Murder in the First

Synopsis: Henri Young stole five dollars from a post office and ended up going to prison - to the most famous, or infamous, prison of them all: Alcatraz. He tried to escape, failed, and spent three years and two months in solitary confinement - in a dungeon, with no light, no heat and no toilet. Milton Glenn, the assistant warden, who was given free reign by his duty-shirking superior, was responsible for Young's treatment. Glenn even took a straight razor and hobbled Young for life. After three years and two months, Young was taken out of solitary confinement and put with the rest of the prisoners. Almost immediately, Young took a spoon and stabbed a fellow prisoner in the neck, killing him. Now, Young is on trial for murder, and if he's convicted he'll go to the gas chamber. An eager and idealistic young attorney, James Stamphill, is given this impossible case, and argues before a shocked courtroom that Young had a co-conspirator. The true murderer, he says, was Alcatraz.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Marc Rocco
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  2 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
122 min

They're coming. Run!

- No. Come on, this way.

I think I see them, Mr. Glenn.

To the water.

They're heading for the beach.

Down by the beach.

Look out. Run.

No. Doc, no!

Don't stop moving.

They're down there, Mr. Glenn.

- There they go.


Lay down.

Hurry up.

Lay down or I'll shoot you, goddamn it.

Hurry up.

Lay down!

That's right, shoot them!

I give up, Mr. Glenn. Please.

- Shut up, Henri.

- Please, don't hit me. Please.

Clean him up. Take him to the hole.

And call the press.

Dateline, San Francisco.

Alcatraz was the scene last night

of a dramatic escape attempt.

Four desperate prisoners

were apprehended...

...on the rocky beach below the prison.

The recently completed

Golden Gate Bridge serves as a backdrop.

So near, yet so far from freedom,

the surviving escapees...

...Henri Young and Rufus McCain,

are escorted back to lockup...

...while their less-fortunate cohorts

are destined for the morgue.

The body of Doc Barker,

son of the infamous Ma Barker...

...lies bullet-riddled,

cooling on a steel gurney...

...attended by a triumphant guard.

The squad of jubilant correctional officers

who foiled the escape...

...congratulate each other

and reluctantly show their battle scars.

A proud Warden Humson,

supervisor of three penitentiaries...

...Folsom, San Quentin and Alcatraz,

and confidant of J. Edgar Hoover...

...congratulates his troops.

Uphold the honor of Alcatraz.

Humson returns to his duties... the inmates are sent

through metal detectors...

...cells are searched,

extra guards are called up...

...and Alcatraz goes on full alert

to forestall any additional trouble.

As public interest reached a frenzy...

...Warden Humson

and Associate Warden Glenn...

...left the island in the bay

for a press conference...

...headed for the San Francisco City Hall...

...which was inundated

with a veritable plethora of reporters...

...from around the globe,

all gathered to hear the official reaction.

Associate Warden Milton Glenn

introduces Warden John Humson.

Uh, Warden Humson will now make

a brief statement...

...and if you please,

no questions at the end.

Thank you.

I just want to reassure...

...the American people that...

...Alcatraz is an escape-proof prison.

They have nothing to fear.

The inmates, McCain and Young...

...will be brought up on escape charges.

There will be time in solitary confinement.

Uh, privileges will be taken away from them.

And the whole rehabilitation process

will begin.

Definition of rehabilitate:

"To restore to a state of physical,

mental and moral health...

...through treatment and training."


Hello, hello, hello.

Eleven times eleven...


Twelve times twelve...


Thirteen times thirteen...



When Henri Young

began his rehabilitation...

...I was in my first year of law school

at Harvard.

How long?

Alcatraz was opened... a federal penitentiary

in the spring of 1934.

In the era of the gangster,

it was opened more for the publicity value...

...than the incarceration level.

Alcatraz was the most feared prison

in the world...

...and the most expensive.

There were only so many Al Capones

and Machine Gun Kellys... the prison had empty cells.

In order to justify the costs...

...the government took incorrigibles

from other prisons... that had committed smaller,

more petty crimes... like Henri Young.

Hallowing be thy name.

Our Father who art in heaven...

...hallowing be thy name.

Our Father...

Prior to 1938...

...there had been five escape attempts.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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