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Riot in Cell Block 11
Directed by Don Siegel • 1954 • United States
Starring Neville Brand, Emile Meyer, Frank Faylen
Early in his career, Don Siegel made his mark with this sensational and high-octane but economically constructed drama set in a maximum-security penitentiary. RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11, the brainchild of producer extraordinaire Walter Wanger, is a ripped-from-the-headlines social-problem picture about inmates’ rights that was inspired by a recent spate of uprisings in American prisons. In Siegel’s hands, the film, shot on location at Folsom State Prison, with real inmates and guards as extras, is at once brash and humane, showcasing the hard-boiled visual flair and bold storytelling for which the director would become known.