Don Siegel

Riot in Cell Block 11

Riot in Cell Block 11

Early in his career, Don Siegel made his mark with this sensational and high-octane but economically constructed drama set in a maximum-security penitentiary. Riot in Cell Block 11, the brainchild of producer extraordinaire Walter Wanger, is a ripped-from-the-headlines social-problem picture about inmates’ rights that was inspired by a recent spate of uprisings in American prisons. In Siegel’s hands, the film, shot on location at Folsom State Prison, with real inmates and guards as extras, is at once brash and humane, showcasing the hard-boiled visual flair and bold storytelling for which the director would become known.

Film Info

  • Don Siegel
  • United States
  • 1954
  • 80 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #704

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Matthew H. Bernstein
  • Excerpts from the director’s 1993 autobiography, A Siegel Film, read by his son Kristoffer Tabori
  • Excerpts from Stuart Kaminsky’s 1974 book Don Siegel: Director, read by Tabori
  • Excerpts from the 1953 NBC radio documentary series The Challenge of Our Prisons
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by producer Walter Wanger (dual-format only), and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (dual-format only)

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Matthew H. Bernstein
  • Excerpts from the director’s 1993 autobiography, A Siegel Film, read by his son Kristoffer Tabori
  • Excerpts from Stuart Kaminsky’s 1974 book Don Siegel: Director, read by Tabori
  • Excerpts from the 1953 NBC radio documentary series The Challenge of Our Prisons
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by producer Walter Wanger (dual-format only), and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (dual-format only)

New cover by Eric Skillman

Riot in Cell Block 11
Cast
Neville Brand
Dunn
Emile Meyer
The warden
Frank Faylen
Haskell
Leo Gordon
Carnie
Robert Osterloh
The colonel
Paul Frees
Monroe
Don Keefer
Newspaperman
Alvy Moore
Gator
Dabbs Greer
Schuyler
Whit Bissell
Snader
James Anderson
Acton
Carelton Young
Captain Barrett
Harold J. Kennedy
Graphic Reporter
William Schallert
First reporter
Jonathan Hole
Russell
Robert Patten
Frank
William Phipps
Mickey
Joel Fluellen
Al
Roy Glenn
Delmar
Joe Kerr
Mac
John Tarangelo
Manuel
Robert Burton
Ambrose
Credits
Produced by
Walter Wanger
Director
Don Siegel
Story and screenplay
Richard Collins
Photographed by
Russell Harlan
Film editor
Bruce B. Pierce
Music composed and conducted by
Herschel Burke Gilbert
Orchestrations
Joseph Mullendore
Production manager
Allen K. Wood
Unit manager
Richard Maybery
Assistant director
Austen Jewell
Art director
David Milton
Recorded by
Paul Schmutz Sr.
Set director
Robert Priestley
Set continuity
Bill Hole
Special effects
Ray Mercer
Assistant to Mr. Siegel
Sam Peckinpah

From The Current

Don Siegel and Me
Don Siegel and Me

One legendary American director pays tribute to another.

By Sam Peckinpah

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Riot in Cell Block 11: States of Exception
Riot in Cell Block 11: States of Exception

A real-life prison uprising inspired this two-fisted tale directed by Don Siegel, who would go on to make many more films about men in extreme situations.

By Chris Fujiwara

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There’s a Riot Goin’ On
There’s a Riot Goin’ On

When Walter Wanger conceived the movie that would become Riot in Cell Block 11, he wasn’t thinking in terms of pop culture. The longtime independent film producer, with classics (and Criterion releases) such as Stagecoach and Foreign Correspondent …

By Glenn Kenny

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