Qty:1
& FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
In stock on July 27, 2016.
Order it now.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Brute Force (The Criterio... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
Condition: Used: Good
Trade in your item
Get up to a $8.36
Gift Card.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Add to Cart
$27.99
& FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Details
Sold by: newbury_comics
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Brute Force (The Criterion Collection)

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
(Apr 17, 2007)
"Please retry"
Criterion Collection
1
$28.04
$25.98 $13.91
Watch Instantly with Rent Buy

Geek Boutique 2016 Geek Boutique HQP

$28.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details In stock on July 27, 2016. Order it now. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Brute Force (The Criterion Collection)
  • +
  • Thieves' Highway (The Criterion Collection)
  • +
  • Naked City - Criterion Collection
Total price: $84.77
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A convict and his cellmates are driven to escape by hatred for the fascist warden. Directed by Jules Dassin.

Amazon.com

Jules Dassin's brooding, brutal drama about a prison wound to the breaking point by a sadistic captain of the guards is a classic film noir as well as one of the greatest prison films ever made. Burt Lancaster (in only his third film but already commanding the screen like a pro) is the savvy prison veteran whose clashes with Hume Cronyn (the ambitious guard with a god complex) land him first in solitary then in the claustrophobic drain pipe, a muddy, airless work detail that slowly kills every man assigned to it. With the help of his cellmate buddies and former gangland boss Charles Bickford he hatches a plan to break out, but Cronyn has his own plans for the unbreakable prisoner. Dassin's oppressive prison is thick with atmosphere: cavernous buildings and halls that echo with the footsteps of inmates and the clanking of bars, overcrowded cells that seem to close in on the men, a busy machine shop where the film's most memorable scene takes place--the ruthless assassination of a stoolie in a pounding metal press. Cinematographer William Daniels, a master of Hollywood's soft-focus glamour, creates a harsh, hard-edged look for the film, softened only by looming shadows. A sense of doom hovers over everything, culminating in an explosive finale, but the barbaric, brutish violence hangs in the air long after the film is over. --Sean Axmaker

On the DVD
Criterion's beautiful restored print of Brute Force is accompanied by a small collection of supporting materials, including a commentary track by longtime film noir experts Alain Silver and James Ursini. They give a good brief on the film's history, such as the disagreements between producer Mark Hellinger and director Jules Dassin on the subject of the movie's use of flashbacks--an approach that would break the claustrophobia of the prison sequences and introduce female characters. Hellinger wanted the backstory, Dassin objected, and the producer won; but the point is definitely arguable. Prison-movie specialist Paul Mason gives a useful 15-minute talk, partly on Brute Force and partly on the genre of prison movies. Criterion's booklet has an excellent essay by critic Michael Atkinson, a vintage 1947 profile of the colorful columnist-turned-producer Hellinger, and an intriguing, bitter exchange of letters between Hellinger and Production Code chief Joseph Breen on the subject of the film's censorship problems. --Robert Horton


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth
  • Directors: Jules Dassin
  • Writers: Richard Brooks, Robert Patterson
  • Producers: Jules Buck, Mark Hellinger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MTEFOQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brute Force (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 29, 2005
Format: DVD
"Brute Force" is one of the most violent film noirs of the classic era, as well as one of the most pessimistic -and this is after some violence was removed to comply with the Production Code. The story takes place within the confines of Westgate Penitentiary, an overcrowded prison whose deficient living conditions and sadistic guards make the inmates' lives nearly unbearable. Prison life is no less than a war between the inmates and guard Captain Munsey (Hume Cronyn), who routinely uses blackmail and torture to control the prisoners. When the warden revokes all the inmates' privileges in response to the deaths of two men, inmate Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster) hatches a violent and risky escape plan with his cellmates and a senior, well-respected prisoner named Gallagher (Charles Bickford).

Director Jules Dessin doesn't let a glimmer of hope into this film. The violence is brutal and wholly without sentiment or regret. The utter hopelessness of the situation in the prison is overwhelming. Brute force is the only means in Westgate Penitentiary. The standout performance is by Hume Cronyn as the Nazi-inspired Captain Munsey, an unabashed sadist who uses social Darwinism to rationalize absolute dominance of the prisoners, who are, after all, behind bars, not free to challenge him. The prison doctor, a disgraced surgeon named Walters (Art Smith), numbs himself with alcohol and articulates the film's themes. "Do you know what this prison is?" he says. "One big human bomb!"

The film is a little too long, and the flashback scenes of wives and girlfriends are superfluous. This is perhaps the most blatantly existential film noir. It takes the position of Sartrean philosophy, articulated by Dr. Walters, which is juxtaposed with Nietzschean philosophy, articulated by Capt. Munsey.
Read more ›
Comment 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD
The Criterion Collection presents "BRUTE FORCE" (30 June 1947) (98 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Burt Lancaster had one of his first starring roles in this hard-hitting prison drama --- Capt. Munsey (Hume Cronyn) is a cruel, corrupt prison guard who has his own less-than-ethical ways of dealing with inmates, enough so that Joe Collins (Lancaster) - the toughest inmate in the cell block - has decided to break out --- Collins tries to persuade Gallagher (Charles Bickford), the unofficial leader of the inmates and editor of the prison newspaper, to join him, but Gallagher thinks Collins' plan won't work --- However, Collins does have the support of his cellmates, most of whom, like himself, wandered into a life of crime thanks to love and good intentions --- Collins pulled a bank job to raise money to pay for an operation that could possibly get his girl out of a wheelchair --- Fabulous score by composer Miklós Rózsa.

Top flight power performance from Burt --- and the rest is history!

Under the production staff of:
Jules Dassin [Director]
Richard Brooks [Screenwriter]
Robert Patterson [Story]
Jules Buck [Associate Producer].
Mark Hellinger [Producer]
Miklós Rózsa [Original Film Score]
William H. Daniels [Cinematographer]
Edward Curtiss [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Jules Dassin [Director]
Date of Birth: 18 December 1911 - Middletown, Connecticut
Date of Death: 31 March 2008 - Athens, Greece

2. Burt Lancaster (aka: Burton Stephen Lancaster)
Date of Birth: 2 November 1913 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 20 October 1994 - Century City, California

3.
Read more ›
1 Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
All of the Criterion Collection renditions of movies have been scrupulously polished and restored. This one is no different and provides some wonderful characterizations: Lancaster as the single-minded loner whose flaw comes from trusting others; Cronyn portraying the ambitious and equally ruthless guard aspiring to "greater things" built over the bodies of inmates. and a fine group of supporting actors in Bickford, Levene, Corey, and Duff. Look closely and you'll also find Ray Teal (later the long-time sheriff on "Bonanza"),Charles McGraw (another noir staple and the gladiator trainer in "Spartacus"), and Glenn Strange (best remembered as "Sam" the bartender in "Gunsmoke"). There's even a little "Whit" included in the early scenes. Dark, but entertaining with crisp acting and a sense of tension throughout. A fine example of film noir from the late '40s.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"BRUTE FORCE", ever since I first saw it on TV forty years ago,has been one of my favorite films.Directed with great vigor by Julues Dassin,it tells the story of "the men on the inside",and "the women on the outside.Burt Lancaster,Jeff Corey,Howard Duff,and John Hoyt,are some of the men "on the inside",Ann Blyth,Ella Raines,Anita Colby,and Yvonne DeCarlo are the woman on" the outside".Hume Cronyn gives a masterfull performance as the sadistic,fascist Caption of the guards.All the male characters, which also includes Charles Bickford,Sam Levine,and Roman Bohnen (as Warden Barnes) are oustanding,the women less so.This is not an easy DVD to get,so I wish someone maybe Universal,the original releasing company,would come out with a full-length commetary,with a special emphasis ,on the political repercussions that were felt by many members of the cast and crew of this and other left-leaning films.The films message is definitily anti-capitalist.The film rates 5 Stars,the DVD,with no special features rates a 3 and half Star rating.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews




What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customers Also Watched on Amazon Video