Prison movies can be a good chance to show us a methaphor of society,to show us how effective or futil is to try to change it and make something better of it. Of corruption and compassion or of how bad things are too often linked to similar and that that chain can go all the way up.
Brubaker (Stuart Rosemberg, 1980) is a hell of a good example of this. And just have a look to the ensemble cast of character actors we got here, leaded by Robert "Not just a pretty face" Redford. Lets see, Yaphet "Mr. Big" Kotto, we have Murray "Plastics" Hamilton, and Joe "Maniac" Spinnel, Matt Clarke and J. Emmet "Everywhere" Walsh. Heck we even get to see a young Morgan Freeman in it (and now don't tell me you have seen that one before).
This movie builds up with a nice false premise that brings us to an early great twist at the first half an hour and then just keeps up.
Redford plays a "One weird fucking individual" almost too good to be true but still possible mostly because we trust in Redford's integrity as a player , more then in any good looking blond WASP from Tinseltown.
As the sleazy southern character played by M. Emmet Walsh:"I am talking about tradition: don't fuck with tradition". I think this is a very important line since I personally consider Tradition (the grand mother of nationalism and religion) one of the most sugarcoated harmfull concepts in human history. If you have to sit two hours to just hear it on the context of the whole film you just made a good investment of your time.
"I am talking about tradition: don't fuck with tradition"