Time in Prison

Or, "Life in The Big House". The prison film has proved to be a popular subject for cinema and many superb titles are represented in this canon of work. Here the human spirit is often shown to thrive in what are generally hostile and oppressive settings. There are the tales of the 'wrongly accused man' protesting his innocence, the 'race against time' thrillers to save the condemned from execution, and the 'prison as hell' where your worst nightmares have come true. There are also the comedies where the familiar prison 'cliches' are parodied, and the science-fiction variants that show the possible shape of things to come... Now, go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Pictured: Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption".

American Me (1992)

Director: Edward James Olmos
Starring: Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Pepe Serna

A brilliant directorial debut by Edward James Olmos in depicting thirty years in the life of an East Los Angeles Latino family. Olmos stars as the piv... Read more

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, George Bancroft

A classic Warner Bros 'urban crime drama' of two kids from the wrong side of the tracks - Hell's Kitchen in New York; one becomes a priest (Pat O'Brie... Read more

Animal Factory (2000)

Director: Steve Buscemi
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Steve Buscemi, John Heard, Mickey Rourke, Tom Arno...

Steve Buscemi directed and co-stars in this gritty prison drama filmed at Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary. Edward Furlong, a middle class yo... Read more

Before Night Falls (2000)

Director: Julian Schnabel
Starring: Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, Michael Wincott, Olivier Martinez, Sean Penn, Andrea...

"Basquiat" director Julian Schnabel brings to the screen another doomed creative genius on the fringes of his society - gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas... Read more

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Neville Brand

Burt Lancaster beautifully assumes the real-life role of Robert Stroud, a world-hating convict sentenced to life in prison who becomes an authority on... Read more

Blind Flight (2003)

Director: John Furse
Starring: Ian Hart, Linus Roache

The true account of the kidnapping of Brian Keenan and his subsequent captivity with John McCarthy in Lebanon in 1986. The men spent four and a half y... Read more

Boxing Day (2007)

Director: Kriv Stenders
Starring: Richard Green, Tammy Anderson, Syd Brisbane, Stuart Clark

Living alone on home detention, recovering alcoholic, Chris, is preparing Christmas lunch for his family when an old friend turns up at his doorstep a... Read more

Boy A (2007)

Director: John Crowley
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Peter Mullan, Siobhan Finneran, Skye Bennett, Alfie Owen

A hauntingly ruminative tale of redemption and the pain of starting over, based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell. Jack is a young ex-con desperate to... Read more

Bronson (2008)

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Tom Hardy, Matt King

In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a h... Read more

Brute Force (1947)

Director: Jules Dassin
Starring: Ann Blyth, Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, Hume Cronyn, Yvonne De Carlo, Ella...

As hard-hitting as its title, "Brute Force" was the first of Jules Dassin's forays into the crime genre, a prison melodrama that takes a critical look... Read more