Riot in Cell Block 11

Synopsis: Producer Walter Wanger, who had just been released from a prison term after shooting a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, wanted to make a film about the appalling conditions he saw while he was incarcerated. He got together with director Don Siegel and they came up with this film, in which several prison inmates, to protest brutal guards, substandard food, overcrowding and barely livable conditions, stage an uprising, in which most of the inmates join, and take several guards hostage. Negotiations between the inmates and prison officials are stymied, however, by politicians interfering with the prison administration, and by dissension and infighting in the inmates' own ranks.
Director(s): Don Siegel
Production: Allied Artists
  Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
80 min

A wave of riots

has swept US prisons.

Within 20 months,

riots have occurred in 35 states.

It began in New Jersey and moved

quickly to Jackson, Michigan.

Here at Michigan penitentiary for

five days the world's largest

walled prison is torn to pieces

by a maddened convicts

who destroy everything

they can put their hands on.

Damage is estimated at $2.5 million.

Then, in Pennsylvania, inmates

seize five guards as hostages

in western state penitentiary.

Damage runs high

as we can see in this in view inside

one of the wrecked cell blocks.

At almost the same time,

231 convicts carry out

a similar rebellion in

New Jersey at the state prison farm.

Here, bed sheets

scrawled with slogans

are hung from broken windows.

The convicts hold out for 4 days

before submitting to authority.

In Chester, Illinois

state police are called.

Ten guards are held as hostages,

three by prisoners in

the psychiatric division.

Here the inmates insist on

speaking only to the Governor

about their grievances.

These riots, costing millions

and millions of tax payer dollars,

have aroused great public interest.

Mr McGee, what in your opinion

is the reason these riots occurred?

I'd like to paraphrase the report

of the American Prison Association

on riots and their causes.

The recent widespread

occurrence of prison riots

is almost always the direct result

of the short-sighted neglect

of our penal institutions, amounting

to almost criminal negligence.

Who's responsible

for this negligence?

Public leaders such as Governors,

legislators and others who must share

the responsibility for prisons as well

as for other branches of government.

And that neglect

includes the public?

Yes, indeed. In the final

analysis, especially the public.

One final question, do you look

to further riots in the future?

I abhor riot and disorder

but until something is done it to

correct the situation we'll not

see the end of prison troubles.

Thank you, Mr McGee.

All over America,

prison officials wonder

where will the next riot occur?

Mac, you ever been

in the punishment block?


Keep your nose clean

or we'll leave you in there.

How is it doing after

a couple of weeks?

I like it. I still can't help

but feeling sorry for these guys.

You'll get over it.

OK with the crosses.

What's so different

about these guys?

X marks the wild animal.

Must be Thursday.

Are you going to feed or ain't ya?

You know what

you can do with that garbage.

- Take it!

This is Auto Tower,

folks, bringing

you the greatest value

in used cars.

We're actually

giving these cars away.

If I'd a-knew that,

I wouldn't be here!

I want you to rush right

down here to 27-30 Main Street.

Get that? 27-30 Main Street.

Right away.

I'm a-comin', boss!

"Don't wait. The right car

for the right price for you."


I've got to find out about my kid.

- Put it in writing to the Warden.

Colonel? Colonel?

Yeah, Frank?

You're up for

parole consideration, aren't you?

That's right.

Do me a favour, when you get out,

find out if my little girl

is still sick.

I'm not out yet.

I got to find out.

I ain't heard in almost two months.

Your wife will write you.

She wont write.

It's the reason I'm in here.

I thought I told you

to take that bush off.

Yes, sir.

Er... 63.


Barrett speaking.

Block 11. 238.

Hold it a minute.

Go ahead.

'Block 11, 238.'

11, 238. OK, you're in.

Barrett, go ahead.

'Block 4, 637.'

4 block, 637. OK, you're in.

Go ahead, 5.

'Block 5, 433.'

5, 433. OK, you're in.

Oh Lord, God of my salvation, I've

cried day and night before thee,

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Richard Collins

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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