The Last Castle
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Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Delroy Lindo. A decorated war-hero general, who was court-martialed and sent to a military prison, leads a revolt against a sadistic warden abusing his powers and dispensing cruel injustice. 2001/color/133 min/R/widescreen.
- Deleted scenes
- HBO's First Look: "The Making of The Last Castle"
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Without any preconceptions surrounding military movies, prison movies, rebellion/mutiny movies, this plot will keep you on edge right up until the last minute of the movie.Redfords Character wants nothing more than to "do his duty" (serve his time) and go home. As protagonist, he plays three star general Irwin, decorated for service during the Gulf and Bosnian campaigns, a former POW from Hanoi, a lifetime well decorated, well respected "hero", who's plead guilty during a court martial hearing thus being immediately sentenced to serve his time at the "Castle".
None of the prisoners maintain rank or status once inside, albeit the fame, teachings and heroism surrounding General Irwin will be difficult to readily dismiss. Jealousy, envy, and overall sentimental sadism sum up the Gandolfini role of Col. Winters, (Warden if Civ) the commander of the castle. Another superb performance which Gandolfini aces.
Delroy Lindo serves to counterpoint the Winters Character in his support of Redfords General Irwin. (there are some Brubaker similarities upon reflection). The third act will surprise you for the inventive actions, use of props,
character development. Without spoilers..I'll share that I've rewatched this flick a couple of times again after the initial viewing some years back. Im adding that "prison flicks", "military flicks" just arent my cup of tea; making this a stand above the rest enthralling production.
Although Redford had garnered such fame and familiarity as an actor and director by this making, I found it perfectly easy and natural to see him dissolve into the General Irwin role. Same for the rest of the ensemble.
I dont know if the film registered award nominations for best ensemble in 2001 or not, It should have.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
NOTE: THE PRISON I WORKED IN HAS SINCE BEEN CLOSED. AND, THOUGH IT WAS BUILT IN THE LATE 1980'S, IT HAS REMAINED CLOSED.
It also shows that even if you believe at the time you are doing the right thing, you are justified in your actions, it isn't necessarily the case. The warden believed all those times he read the inmates files and felt justified in his cruelty, yet I believe he realized in the end that it only takes one moment in time for your morals to come crashing down and you become no different than those you had authority over.
Robert Redford is at his best in this movie and the supporting cast were all amazing.
I looked up the name on line and saw where I could order it. For 11 years now, every week I work and do Ministry work in a Maximum Security Prison - Federal, - not far from where I live. This movie interested me a great deal because I encounter and communicate with as many as 32 inmates in one sitting per evening at the prison.
I will pass this movie on to my son who manages a "Halfway House" for released inmates. This will be of interest to him also.
The price of this movie was also manageable.
Thanks a great deal
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