Scared Straight!

Watch Scared Straight!

  • TV-PG
  • 1978
  • 52 min
  • 7.7  (853)

Scared Straight! is a gritty and powerful documentary-style film that takes a hard look at the lives of juvenile delinquents and the harsh realities of prison life. The film follows a group of troubled teenagers who are taken on a visit to Rahway State Prison in New Jersey, where they are confronted with the brutal realities of life behind bars.

Led by the charismatic and tough-talking inmate, Goodyear, the teenagers are subjected to a barrage of insults, threats, and abuse from the hardened convicts in the prison. Goodyear, who is serving a life sentence for murder, is determined to scare the kids straight and make them understand the consequences of their actions.

As the tour of the prison progresses, the teenagers are forced to confront the harsh realities of prison life, including violence, rape, and brutality. They witness first-hand the emotional and physical scars left by a life of crime, and they are shown the grim reality of what awaits them if they continue on their current path.

Throughout the film, Peter Falk delivers a powerful and compelling performance as he narrates the events that unfold. His gravitas and sincerity lend the film an air of authenticity that makes it all the more powerful.

The performances of the inmates are equally impressive. Mickie Cold and Doug Cronin are both excellent as two of the more sympathetic and relatable convicts. Their insights into the lives they've led and the mistakes they've made serve as a warning to the teenagers, and they help to humanize the inmates in a way that is both touching and effective.

Scared Straight! is a film that pulls no punches. It is unflinching in its portrayal of the harsh realities of prison life, and it doesn't shy away from the violence and brutality that can occur behind bars. But, in spite of this, the film is ultimately a hopeful one.

The teenagers who are taken on the tour of the prison come away from the experience changed. They are shaken by what they've seen, and they are forced to reexamine their lives and the paths they've chosen. The film suggests that, for some of them, this experience may be the turning point they need to avoid a life of crime and violence.

In the years since its release, Scared Straight! has become a classic of the genre. It has been shown in schools and juvenile detention centers across the country, and it has inspired a number of similar programs designed to help teenage offenders.

While the film has been criticized by some for its violent and confrontational approach, it remains a powerful and important reminder of the real-life consequences of criminal behavior. It is a testament to the power of film to educate, inspire, and provoke change. And, most importantly, it is a testament to the power of hope and redemption, even in the darkest of places.

Scared Straight!
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (853)