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Customer Review

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average prison movie...., March 16, 2003
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This review is from: Brubaker (DVD)
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. You can sense their unhappiness with Brubaker as the new warden who wants to come in and upset their system rather than tow the line.
Henry Brubaker is portrayed as a man of honesty, integrity, and professionalism and in defying the prison board's message to leave well enough alone, he launches his own campaign to reform the prison and correct the wrongs he has inherited as the new warden. Unfortunately, with the power of the prison board and the governor of the state against him, he is eventually removed as the warden and fired.
In the final outcome, many inmates saw the necessity of the changes attempted by Brubaker and were dismayed at seeing him removed and the new warden not making proper progress to reform the prison. This prompted many inmates to file lawsuits against the state for inhumane prison conditions resulting in the governor not being re-elected the following year.
This movie is a fine drama with a very good plot, great acting, and poignant conclusion. I highly recommend this movie to everyone.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 28, 2015 2:02:49 PM PDT
liz scully says:
your father was one of my idols and I followed his career before and after he got fired. one of the worst injustices against many in this country was disallowing him to continue. talk about system reform. Hawaii did adopt many of his practices. And, I wonder after he got fired and farmed again...was he happy? I read the book awhile ago and I will again. I volunteered in a quaker program..ALternatives to Violence because of him. ten years..3 long weekends...each year. No one really gets what a travesty this system still is..and it is going to get worse. I wonder, did your dad talk about what he accomplished to his family? thanks for your comment and the reminder about that book.
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

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