Brute Force (1947)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Hard-hitting and gritty, this prison film chronicles the cruelty of a sadistic, egomaniacal prison guard who vents his considerable hatred upon the inmates of Cell R17. One inmate in particular tires of the abuse and begins plotting a daring escape after spending time in solitary confinement.
Rating:
G
Genre:
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Burt Lancaster
as Joe Collins
Hume Cronyn
as Capt. Munsey
Charles Bickford
as Gallagher
Howard Duff
as Robert `Soldier' Becker
Ann Blyth
as Ruth
Anita Colby
as Flossie
Sam Levene
as Louis
Art Smith
as Dr. Walters
Roman Bohnen
as Warden Barnes
John Hoyt
as Spencer
Richard Gaines
as McCollum
Frank Puglia
as Ferrara
Jeff Corey
as Freshman
James Bell
as Crenshaw
Jack Overman
as Kid Coy
Whit Bissell
as Tom Lister
Sir Lancelot
as Calypso
Ray Teal
as Jackson
James O'Rear
as Wilson
James O'Reare
as Wilson
Crane Whitley
as Armed Guard in Drain Pipe
John Harmon
as Roberts
Gene Roth
as Hoffman
Wally Rose
as Peary
Carl Rhodes
as Strella
Guy Beach
as Convict Foreman
Edmund Cobb
as Bradley
Tom Steele
as Machine Gunner
Alex Frazer
as Chaplain
Will Lee
as Kincaid
Ruth Sanderson
as Miss Lawrence
Jack S. Lee
as Sergeant
Billy Wayne
as Prisoner
Rex Dale
as Prisoner
Frank Marlowe
as Prisoner
William Cozzo
as Prisoner
Paul Bryar
as Harry
Glenn Strange
as Tompkins
Al Hill
as Plonski
Peter Virgo
as Guard
Al Ferguson
as Guard
Rex Lease
as Hearse Driver
Blanche Obronska
as Young Girl
Hal Malone
as Young Inmate
Harry Wilson
as Tyrone
Samir Rizkallah
as Convict's Son
Kippee Valez
as Visitor
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Critic Reviews for Brute Force

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

The escape sequence has the spatial intricacy of the heist in Dassin's Rififi, but the tone is tougher, bleaker, and more suspenseful.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Bristling, biting dialog by Richard Brooks paints broad cameos as each character takes shape under existing prison life.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

This is one of Dassin's best films.

June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Producer Joan Harrison, who seems to have profited from a long association with Alfred Hitchcock, and Director Irving Pichel have created mounting suspense which comes to a distinctly surprising and explosive climax as the jury brings its verdict.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

October 16, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

Starring Burt Lancaster and cast against type Hume Cronyn, Dassin's first foray into noir is one of the bleakest and most powerful crime prison melodramas ever made, an existential chronicle that also serves as an allegory of American society at large

Full Review… | March 31, 2009
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Brute Force

Excellent prison escape flick with Burt Lancaster butting heads with sadistic guard Capt. Munsey (a young Hume Cronyn -- imagine a more vicious version of Percy from The Green Mile). Several inmates at Westgate prison have come up dead or injured, and there is some suspicion that Munsey's way of doing his job may be to blame. There are several pretty shocking scenes, and the scene where Munsey literally beats information out of one prisoner has an almost homoerotic S/M feel to it. The climactic battle between the guards and the inmates is as exciting as anything Hollywood has come up with in recent years, and the ending is satisfying. Highly recommended.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

What saves this movie from being a typical prison flick is its good ending although it would have been better without those crappy last lines said by the doctor

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

½

gritty drama about a prison break. burt lancaster is outstanding in only his second film after a great debut in the killers and hume cronyn plays against type as a sadistic guard. there's some sappy melodrama in the flashback scenes but overall pretty damn good

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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