Prison Movies

by karljhickey14 | created - 11 Jul 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. The Big House (1930)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing | Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery

Votes: 1,683

2. The Criminal Code (1930)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

After a failed attempt at running for governor, D.A. Mark Brady is appointed warden of the state prison where many of the criminals he prosecuted are incarcerated.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Walter Huston, Phillips Holmes, Constance Cummings, Boris Karloff

Votes: 853

3. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

Passed | 78 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Arthur Byron, Lyle Talbot

Votes: 2,221

4. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,590

5. San Quentin (1937)

Approved | 70 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An army trainer becomes captain of the prison yard and in time, falls for the sister of a hardened inmate.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Barton MacLane

Votes: 1,571

6. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 26,182

7. Brute Force (1947)

Passed | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo

Votes: 8,107

8. Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Neville Brand, Emile Meyer, Frank Faylen, Leo Gordon

Votes: 1,492

9. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

PG | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau

Votes: 107,838 | Gross: $43.00M

10. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 127 min | Crime, Drama

91 Metascore

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 152,240 | Gross: $16.22M

11. A Man Escaped (1956)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from a Nazi prison in France.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock, Roland Monod

Votes: 16,645

12. Riot (1969)

R | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A riot in a state prison is staged to cover up an escape attempt, during which many inmates and guards are killed. Shot on location at Arizona State Prison.

Director: Buzz Kulik | Stars: Jim Brown, Gene Hackman, Mike Kellin, Gerald S. O'Loughlin

Votes: 399

13. Big House, U.S.A. (1955)

Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Jerry Barker finds a lost boy whose rich father is extorted into paying a ransom for his return but the boy accidentally dies and Jerry goes to prison.

Director: Howard W. Koch | Stars: Broderick Crawford, Ralph Meeker, Reed Hadley, William Talman

Votes: 653

14. Crashout (1955)

Approved | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The survivors of a prison break set out on an arduous journey to retrieve some loot.

Director: Lewis R. Foster | Stars: William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, Luther Adler, William Talman

Votes: 428

15. Caged (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Hope Emerson

Votes: 3,227

16. Women's Prison (1955)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Life at a 1950s women's maximum security prison where the warden and the guards are as brutal as the inmates.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Ida Lupino, Jan Sterling, Cleo Moore, Audrey Totter

Votes: 654

17. Le Trou (1960)

Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: André Bervil, Jean Keraudy, Michel Constantin, Philippe Leroy

Votes: 13,358 | Gross: $0.03M

18. Canon City (1948)

Approved | 82 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Twelve inmates plan a prison break from the Colorado State Penitentiary but one of them reluctantly joins the group.

Director: Crane Wilbur | Stars: Scott Brady, Jeff Corey, Whit Bissell, Stanley Clements

Votes: 314

19. Convicted (1950)

Passed | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A D.A. becomes the prison warden where he tries to help an inmate he prosecuted, because he believes his sentence was excessive.

Director: Henry Levin | Stars: Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford, Millard Mitchell, Dorothy Malone

Votes: 655

20. House of Numbers (1957)

Approved | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

San Quentin prison inmate Arnie Judlow asks his twin brother Bill and his wife Ruth to assist him in a daring escape plan.

Director: Russell Rouse | Stars: Jack Palance, Harold J. Stone, Edward Platt, Barbara Lang

Votes: 430

21. The Concrete Jungle (1960)

TV-14 | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In UK, after pulling a racetrack robbery, repeat offender Johnny Bannion hides the loot in a farmer's field but the police and the local mob come looking for Johnny and for the money.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan, Margit Saad

Votes: 1,115

22. San Quentin (1946)

Passed | 66 min | Drama, Romance

Television viewer seeing this for the first time: Gee whiz, it's in black-and-white and was made in the 40's and is about crime and...Eureka!...another "noir" film is discovered. How about ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Marian Carr, Barton MacLane, Harry Shannon

Votes: 207

23. Outside the Wall (1950)

Passed | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A paroled convict's infatuation with a gold-digger nurse working at a sanitarium leads him to crime.

Director: Crane Wilbur | Stars: Richard Basehart, Marilyn Maxwell, Signe Hasso, Dorothy Hart

Votes: 88

24. The Last Mile (1959)

Not Rated | 81 min | Drama, Thriller

A prison break is attempted the same night an execution occurs on death row.

Director: Howard W. Koch | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Frank Overton, Michael Constantine, John Vari

Votes: 253

25. Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951)

Approved | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

At California's Folsom Prison, escape attempts and riots are on the rise due to the old-school sadistic style of management of a brutal warden.

Director: Crane Wilbur | Stars: Steve Cochran, David Brian, Philip Carey, Ted de Corsia

Votes: 204

26. The Steel Jungle (1956)

Approved | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A power struggle emerges among convicts condemned to prison life.

Director: Walter Doniger | Stars: Perry Lopez, Beverly Garland, Walter Abel, Ted de Corsia

Votes: 94

27. Experiment Alcatraz (1950)

Approved | 57 min | Crime, Mystery

A doctor tests his theory that blood diseases can be cured by atomic radiation by using prison inmates as experiments.

Director: Edward L. Cahn | Stars: John Howard, Joan Dixon, Walter Kingsford, Lynne Carter

Votes: 238

28. Black Tuesday (1954)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Gangster Vincent Canelli and bank robber Peter Manning escape from Death Row minutes before their execution by electric chair.

Director: Hugo Fregonese | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Parker, Peter Graves, Milburn Stone

Votes: 257

29. Betrayed Women (1955)

70 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The governor appoints lawyer Jeff Darrow to open an investigation on the reported cruelties inflicted on the inmates of the Bayou Reformatory For Women. The investigation is opposed by Mrs.... See full summary »

Director: Edward L. Cahn | Stars: Carole Mathews, Beverly Michaels, Peggy Knudsen, Tom Drake

Votes: 54

30. Women Without Men (1956)

Approved | 71 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

U.S. State Department agent Kent Foster, on the trail of a murderous traitor, Nick Randall, hopes to trap Randall through singer/stripper Angela Booth. The latter has promised to marry ... See full summary »

Director: Elmo Williams | Stars: Beverly Michaels, Jim Davis, Joan Rice, Richard Travis

Votes: 83

31. I Want to Live! (1958)

Approved | 120 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent, Theodore Bikel

Votes: 5,339

32. Why Must I Die? (1960)

86 min | Crime, Drama

Debra Paget commits a murder for which Terry Moore (as club singer Lois King) is arrested, tried, and condemned to die. The story line wanders through the trial and Miss King's final hours ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Terry Moore, Debra Paget, Bert Freed, Juli Reding

Votes: 62

33. Blonde Sinner (1956)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

A young woman who has been abused and taken advantage of by all the men in her life, finally finds a man she believes truly loves her, but she snaps when she finds out that he, too, is ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Diana Dors, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig, Marie Ney

Votes: 727

34. Cell 2455, Death Row (1955)

Approved | 77 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Whit, condemned and awaiting execution, reviews the events of his life that has brought him to Cell 2455 on San Quentin's Death Row, a story he had told in a autobiography that became a ... See full summary »

Director: Fred F. Sears | Stars: William Campbell, R. Wright Campbell, Marian Carr, Kathryn Grant

Votes: 264

35. The Story of Molly X (1949)

Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When gang leader Rick is killed, his wife Molly takes over his gang but a robbery goes wrong and Molly finds herself in jail where she undergoes a personal transformation.

Director: Crane Wilbur | Stars: June Havoc, John Russell, Dorothy Hart, Connie Gilchrist

Votes: 108

36. Unchained (1955)

75 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A convict in a medium-security prison is torn between his need to finish his sentence and get back to his wife and family, and his desire to escape the confines of prison.

Director: Hall Bartlett | Stars: Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch, Barbara Hale, Chester Morris, Todd Duncan

Votes: 119

37. Under the Gun (1951)

Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a cunning, unscrupulous mobster is sentenced to a Florida prison farm, he launches a deadly escape plan.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff | Stars: Richard Conte, Audrey Totter, John McIntire, Sam Jaffe

Votes: 104

38. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Noel Francis

Votes: 10,822

39. The White Trap (1959)

58 min | Crime, Drama

Serving a jail sentence for a crime he didn't commit, Paul Langley makes several attempts to escape from prison, in order to clear his name. He also has other problems, his wife is about to go into labor with their first baby.

Director: Sidney Hayers | Stars: Lee Patterson, Conrad Phillips, Michael Goodliffe, Jack Allen

Votes: 55

40. Escape by Night (1964)

75 min | Crime, Drama

A bus carrying prisoners on their way to jail, is hijacked by a gang, who want to free one of the passengers. The rest of the prisoners are locked in a petrol soaked barn, and warned not to... See full summary »

Director: Montgomery Tully | Stars: Terence Longdon, Jennifer Jayne, Harry Fowler, Peter Sallis

Votes: 144

41. Women Without Men (1956)

71 min | Crime, Drama

Seeking the whereabouts of international gangster Nick Randall, the U.S. State Department seeks the help of Scotland Yard. Nick's girl, Angela, is currently in a British prison, but has ... See full summary »

Directors: Elmo Williams, Herbert Glazer | Stars: Beverly Michaels, Joan Rice, Thora Hird, Avril Angers

Votes: 35

42. Young and Willing (1954)

Approved | 72 min | Drama

Frank "women in prison" story that sympathetically tracks several inmates through their imprisonment and subsequent return to society. Some are successfully rehabilitated; some are not.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Glynis Johns, Diana Dors, John Gregson, Olive Sloane

Votes: 113

44. The Way to the Gold (1957)

94 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

An old inmate tells his cellmate, who's up for parole, about the location of a 35-year old gold loot and the released convict goes looking for it in Arizona.

Director: Robert D. Webb | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Sheree North, Barry Sullivan, Walter Brennan

Votes: 50