Brubaker (1980) - IMDb
The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

W.D. Richter (screenplay), W.D. Richter (story) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Henry Brubaker
Yaphet Kotto ... Richard 'Dickie' Coombes
Jane Alexander ... Lillian Gray
Murray Hamilton ... John Deach
David Keith ... Larry Lee Bullen
Morgan Freeman ... Walter
Matt Clark ... Roy Purcell
Tim McIntire ... Huey Rauch
Richard Ward ... Abraham Cook
Jon Van Ness ... Zaranska
M. Emmet Walsh ... C.P. 'Woody' Woodward
Albert Salmi ... Rory Poke
Linda Haynes ... Carol
Everett McGill ... Eddie Caldwell
Val Avery ... Wendel
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Storyline

When the new warden comes in disguised as an inmate, he sees firsthand all the corruption and scams the guards and prison officials are running. When he reveals himself and starts to implement reforms to stop the corruption, the local business community, who had been benefiting from the scams, fights back, and the corrupt prison system starts making political trouble for the new warden. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most wanted man in Wakefield prison is the warden! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life prison, used to play the fictitious Wakefield State Penitentiary, was the Junction City Prison Farm in Junction City, Ohio, which was about fifty miles outside of Columbus. The prison was built in 1904, and had been decommissioned two years prior to filming, and had had its own history of riot and rebellion. The film's Wakefield Penitentiary, is based on both the Tucker and Cummins State Prison Farms, in Arkansas. See more »

Goofs

The movie supposedly takes place in Arkansas (although this is never explicitly stated, it is clearly indicated to be in the South, and likely near Texas and Louisiana). However, on the vehicles you can clearly see the OHIO license plates displayed. The movie was filmed about 3 miles west of Junction City, Ohio. See more »

Quotes

Zaranska: Let's just take a little bit off around the ears.
[hands barber $2]
Barber: Costs five to get you no haircut now, Zaranska. Two only gets you a crew-cut.
Zaranska: Fuck, I could use this on a bed.
Barber: It'll all come off then. Maybe an ear with it.
Barber: [later] What's it be, my man?
Henry Brubaker: [hands barber $5] Leave the ears.
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Crazy Credits

"We wish to pay tribute to Richard Ward, who played 'Abraham,' for a lifetime of very special work." See more »

Connections

Referenced in 9-1-1: Buck, Actually (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Respect
(uncredited)
Written by Otis Redding
Performed by Morgan Freeman when he attacks another inmate
See more »

User Reviews

 
Corruption and Murder told with cathartic style.
4 March 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

It's odd that whenever talk of Prison base films crops up you rarely see Brubaker mentioned as a viable piece of work, which to me personally is a damn shame because it's origin source provides a worthy story to be involved in.

Based on the writings of Tom Murton, a Prison Farm Reform Warden in Arkansas in the late 60s, the corruption and murder the film deals with is a very frightening reality, and although this film is obviously fictionalised to a degree, the evidence of the main themes can be found from many sources.

Robert Redford plays the title character who chooses to go into the prison farm as a convict to see at first hand how the Farm is run, what he sees shocks him to the core, which in turn rightly shocks the viewer as well. After learning all he needs to, he comes forward to take control of the Farm and tries to put an end to the torture, corruption and dank depression that is rife at the Farm. He has to deal with many obstacles along the way, and it's the strength of the man that has the viewer firmly onside all through the film.

The acting is emotionally spot on, the title role calls for a cool persona to not get flustered when faced with mounting resistance, and Redford delivers in spades. The main supporting cast of Yaphet Kotto, David Keith, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Alexander do very good work (believable), whilst the direction from Stuart Rosenberg ("Cool Hand Luke") is paced to perfection. The story is grimy and gnaws away at you, and then we get the ending that frustrates as much as it lifts the spirit, this is in my opinion a criminally undervalued piece of work. 8/10


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadow Walk See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbus, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,748,079, 22 June 1980

Gross USA:

$37,121,708

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,121,708
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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