Brubaker (1980)

A minor Robert Redford vehicle, casting him as a reform minded prison governor butting heads with corrupt politicos and winning the admiration of his hard bitten charges. It opens with a disorientingly clever sequence as Redford secretly checks out the prison he's been given command of by going through the induction process along with the latest intake of convicts, but then dissipates into a traditional wet liberal drama as Mr Handsome takes on the sweaty baddies and comes out on top. Notable for its parade of character players, some of whom have achieved prominence or died since its release in 1980: M. Emmett Walsh, Wilford Brimley, Morgan Freeman, Murray Hamilton, Albert Salmi, Tim McIntire.
KIM NEWMAN

First Published In: Empire (issue unknown)


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