Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prison movie night

I should have blogged in the morning instead of the afternoon about tonight's upcoming night of prison-themed movies, although I note that I've already blogged about Caged (airing at 10:30 PM), followed by Brute Force at 12:15 AM.

As I think about it, I'm a bit surprised at just how many prison movies I can think of off the top of my head -- and how many pretty good ones at that. I've recommended The Big House before, as well as 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, although neither of them are on tonight's schedule. Later in the 1930s we got James Cagney in prison in Each Dawn I Die, followed ten years later by White Heat, although that's less a prison movie than one that has some scenes set in prison.

As for the women in prison, a la Caged, there was Ladies They Talk About back in the early 1930s, which is fun in its own way, being a pre-Code.

And then there's prison and comedy. Most of the prison comedy is smaller scenes within a comedy, such as the scene where everybody gets sent to jail for disorderly conduct in You Can't Take it With You. Alternatively, there's the townsfolk getting cornered in the local jail by a big cat in Bringing Up Baby. One of the few movies I can think of which pretty much tries to be a comedy, and is mostly set in prison, is an RKO B picture called Millionaires in Prison, starring Lee Tracy. To be honest, it's not a particularly good movie.

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