Watch Murder in the First

"The trial that brought down Alcatraz"

In 1938, Henri Young tried and failed to escape from the infamous Alcatraz island, and ended up being in solitary confinement for his actions. The federal laws back then are pretty clear: no prisoner should be allowed to stay in solitary confinement for more that 19 days. Henri Young (played by Kevin Bacon) remains in solitary confinement for over three years, where he is beaten and tortured in the name of rehabilitation.

Assistant warden Milton Glenn (played by Gary Oldman) is the man responsible for administering the sentence and even goes so far as to hobble the young offender to restrict his ability to move.

As he monitors the records, the warden realizes that one of his inmates is in the hole longer than he should be, causing him to bring it up to his assistant. The warden orders Young to be returned to the general population. Young, who is now accustomed to the quiet of being by himself in the hole, begins to experience the trauma and noise of dozens of other inmates and ends up taking the life of another inmate with a spoon.

Originally brought to Alcatraz for stealing $5 from the post office, Young is now facing murder charges and will be provided with a public defender.

Fresh from graduating law school and serving his time in the public defender's office, James Stamphill (played by Christian Slater) is assigned the case against Young, one which his superiors are claiming is impossible to lose. After he meets Young for the first time, Stamphill has a difficult time communicating with his client but remains persistent.

Failing to get anything worthwhile from his client to help with his defense, Stamphill uses baseball news to help break the ice. Based on a true story, Marc Rocco directs this drama, with supporting acting by William H. Macy as D.A. William McNeil, R. Lee Ermey as Judge Clawson and Stefan Gierasch as Warden James Humson.

R
| 1994 | 2 hr 2 min | 7.3/10
Cast
Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, Embeth Davidtz
Studio
Le Studio Canal+
Director
Mark Rocco, Marc Rocco
Language
English
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