Brute Force

Synopsis: At overcrowded Westgate Penitentiary, where violence and fear are the norm and the warden has less power than guards and leading prisoners, the least contented prisoner is tough, single-minded Joe Collins. Most of all, Joe hates chief guard Captain Munsey, a petty dictator who glories in absolute power. After one infraction too many, Joe and his cell-mates are put on the dreaded drain pipe detail; prompting an escape scheme that has every chance of turning into a bloodbath.
Director(s): Jules Dassin
Production: Criterion Collection
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

as it was built to accommodate.

There's not enough work

to keep the inmates occupied.

Why not?

The world we live in.

Yes, we can give them real work,

teach them trades, produce things.

But the civilian manufacturer

says we're competing with him.

Trade unions say we're putting

their people out of work.

Nobody wants to help.

Not us.

Manufacturers, unions.

You might as well blame the weather.

What you're really saying is

you can't handle the situation.

Excuse me, sir.

I don't think you quite understood

what the warden meant.

It's not only a matter of controlling

the men. He wants to help them.

Munsey, what this prison needs

is absolute discipline...

not charity.

Your loyalty to the warden

doesn't change the fact...

that he may be getting

too old for his job.

Age, Mr. McCallum,

is a matter of arteries, not years.

It's a pity, Walters, you're a better

philosopher than you are a doctor.

But I'm getting tired of you in both roles.

I was sent here today for one reason... to

tell you that if there's any more trouble...

if this prison isn't brought under

the strictest control...

- Mr. McCallum...

- There will be an immediate change in practically all personnel.

We don't want to be bothered anymore.

Is that clear, Warden?

Yes, sir.

- Clear to you, Doctor?

- Oh, absolutely.

You can't be bothered.

Well, that simplifies everything.

The great public and its servants.

You put up prisons, thick walls...

and then your job is over, finished.

But is it over?

You and your patent medicine remedies.

Change the warden.

New personnel.

Absolute discipline.

Do you know what this prison is,

Mr. McCallum?

One big human bomb.

And you say, kick it and it'll be quiet.

Smash it and it won't explode.

Munsey, what do you think

of the doctor's viewpoint?

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Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks (May 18, 1912 – March 11, 1992) was an American screenwriter, film director, novelist and film producer. Nominated for eight Oscars in his career, he was best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Elmer Gantry (1960; for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), In Cold Blood (1967) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Brute Force" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 23 Oct. 2020. <>.

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