Realistic Depiction of Maximum-Security Prison in the Movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Has the realities of maximum-security prison ever truly been realised in mainstream-cinema? I'm not talking about documentaries, because I've seen The Farm. I've read articles that talk about the everyday murders, rats coming up and biting prisoners' genitals as they sit on the toilet, and the fist-sized cockroaches that drop on prisoners from the ceiling as they sleep. Now, I'm sure I haven't seen every prison movie. But I've seen quite a few. I somehow doubt that The Shawshank Redemption paints a realistic portrait. Everybody's too nice (except the wardon and the sisters that is!). Papillon and Mignight Express. Brutal regime. Not the same. Still very uncomfortable films to watch. Prison movies from far-eastern countries don't count by the way (or was ME set in Turkey?) Brokedown Palace: (aka Midnight Express Lite). Nah. Natural Born Killers was too surreal. It's impossible to get a feel for what that prison would be a like had it not been shot in the way it was. My favourite prison scenes were in Out of Sight. But something tells me, that they wasn't especially realistic. [​IMG]
    So have there ever been any truly realistic depictions of maximum-security prison in the movies? And if not, why not?
     
  2. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    Interesting question, Paul. Since I've never been in prison, I have no idea how realistic these movies are. I would like add The Last Castle to your list. Of course the uprising was not realistic at all, but maybe everyday life was (they didn't show much of this, though).
     
  3. Matthew Perry

    Matthew Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Jared

    Did you find that the picture in The Last Castle was extremely washed out and blurry for most of the film?

    I found this to have a poor quality transfer, was it just me?

    I was also not impressed with the movie, I figured it would have been more realistic and more action as well.

    Regards,

    Matt
     
  4. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    I thought the transfer was pretty good, although I wasn't giving it a critical evaluation (i have a Mits 55" HDTV, Panny RP91).

    That's what I was wondering. Is prison really that brutal? I am under the impression that most brutality comes from other inmates, not the staff. Keep in mind that in The Last Castle, the prison is a military prison - they could be run a little differently.
     
  5. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    It seems really odd to me, that no one has attempted a truly realistic prison movie. I think it could be rather cinematic, if a little grim. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    Animal factory comes to mind, pretty decent movie, if a little slow moving. Of course I still have no idea how realistic it was, or if it even was a maximum security prison for that matter...
    http://uk.imdb.com/Title?0204137
     
  7. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    What about American Me, American History X and Bound By Honor? Those looked pretty realistic to me. Pretty graphic and disturbing, but realistic
     

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