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Brubaker [Blu-ray] (1980)

 R |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,830 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

ROBERT REDFORD stars in this potent drama based on the real life story of Tom Murton, the prison superintendent who rocked Arkansas politics when he exposed scandalous abuses and murders in a state prison. Posing as a new prisoner, Brubaker (Redford) discovers vast corruption in a state penitentiary before revealing himself to be the new warden. His personal crusade to bring reform puts him in grave danger, especially when he insists on exposing a series of secret murders that took place years earlier. Powerful and disturbing, Brubaker won acclaim for its gritty realism and OSCARr-Nominated original screenplay.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 133 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real story, like Walking Tall April 15, 2003
By Maharba
Of course, I'm biased. "Brubaker" is a fictionalized account of the real story of Tom Murton, warden of Tucker & Cummins prison, in Arkansas, in 1967-68. Tom Murton was my dad & I lived on both those prisons as a 5th grader, before we were unceremoniously kicked out of Bill Clintons state. Most of the movie's events really happened, including the electric torture--called the Tucker Telephone--the whip, the horrid food, the inmate trustees carrying guns, painting death row, & digging up some of the 200 unmarked graves, most of which remain unmarked on Tucker farm. Fictional events include the female prison board member, the black old inmate dying--his name was Reuben Gaines & he got out of prison. My dad assuredly did NOT infiltrate the prison as an inmate, but the scene w/ the old warden barricading himself in his office w/ a Thompson submachine gun was true. Like Redford's character, my dad was not PC & probably unecessarily antagonized both the corrections board, & the governor. But who could really agree to cover up 200 murdered inmates? Governor Winthrop Rockefeller fired my dad, even as the Arkansas legislature was moving to indict him for grave-robbing. We had 24 hrs to exit Arkansas. My dad went on to be a tenured professor of Criminology at the Univ. of MN, Minneapolis & passed away in 1990. The book about all this is "Accomplices to the Crime" by Tom Murton & Joe Hyams, Grove Press. Long since out of print, but available over the internet from rare booksellers for a reasonable price. My verdict on the movie: considering that it's primary purpose was to make money, it's a lot more factual than it could have been.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average prison movie.... March 16, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Brubaker is based on a true story and tells of the events of one man's attempts to reform a prison system mired in corruption, brutality, and a lack of order to any general degree.
Henry Brubaker, as stated in the movie, gained his past experience in corrections working in military prison systems. Brubaker hatches the ingenious plan to insert himself into the prison population at Wakefield Penitentiary as an inmate to experience first hand all the problems inside the facility. What he uncovers is nothing less than barbaric punishment methods, no structured management of inmates, lack of medical care, and the penitentiary itself in advance stages of disrepair.
Henry Brubaker, after revealing his status as the new warden and assuming his duties, goes on to discover that there are no state hired corrections officers on the staff. Inmate trustees, armed with weapons, are given the responsibility of manning watch towers, supervising work crews, and keeping the peace inside of the prison. Furthermore, prisoners are farmed out to local businessmen in the community for work with no pay which amounts to slave labor.
Upon deeper investigation into all the activities in and around the prison, Brubaker discovers other illegal activities including theft of prison food supplies and equipment, inmates being charged fees for almost non-existent medical care, and the revelation that there are prisoners buried on the prison property that were the victims of murder by fellow inmates.
Brubaker confronts the state prison board with these problems only to find out that the prison board is not only aware of these incidents, they think the system should reamin unchanged because it has always been this way and should remain so.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, even unnerving, but an excellent film November 18, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It is hard to watch Brubaker. The atmosphere in the prison is violent and crude, and the outlook is hopeless. Enter Robert Redford/Henry Brubaker as a man attempting to create an institution that punishes justly and retains humanity, a place of reform rather than one where murder, riot, and mayhem are the norm. Horrible things go on in this prison, and Brubaker combats the institutionalized system in the prison as well as the attitudes of the governing individuals. Redford does his usual great job as an ordinary man caught up in unusual circumstances, trying to make a difference and being prevented from this goal by those who want and benefit from a status quo. Lots of tragedy, lots of failure, this film is the story of an attempt that was defeated, not because the heroic effort was not up to the task or wavered, but because politics and politicians have to win. The film itself opens up a question, also, that may not be answerable -- where is the line drawn between compassion and just punishment when the criminals are incomprehensively violent.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brubaker - A super movie December 10, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I've seen this movie at least 5 times and every time I seem to enjoy it more and more. Robert Redford is superb as warden Brubaker, a new warden sent in undercover to see all the corruption that has been going on at Wakefield Prison. Yaphet Kotto does a great acting job in this as well, and a very young David Keith (An Officer and a Gentleman fame)has a bit part. I certainly recommend this movie. I can't wait until it arrives on the DVD format
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark but incomplete tome on corrections reform October 21, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Robert Redford is Brubaker, an honest expert in corrections sent to clean up a trouble-plagued penitentiary. Sent to Wakefield Brubaker enters undercover, living his first few days as a prisoner. We learn that for its brutality, Wakefield was conceived along the lines of a noble experiment - one that gave the prisoners unusual autonomy, and was intended to actually correct those imprisoned there. Instead, the experiment has carved a super-class of prisoners who rule over the rest of the prisoners as Trustees. Unafraid to use force, they skim off books while stealing supplies already paid for. Brubaker, once revealed as the new warden, slowly but surely turns the system upside down - he can't move too quickly because those prisoners or administrators who are most guilty are also the only ones who can tell him what's wrong. Eventually discarding the old guard, Brubaker soon learns that Wakefield has an even darker secret, one whose discovery threatens the Wakefield's future.
This was a good movie, although it's hard to understand the first time around. The sophisticated system of prisoner autonomy is somewhat hard to believe unless you've already seen the movie before. The setting is interesting - a dessicated prison, complete with an antique electric chair (which emerges from the shadows like the monster from "Alien" - quite yet terrifying). That said, the movie has no surprises (comparisons to "Last Castle" are incorrect). Brubaker is an utterly honest and incorruptible soul. Once we see how he uncovers grafters among the prison administration and trustees, there's little more for him to do. We know that outside businessmen will be corrupt croneys and that even well meaning corrections bureaucrats will try to rein Brubaker in for the good of the system.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars fine acting, a bit predictable but strikingly authentic
All star cast, fine acting, a bit predictable but strikingly authentic! I will definitely watch this one again.
Published 23 hours ago by Richard Bello
5.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone wants to 'clean house' within the prison system.
The prisons are a mess. Money is missing. Food is rationed and prisoners are mistreated, to say the least. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Nina
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless movie
This movie is just as good today as it was when I first saw it many years ago and since it was based on a true story it is part of history. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Rusty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I think this is really a true story
Published 12 days ago by BJW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Movie!
Published 13 days ago by Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 16 days ago by Perry Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie and it did keep your interest
Good movie and it did keep your interest! The prison was unbelievable and it was good to see the good changes He did make!
Published 21 days ago by L. Schaefer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brubaker DVD
i really liked this old movie when i 1st saw it on tv. i knew i had to have my own copy!
Published 27 days ago by M. Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars Ford 55
Great Film That Seems Better With The Upgrade To High-Defination. Extremely Well Acted With Some Powerful But Sadly True Incidents That Occur At Our Prisons Throughout Our Country... Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars The man is the best. I have been a fan of his since ...
The man is the best. I have been a fan of his since he started in movies. This movie is very down to earth and made me feel very sad. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Janie Landrum
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