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JIM BROWN WITH GENE HACKMAN ESCAPE THE CELL BLOCK 'RIOT'

Jim Brown in RIOT Producer: William Castle Director: Buzz Kulick Year: 1969 Rating: ****

Basically a remake of Don Siegel's docudrama noir RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11, Buzz Kulick's RIOT follows its muse by having the titular convict pandemonium — after capturing the guards — not matter beyond a strategic distraction...

Instead centering on a few clever inmates' feigning an attempt for a media-led change of inhumane prison conditions — but this RIOT goes one step beyond Siegel's CELL BLOCK political expose...

Gene Hackman and Jim Brown in RIOT

Confident prison leader/idea man Gene Hackman teams favorably with black DIRTY DOZEN loner Jim Brown and dependable Mike Kellin yet only reluctantly with token queen Clifford David and especially crazy Indian Ben Carruthers (also from DOZEN while mirroring Telly Savalas's unhinged wild card role)... 

Creating their own GREAT ESCAPE by tunneling underground while all the other prisoners get deliberately juiced on moonshine, the peripheral locked-up guards, including bullying mongrel Gerald S. O'Loughlin, sulk patiently (unlike CELL BLOCK where hostage guards await possible execution)...

Jim Brown in RIOT

Meanwhile their stern, one-dimensional (real life) boss/warden waits atop the prison walls outside... But RIOT is really an inside story, more slowburn suspenseful thriller than outright action...

Character-actor Hackman, not yet a superstar, appears intermittently while his THE SPLIT co-star Brown — equally timid and vulnerable as his usual unabashedly tough and cool persona — has his own soulful tune whenever strutting through the prison he currently rules, underlining the fact that this RIOT (and jailbreak) truly belongs to no one else.

Jim Brown in RIOT with Gene Hackman
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown and Gerald S. O'Loughlin in RIOT
Mike Kellin in RIOT with Gene Hackman
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Clifford David in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT with Gene Hackman
Ben Carruthers in RIOT
Gene Hackman in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Clifford David in RIOT with Mike Kellin
Clifford David in RIOT with Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Credits for RIOT
Credits for RIOT
Credits for RIOT
  Rosemary's Baby cult icon William Castle's credit for RIOT
Opening guard tower credit for RIOT
Two RIOT films for the price o one
Guards guarding for RIOT
Jim Brown's dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Dream sequence for RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT (while dreaming of the images above)
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT
Jim Brown in RIOT with Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman on ROUTE 66
Gene Hackman in RIOT
JIM BROWN in RIOT

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