Riot

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Released 1969

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Movie Summary

Director:
Buzz Kulik
Released:
1969
Rating:
R
Riot is a 1969 film based on Frank Elli's novel of the same name. Taking advantage of the prison warden's absence, and listening to leader Red (Gene Hackman), a large group of violent inmates start a riot in the solitary confinement area of an Arizona prison in an attempt to stage a large-scale escape through distraction and disarray. "A protest, a riot, I don't care what you call it," says Red in one of the film's most noted lines. As madness ensues, one inmate, Cully Briston (James Brown), who chooses not to take part in the disruption, and typically keeps to himself, finds himself in a situation where he chooses to risk his life in order to save that of a guard. Political and social commentary on the time period is clear throughout the film, which blurs the line between social conflict and barbarianism, and plays at the concerns of society at the time of revolution, and ethnic suspicion.

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Classics