With the release of the first trailer for “Escape Plan” with Arnie and Stallone, we thought a touch-up on prison break films before the 18 October release date would be a good idea. There’s been plenty of awesome Prison break movies, and even more prison themed movies.
Here’s our Top Prison Break Movies:
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
If you’ve not seen this film then do yourself a favor and check it out! With master performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, you have one of the best “feel good” prison break movies ever! Some would say that The Shawskank Redemption defines the genre of prison films: it is what every modern prison movie hopes to be, and there will never again be a prison movie as well-made and entertaining as The Shawshank Redemption.
2. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
It’s an oldie, but a classic, if only for the multiple failed attempts by Luke to break-out. Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Paul Newman. Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system.
The movie may be remembered mostly for its famous “Egg-dare-challenge”.
3. The Great Escape (1963)
The mother of all prison break movies. The Great Escape is a 1963 American film about an escape by Allied prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II, starring Steve McQueen. The film is based on the book of the same name by Paul Brickhill, a non-fiction account of the mass escape from Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Żagań, Poland), in the province of Lower Silesia, Nazi Germany.
4. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Another great movie that simply has to be seen! Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. It is based on true events. It dramatizes possibly the only successful escape attempt from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island. The film co-stars Fred Ward and also features Patrick McGoohan as the suspicious, vindictive warden; it also features the film debut of Danny Glover.
5. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
This movie is not only famous for it’s prison scene, but it’s entire plot of revenge! This is one of our personal all-time favourite movies. The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film stars Richard Harris, James Caviezel, Dagmara Dominczyk, Guy Pearce, and Luis Guzman. It follows the general plot of the novel (the main storyline of imprisonment and revenge is preserved).
Also see a very young Superman aka Man of Steel Henry Cavill playing the role of Edmond Dantes.
6. Papillon (1973)
Another amazing prison break movie. The film stars an older Steve McQueen as Henri Charrière (“Papillon”), and a very young Dustin Hoffman as Louis Dega. The film’s title is French, and means “Butterfly” in English, referring to the tattoo and nickname that Charrière was given. McQueen befirends befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
7. Tango and Cash (1989)
An entry that just made it onto the list. The cool and entertaining interaction between Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russel is something we hope to see again in “Escape Plan”.
Ray Tango (Stallone) and Gabriel Cash (Russel) are narcotics detectives who, while both being extremely successful, can’t stand each other. Crime Lord Yves Perret, furious at the loss of income that Tango and Cash have caused him, and frames the two for murder. Caught with the murder weapon on the scene of the crime, the two has an alibi. Thrown into prison with most of the criminals they helped to convict, they have to trust each other if they are to clear their names and catch the evil Perret.
8. Midnight Express (1978)
Midnight Express is a 1978 American/British film directed by Alan Parker and produced by David Puttnam. It starred Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey and John Hurt. Hayes was a young American student sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. The film’s title is prison slang for an inmate’s escape attempt.
9. Prison Break (2005 TV Series)
Yup, it’s not a movie, but we felt we had to include this on our list. Who did not watch season one of Prison Break? The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and the other devises an elaborate plan to help his brother escape prison