ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – B – Brubaker (1980) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“I don’t see playing politics with the truth.” – Henry Brubaker

Number of Times Seen – Twice (13 Sep 2008 and 1 Feb 2022)

Brief Synopsis – A new prison warden infiltrates his new post as a convict in order to find out what is really going on inside.

My Take on it – Robert Redford has always been a great actor and this is another great role for him.

His role as the prison warden is so enjoyable to watch especially because he shows that despite being in the system for a while, he is still a man who can be trusted by the prisoners, the guards and the trustees.

The dialogue helps give the viewer an intriguing view of prison life and explains how things work in this complicated system.

The script is quite compelling and was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

The supporting cast is also great with Yaphet Kotto, Morgan Freeman, Jane Alexander, Morgan Freeman, Murray Hamilton, David Keith, Matt Clark, Wilford Brimley, Noble Willingham, John McMartin and M. Emmet Walsh all adding so much to the film’s story.

The movie doesn’t shy away from showing and describing the kind of corruption that was prevalent in the prison system and tries to show ways of how Brubaker tries to reform the system.

Love the way that the film shows how many people within the political and penal system are not happy with the changes he is trying to make a do all they can to try and hinder his progress.


MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The “warden impersonating a prisoner” story element was fictionalized, and was not derived from Thomas O. Murton’s experiences. It has been suggested that this plot device was inspired by Sing Sing Prison Warden Thomas Mott Osborne, who, in 1913, under an assumed name, had had himself committed to New York’s Auburn State Penitentiary. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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