It’s once again time to take part in that brain child from the folks over at Movie Mobsters and the Fandango Groovers Movie Blog. Wherein we look at films that standout in or have an influence on a particular genre of film. This time out, we’re taking a look at PRISON FILMS.  Here’s my selection:

I said put your mouth on the curb!

For those of you who haven’t seen this film, IMDB sums it up quite nicely: A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

As far as prison films go, this one is top notch. It chronicles what one has to do to survive in the joint, the two faced nature of the convicts, the road to rehabilitaion and sodomy (a must for any good prison film). However, what makes this film a stand out is that it goes beyond life behind bars to examine what made the main character a criminal and how he dealt with life post-jail. The film breaks this journey into 3 parts:

We see that it is Derek’s father who plants the initial seeds of racism into Derek. A seed that is nurtured by a David Duke like father figure after Derek’s father dies. Derek quickly focuses all his promise into his hate and his gang. Which leads to Derek committing murder.

From there, we see life behind bars where Derek takes up quickly with the other white-priders. However, their dealings with other races in the joint disgusts Derek who retains the purest form of his hatred. This causes the whites to turn on Derek for his insubordination and shun him… leaving him to take care of himself. From there, he begins to see the error of his ways and begins his road to rehabilitation.

When his time is up, Derek leaves the pen set on making up for his past. He sets out to sever ties with the group he help build, save his family and in particular his brother who is now headed down the same road he once walked.

By segmenting the storytelling, we see why Derek’s attitude and past actions make his journey so much more difficult. His time in prison helps us realize how someone so horrbile could believably reach the point he is at today. However, the backbone of this film remains the performance by Edward Norton (Derek). He plays all three transitions of this character so well that it is easily one of his best performance in a career full of great ones.


To see all the films featured in this GROOVERS & MOBSTERS PRESENT just CLICK HERE!!!


  1. A very good performance from Ed Norton make this movie much better than it should be. That scene where he crushes that dude’s head on the sidewalk, damn, I probably was too young to see that the first time around lol… Awesome film!

  2. Excellent film. I absolutely agree on Norton’s performance, it is stunning. To me, it’s his best performance to date. And that scene at the curb still haunts me to this day…

  3. Excellent choice and an absolute 4-star film. Very powerful and thought-provoking. Norton is stellar here (no shock). I just watched Un Prophete, ans that is a terrific prison film…highly recommended. Favorites on my end: Shawshank, Papillon, and Cool Hand Luke!

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