Murder in the First

Watch Murder in the First

"The trial that brought down Alcatraz"
  • R
  • 1994
  • 2 hr 2 min
  • 7.3  (30,101)

The movie Murder in the First, released in 1995, is a drama/mystery film based on a true story. It was directed by Marc Rocco and written by Dan Gordon. The story takes place in 1938 in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, San Francisco, California. Henri Young (Kevin Bacon) is a petty thief who is sentenced to three years in the prison. However, he is sent to solitary confinement for three years for stealing $5 to buy food for his sister's starving children. During this time, he is subjected to brutal torture and is mentally and physically broken.

When Henri is finally released from solitary confinement, he stabs his fellow prisoner Rufus McCain (Brad Dourif) to death with a spoon. He is charged with first-degree murder and faces the death penalty.

James Stamphill (Christian Slater) is a young and idealistic public defender who takes on Henri's case. He investigates the brutal treatment Henri endured during his time in solitary confinement and argues that it was the cause of his psychotic break that led him to kill Rufus.

However, the prosecutor for the case, Milton Glenn (Gary Oldman), is a ruthless and power-hungry man who will stop at nothing to win the case. He argues that Henri was a violent criminal before he came to Alcatraz and that his actions were premeditated.

As the trial progresses, the truth about Henri's past and the brutal conditions he endured in solitary confinement are revealed. James struggles to prove Henri's innocence and save him from the death penalty while battling against the corrupt justice system.

Throughout the film, the characters' emotions are conveyed powerfully, especially Kevin Bacon's portrayal of Henri's intense pain and desperation. Christian Slater delivers a convincing performance as James, who is passionate about saving Henri but struggles to fight against the corrupt system.

The film's themes of justice, redemption, and human rights are explored through the characters' struggles. It raises questions about the morality of imprisonment and the consequences of inhumane treatment of prisoners.

The director, Marc Rocco, does an excellent job of creating a tense and emotionally charged atmosphere with his cinematography and pacing. The film is also enhanced by an excellent soundtrack, which heightens the intensity of many scenes.

Overall, Murder in the First is a gripping and intense drama that explores the dark side of the justice system. It is an essential film for anyone interested in the issues of human rights and the criminal justice system.

Murder in the First is a 1994 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 2 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

Murder in the First
Where to Watch Murder in the First
Murder in the First is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Murder in the First for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 2 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (30,101)