Riot in Cell Block 11 Reviews

  • Jun 09, 2018

    Badass Oldies Movies that takes into the world of 50s prison riots!

    Badass Oldies Movies that takes into the world of 50s prison riots!

  • Aug 12, 2016

    Dated prison drama must have seemed raw and fresh back in 1954.

    Dated prison drama must have seemed raw and fresh back in 1954.

  • Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
    Dec 04, 2015

    Some inmates in a prison facility feel mistreated and so stage a benevolent coup in the hopes of alleviating their unhappy conditions. We jump pretty much right into the action and, while the work sports that patented 1950's "just the facts, m'am" style that always threatens to reduce everything to bland sermonizing, the film stays fresh with the portrayals of the convict leaders and their attempts to control a riot to a positive outcome ... While not killing each other in the process.

    Some inmates in a prison facility feel mistreated and so stage a benevolent coup in the hopes of alleviating their unhappy conditions. We jump pretty much right into the action and, while the work sports that patented 1950's "just the facts, m'am" style that always threatens to reduce everything to bland sermonizing, the film stays fresh with the portrayals of the convict leaders and their attempts to control a riot to a positive outcome ... While not killing each other in the process.

  • Jul 15, 2014

    Not bad for a confined space flick, but outside of that, its kind of iffy.

    Not bad for a confined space flick, but outside of that, its kind of iffy.

  • May 25, 2014

    One of the most ambitious--and rewarding--prison riot films in cinematic history, with no grit spared.

    One of the most ambitious--and rewarding--prison riot films in cinematic history, with no grit spared.

  • May 05, 2014

    Don Siegel's Potent Prison Piece--Exceptionally done!!

    Don Siegel's Potent Prison Piece--Exceptionally done!!

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    John B Super Reviewer
    Apr 24, 2014

    Although technically a "B" picture, there is an underlying call for humanity in relation to prison life at the heart of this armed uprising. One wonders what kind of an impact this film had on prison conditions in the U.S. or was it merely seen as an entertaining flick.

    Although technically a "B" picture, there is an underlying call for humanity in relation to prison life at the heart of this armed uprising. One wonders what kind of an impact this film had on prison conditions in the U.S. or was it merely seen as an entertaining flick.

  • Aug 31, 2011

    Siegel's ability to create tension is in evidence here, but there is way too much speechifying for this to be engrossing.

    Siegel's ability to create tension is in evidence here, but there is way too much speechifying for this to be engrossing.

  • Aug 25, 2010

    I don't know how famous this is, but it feels like a lost gem. It's worth considering why it was originally banned in the UK upon its release in the 1950s. One's immediate reaction would be "of course it was banned, it (probably) glorifies rioting", but that would be wrong. The fact is that the film does show multiple views and doesn't reduce each group (prisoners, guards, politicians) down into a single stereotype. The prisoners are violent psychopaths and sadists, as well as misled young men, people driven to crime by desperation and those in need of medical help. The guards are being kidnapped for their part in the brutal regime of the prison, but still some come across as understanding and innocent (although one prisoner explains that their willingness to turn a blind eye is why they remain captive). It's also interesting to see how the same debates raged 60 years ago. For every argument for improving the living conditions (not everyone is guilty, some people aren't necessarily evil or deserving of ritual beatings and starvation rations, no one is trained up for work for when they leave) there is some alternative (but they deserve it, how are you meant to deter people? etc) The stats are also the same: a debate between the governer and journalists involves stats like 65% of them reoffending, 95% being released, and so on. It's nice to see that someone who had lived through this could make a film explaining that the "string em up, birch em, starve em" technique was useless then and not worth returning to. A great film, a useful piece of social commentary despite its age, and well worth sitting through some of the hokey "why I oughta..." style 1950s acting.

    I don't know how famous this is, but it feels like a lost gem. It's worth considering why it was originally banned in the UK upon its release in the 1950s. One's immediate reaction would be "of course it was banned, it (probably) glorifies rioting", but that would be wrong. The fact is that the film does show multiple views and doesn't reduce each group (prisoners, guards, politicians) down into a single stereotype. The prisoners are violent psychopaths and sadists, as well as misled young men, people driven to crime by desperation and those in need of medical help. The guards are being kidnapped for their part in the brutal regime of the prison, but still some come across as understanding and innocent (although one prisoner explains that their willingness to turn a blind eye is why they remain captive). It's also interesting to see how the same debates raged 60 years ago. For every argument for improving the living conditions (not everyone is guilty, some people aren't necessarily evil or deserving of ritual beatings and starvation rations, no one is trained up for work for when they leave) there is some alternative (but they deserve it, how are you meant to deter people? etc) The stats are also the same: a debate between the governer and journalists involves stats like 65% of them reoffending, 95% being released, and so on. It's nice to see that someone who had lived through this could make a film explaining that the "string em up, birch em, starve em" technique was useless then and not worth returning to. A great film, a useful piece of social commentary despite its age, and well worth sitting through some of the hokey "why I oughta..." style 1950s acting.

  • Apr 01, 2010

    Intense prison drama with good realism in the dialogue and a decent statement on the penal system.

    Intense prison drama with good realism in the dialogue and a decent statement on the penal system.