The Best Prison-Set Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we go behind bars for a look at great films that take place in jails, prisons, and other places of involuntary incarceration.)

Most of us will never spend time behind bars, incarcerated for a crime we did or didn’t commit, and that lack of first-hand experience might be part of what makes movies about prison life so popular. They come in all forms and genres from Stephen King-penned (The Shawshank Redemption, 1994) to horror (Prison, 1987) to comedy (The Longest Yard, 1974) to exploitation (The Big Bird Cage, 1972) to action (Boyka: Undisputed, 2016) to the effortlessly engaging and entertaining (Cool Hand Luke, 1967), but not all of them get the attention they deserve.

So consider this a down and dirty primer on some less popular prison movies that are all well worth your time despite their absence from the general conversation.

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One time I inadvertently stole a Milky Way bar. I was at the Drug Fair and I wanted the candy but my mother said no. I got sad and started following her around and she said maybe. So I continued following her around and then next thing you know we were in the car and I had the candy bar but she hadn’t paid for it. Then she yelled at me and told me I could go to jail for that and I started to cry. After that – which happened to coincide with my 25th birthday – I never stole again.

If I was caught, however, I would know what to do, as I’ve seen plenty of movies about prisons. Here are eight that I think are somewhat obscure and deserve your attention. So grab your shiv and let’s go. Read More »