Watch Riot

"They exploded the ugliest riot in prison history to cover their dangerous, desperate break for freedom."
  • R
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 5.9  (619)

Riot is a 1969 American drama film directed by Buzz Kulik and starring Jim Brown, Gene Hackman, and Mike Kellin. The movie is inspired by the true story of the 1965 riot at the Illinois State Penitentiary in which inmates took control of the prison and held several staff members hostage. The film follows Dunn (Jim Brown), a new prison guard, as he starts his job at the Illinois State Penitentiary. The prison is overcrowded, and the inmates are frustrated with their living conditions, which include poor food, inadequate medical care, and brutal treatment by the guards.

Dunn is immediately confronted with the harsh reality of his new job when he witnesses an inmate being beaten by another guard. He tries to intervene, but his colleagues force him to join in. He soon realizes that he's working in a corrupt system in which the prisoners' human rights are being violated regularly.

The tensions continue to escalate when one of the inmates, Crazy Mike (Gene Hackman), leads an uprising in protest of the inhumane living conditions. The prison is thrown into chaos, and the inmates take several staff members, including Dunn, hostage.

As the situation becomes increasingly dangerous, Dunn begins to see the inmates as more than just criminals. He forms a bond with the riot's ringleader, Crazy Mike, and strives to understand the motivations behind his actions. Mike, in turn, shares his story and struggles with Dunn, and the two men develop a mutual respect.

Meanwhile, outside the prison walls, the media sensationalizes the conflict, further inflaming the situation. The authorities refuse to negotiate with the inmates, leaving Dunn and the other hostages to fend for themselves.

The film's cinematography captures the gritty reality of the prison and the intense action of the uprising. The score, composed by John Williams, adds to the tension and sense of impending doom.

Riot is a thought-provoking film that explores themes of justice, corruption, and empathy. The performances by the three leads, Jim Brown, Gene Hackman, and Mike Kellin are outstanding, and they capture the emotional turmoil of their characters.

As the movie unfolds, the audience is forced to confront their own attitudes towards the criminal justice system and the human rights of prisoners. The film raises important questions about the morality of punishment and the need for reform.

Overall, Riot is a powerful film that offers a glimpse into the brutal reality of prison life and the struggles faced by inmates. It's a must-see for anyone interested in social justice issues and the criminal justice system.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (619)