The Hollywood prison movie has been a staple since the earliest days of the cinema. Birdman of Alcatraz, The Shawshank Redemption, Cool Hand Luke, The Green Mile, Riot in Cell Block 11, Papillon and The Last Mile are the top films.
Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 German poster image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
Prison movies, one might say, play to a captive audience. Many of them can be brutally entertaining, effectively capturing the harsh realities of prison life as viewed by both inmates and guards.
Here are ten outstanding prison movies that no fan of the genre should ever miss. Watch these films or risk a life sentence on Hollywood’s own Alcatraz, reserved exclusively for recalcitrant motion picture buffs with absolutely no hope for parole:
Ten Best Prison Movies