Flicks: Escape from Alcatraz

April 15th, 2007
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I think I’m just not impressed with the prison movie genre. I enjoyed The Great Escape, but Escape from Alcatraz was all by the numbers as far as I could tell. In the first 30 minutes he meets the whole collection of prison misfits: The bully who wants to make Eastwood his bitch, the guy who keeps a strange pet, the wise old black guy, who doubles as the unjustly imprisoned, of course there’s the evil warden, and the guy who loses his mind. It’s all there. It was interesting seeing Eastwood, I haven’t seen much of his old movies. He seethes and squints. He’s a lot cleaner than in the westerns I’ve seen him in.
Maybe seeing the Shawshank Redemption first spoiled me. It probably stole more than a bit from Escape from Alcatraz. The digging in the cell, the character types, and the triumph over the warden’s tyranny all show up in both.
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