Riot is a good prison programmer produced with authenticity inside Arizona State Prison. Jim Brown and Gene Hackman are leaders of a convict revolt which paralyzes prison routine and unleashes some violent passions. Buzz Kulik's direction is better in the forward plot thrusts than in the many repetitious stretches, not at all alleviated by a pedestrian ballad reprised much too often.

Riot is a good prison programmer produced with authenticity inside Arizona State Prison. Jim Brown and Gene Hackman are leaders of a convict revolt which paralyzes prison routine and unleashes some violent passions. Buzz Kulik’s direction is better in the forward plot thrusts than in the many repetitious stretches, not at all alleviated by a pedestrian ballad reprised much too often.

Ex-convict Frank Elli’s book, The Riot, has been adapted into a wandering script which lacks a definite cohesion. Concept vacillates between apparent attempt to tell a straightforward escape story, and temptation to linger and exploit violence. No social document, this; but not a potboiler, either.

Hackman, Mike Kellin and a freaked-out psychotic con, played by Ben Carruthers, launch a minor riot as prelude to escape.

Brown’s immensely strong screen presence is manifest. Hackman gives the best performance as an equivocating, cynical manipulator of crowd psychology. Carruthers is too unrestrained.

Riot

Production

Paramount. Director Buzz Kulik; Producer William Castle; Screenplay James Poe; Camera Robert B. Hauser; Editor Edwin H. Bryant; Music Christopher Komeda; Art Director Paul Sylbert

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Jim Brown Gene Hackman Mike Kellin Gerald S. O'Loughlin Ben Carruthers
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