Fifth about The Seventh

Brute Force

Brute Force: strong drama, earnest and convincing that the characters belong in the setting. The good writing, with a story that sounds possible and has something to say, however, doesn’t extend to allow the central characters to have an arch. The acting is solid: both Burt Lancaster (not using his usual charming presence) and Hume Cronyn are standouts. Visually, the film certainly has many interesting moments in well-composed shots. This film is a grim experience, but a good one.



  1. anonymous

    Essentially the “Midnight Express” of it’s time. Elia Kazan was a great admirer of the film, which creates an interesting connection to a famous photograph of James Dean, circa 1955, standing in front of a faded advertisement for the film in New York City. To me, both “Midnight Express” and “Brute Force” are much more than just “prison” or “prison genre” films, but can be easily understood as a much larger philosophical meditation of the existential human condition as a whole, and the manner in which the idea of prison serves as a metaphor for the entire structure of most of the extant social order in general, whether it’s labeled “totalitarian”, “authoritarian” or even “democratic”.

    Liked by 1 person

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