Welcome to Awesome Definition and today we are doting down the Top 9 Movies About Prison Life. These prison movies are are not specifically listed around the escape from jail, but overall life of a person in prison. This time looking at the best 9 movies on prison life ever made. For this list we’re looking at films set inside both a typical prison block as well as prisoner of war camps.
Number 9 — Hunger 2008
The world stood up and took notice of Michael Fassbender following his turn in Steve McQueen’s heart hitting historical drama about those who died in the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. Fassbender stars as Bobby Sands an Irish republican who refused sustenance in order to gain political prisoner status while incarcerated at May’s prison in Belfast. To fully prepare for the parts he adopted the method practice used by Christian Bale and shed several stone to acquire the emaciated look of sans.
Number 8 — A Man Escaped 1956
Based on the memoirs of Andre Duvene, a French resistance fighter who was captured and incarcerated in Leon during the Second World War. A Man Escaped as a film whose story is told in a massive small details with the expressions passing across the faces of non-professional actors. The objects that take on an important significance in the cell and the use of off-screen sound, which tells us so much about the space beyond these four walls.
Number 7 — A Prophet 2009
A Prophet makes no bones about the grim reality of prison life, beginning with the first day of a young man’s sentence right through to his last. His ability to adapt to its predicament drives events forward whether he wants to or not he rises through the inmate ranks under the tyrannical rule of his Corsican crime boss Caesar. Subtle and beautifully shot it won practically every award for year of its release.
Number 6 — The Green Mile 1999
Stephen king has a knack for penning stories that take place in prison. As the moving 1999 fantasy film The Green Mile centers on the inmates and guards on death row at a Louisiana penitentiary. Tom Hanks, Michael Clark Duncan and Sam Rockwell stars in this Oscar-nominated film that earned nods for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Sound. The green mile is a truly incredible film which needs to be watched at least once.
Number 5 — The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957
It might not be David Lean’s finest film but The Bridge on the River Kwai comes damn close. One of the earliest films to tackle the experience of soldiers and Japanese prisoner war camps, it sees a group of mostly British soldiers interred in a camp in Burma where they’re put to work on the construction of the titular railway bridge with senior officer Alec Guinness. Initially resisting before deciding to keep up his men’s morale by complying, while an American soldier played by William Holden plots to destroy the completed structure. The film is an epic deeply complex tragedy that examines heroism, compromise, sacrifice, national pride and class and does so in a deeply gripping surprising and emotionally potent manner.
Number 4 — La Grande Illusion 1937
Probably one of Jean Renoir’s most recognized and celebrated films and the first international film to be nominated for a best picture Oscar. La Grande Illusion has a formidable reputation; it’s one of the greatest Prisoner of War films and probably the greatest film about international and inter-class brotherhood. Two French aviators go from one prison camp to another mixing with fellow inmates and plotting escapes but the way Renoir films work are these interactions between characters. Be it at a discussion about restaurants between prison inmates or about honor versus duty is where the film’s overarching theme of compassion amid the senselessness of war is best felt.
Number 3 — Cool Hand Luke 1967
Paul Newman had a long distinguished film career but his most iconic film might be the 1967 prison drama Cool Hand Luke. Newman portrayed a super charismatic character Lucas Jackson, a respectable and likable inmate who can’t seem to stay off the chain gang and out of prison. But not for a lack of trying thanks to Newman’s performance a snappy script and some classic scenes like Luke’s hard-boiled egg eating bet. Cool Hand Luke earned heaps of praise and four Oscar nominations.
Number 2 — The Great Escape 1963
A soft focused dramatization of the largely unsuccessful mass escape from the German Stalag Luftprison camp during the Second World War. The Great Escape is an all-time classic the downtrodden military heroics of 1960s icons such as Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn is mesmerizing and addicting. It all started when director John Sturges Americanize this tragic death-heavy real-life prison break, It ultimately brought the resulting massacre to the wider world’s attention and embodied the hope and ingenuity that ended the War.
Number 1 — The Shawshank Redemption 1994
The only film that could really take the top spots in this list without any questions. The Shawshank Redemption is loved enough that some would argue it is one of the best movies of all time. The story follows Andy Dufresne after he’s convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. When film buffs think of the prison genre it is this movie that often comes to their minds first due to its impact and cultural significance. This movie has been selected by the United States library of congress to be put in the national film registry. In a 2016 interview Stephen King even mentioned that The Shawshank Redemption was his favorite adaptation of his work.