Brute Force 1947
Jules Dassin's Brute Force (1947) is unrelenting drama that doesn't believe in justice or redemption for its characters, who seem to exist in a horrible purgatory. The 'system' criticized in this protest film is a state prison, but the script by Richard Brooks takes the attitude that it's really a microcosm of existence itself: Life is Hell, and "nobody really escapes".

At Westgate Penitentiary, the inmates live a harsh existence made even harsher by Captain Munsey, the sadistic head of the guard staff who runs the prison under the cowardly warden. In cell R17 reside a group of men, led by Joe Collins, who all committed crimes motivated by love and share a brotherly bond. When Munsey drives one of them to commit suicide, they decide it is time to follow through with their often talked about escape plans...

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:40:49 | 37.5 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Director: Jules Dassin
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Yvonne De Carlo
Country: USA
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller


Commentary - this archival commentary was recorded by James Ursini and Alain Silver, coauthors of The Film Noir Reader and The Noir Style. It was recorded in 2007 and initially appeared on Criterion's DVD release of Brute Force.

Paul Mason - in this archival program, Paul Mason, a criminologist at Cardiff University, discusses the evolution of the 'prison film', the humanization of the main characters in Brute Force, the role of violence in the film, Jules Dassin's idealistic view of prison's function, etc. The program was produced in 2006. In English, not subtitled. (16 min, 1080i).

The Actor's Tool Kit - in his archival episode of the Criterion Channel's Observations of Film Art, professor David Bordwell discusses the various acting methods seen in Brute Force. In English, not subtitled. (14 min, 1080p).

Stills Gallery - a collection of stills from the film, production stills, and lobby cards. (4 min, 1080p).

Trailer - original trailer for Brute Force. In English, not subtitled. (3 min, 1080p).