Rent Brute Force (1947)

3.7 of 5 from 91 ratings
1h 35min
Rent Brute Force Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Burt Lancaster is Joe Collins, one of a number of convicts squeezed into cell R17 intent on staging a prison break. Not only does he need to return to the side of his cancer-ridden wife (Ann Blyth), he also wants to escape the clutches of sadistic warden Captain Munsey (an unforgettable performance from Hume Cronyn) who enjoys a reign of terror over the inmates.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Mark Hellinger
Writers:
Richard Brooks, Robert Patterson
Studio:
Arrow Films
Genres:
Classics, Drama
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/07/2009
Run Time:
95 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
15/09/2014
Run Time:
98 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0, English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Burt Lancaster: The Film Noir Years - an in-depth look at the actor's early career by Kate Buford, author of Burt Lancaster: An American Life
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills Gallery

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Reviews (2) of Brute Force

Includes spoilers. - Brute Force review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
Updated 10/11/2021

Brilliant prison drama which retains the liberal sentiments of the great Warner Brothers penitentiary films of the thirties. But America had since been through the war and the dynamic between guard and prisoner has now changed. The prisoners are humanised by flashbacks to domestic life. When the inevitable knock on the door comes, it now evokes images of the gestapo.  

Many of the men fought in the war, and draw on combat experience to plan their escape. Cast against type, Hume Cronyn is the sadistic guard, his torso oiled, polishing his rifle while listening to Wagner, intent on beating a confession out of a prisoner with a lead pipe. No debate about whose side we are on here, though true to the laws of noir, Burt Lancaster and his cellmates are ill-fated.  

Jules Dassin was associated with the Hollywood ten and this is the work of a dissident. Cronyn, as Captain Mumsey is a political figure, his power justified by his uniform (this seems to anticipate the Stanford Prison experiment). He is a fascist, who turns his guns on the inmates, or cajoles them into self destruction. Often his sadism is sensual ('I get quite a kick from censoring the mail').

Lancaster is the nominal star, but it's Cronyn that dominates the film. There is a chilling moment at the end when Mumsey is announced as the new Governor, surely a warning from Dassin of the danger of state fascism: 'Kindness is a weakness' he says as he lies to a prisoner that his wife has divorced him, leading to the inmate's suicide, 'the weak must die so the strong can live'.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Painful Prison - Brute Force review by NO

Spoiler Alert
10/03/2021

Violent but excellent prison drama.Hume Cronyn as the sadistic warden is at his best and Lancaster is his usual brilliant self as is Bickford.Good idea to show the women who put them there and the photography works well in B&W.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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