Known as Hellcatraz by its prisoners, the maximum security island prison saw eight escape attempts while in operation. By far, the most dramatic breakout was the daring 1946 attempt. Filmed on location at "The Rock," the film's ensemble cast also includes Howard Hesseman (About Schmidt) and Jan Michael Vincent (Buffalo '66).
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It's true that there are a number of portions of this movie that simply didn't occur; Coy & Hubbard sleeping in kitchen, reliance of Shockley for divergence, Cretzer's death, etc. Despite the preceding, Alcatraz fans should be so grateful for the existence of this movie (along with the other made for TV movie Alcatraz: the Whole Shocking Story and the classic Escape from Alcatraz) as all three of these movies belong together in the same collection.
This movie tells an amazing story of how one man, the only convict in Alcatraz history, conceived of a plan to capture guns in the cellblock. Would I have filmed this movie differently? Yes! A film which very closely stuck to the script as outlined by Earnest Lageson's definitive history of this event (Battle at Alcatraz) would have been perfect. So whilst this movie fails to do this, we should still be very excited about its existence. For this reason it's a must see for us Alcatraz fans.
I freely admit I know nothing about the history of the Rock. I was simply looking for an interesting David Carradine movie to watch...This certainly fit that bill! I admire how this bunch of actors, headed by Carradine, dared and succeeded in showing something rarely seen--let alone with believability--that convicts are still Human Beings.
Longing for home, mercy, dedication, patience, friendship, suffering, and desperation are all showcased here. Without negating the gravity of these men's crimes, they cause you to see them as the 'likable underdogs' (half the outfit for me).
The story itself centers around six individuals, but mainly Kentucky bank robber Bernard "Bernie" Coy - David Carradine trying his best to drag above a painfully wooden script loaded with the worst of B action movie cliche lines. Coy spent years working on the weaknesses of Alcatraz, arguably the most infamous prison in history - only to find out that the only area not heavily enforced was the main guards' cage, complete with cellblock keys and armaments! He creates an elaborate escape attempt relying on the help of Marvin Hubbard (David Morse in the film's best performance), Joe Cretzer (Howard Hesseman in by far and away the worst), "Buddy" Thompson (Jan-Michael Vincent), Sam Shockley (Charles Haid), and the only survivor of the whole thing - "Dan Durando" (really Clarence Carnes, his name was kept quiet originally, being a witness and all) and in May of 1946 they went to work.
The crux of the film arrives when the plot goes horribly awry due to a misplaced key and jammed lock. As things get more desperate the cons turn on each other, with the exception of Coy and Hubbard, who were friends to start with. Cellhouse guards are injured and killed, prompting the arrival of the Marines, among others.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Based on true event, it is full good actors which make this a great movie to watch. One of my favorite prison flixs.Published 22 months ago by JP
I just love Alcatraz movies and shows....this one hit it out of the park! A true delight of a movie.Published 23 months ago by Matthew Becker
I purchased this for my boyfriend as he had been looking for this and never could find it. He enjoyed it very much.Published 24 months ago by Lulu
I did not know this movie existed, until recently visiting Alcatraz, so when I saw it on amazon I had to see it. Not a bad movie.Published on August 9, 2013 by Stephanie
What a piece of crap movie! Low budget, cheesy acting, looks like a film student filmed and wrote it. Prison inmates try to break out of prison and just all get killed at the end. Read morePublished on March 5, 2010 by Nicole A
Lived up to expectations, having read a couple of accounts of the eacape attempt by different authors. Read morePublished on July 3, 2007 by D. Snedden