mile as well. I had read the books and was hoping the movie would do it justice and it was just as good.

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  58. Yeamie -- The prison movie genre is often quite good and a bit scary.

    Cynthia -- I've never read The Count... book but I guess it wouldn't be too unusual for a movie to stray from its source.

    Susanne -- Plenty of folks mentioned Luke for me. It's been a while since I'd seen it and don't remember it much.

    Roshni -- A lot of movie buffs out there. A movie related theme usually seems to resonate with readers.

    Jer-- Bridge on the River Kwai is a big favorite of mine.

    Kristen -- I can see getting attached when you get really close to a subject.

    Jeff -- I guess there's always some folks that haven't seen certain "no-brainers". I myself am shocked that I've still never seen any of the Godfather movies even though it's such a highly regarded series.

    Lee

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  59. You are absolutely correct about Shawshank. It's a prison movie even I love :)

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Lee