Brute Force | Chicago Reader

Brute Force

Jules Dassin wasn't a bad director before he went to Europe and caught a bad case of Art (He Who Must Die), and this 1947 prison picture, done in the gritty late-40s documentary style, is one of his best efforts. The escape sequence has the spatial intricacy of the heist in Dassin's Rififi, but the tone is tougher, bleaker, and more suspenseful. Burt Lancaster is the heroic inmate; Hume Cronyn is the sadistic warden. With Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo, and Howard Duff; screenplay by Richard Brooks.

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