Jules Dassin

Brute Force

Brute Force

As hard-hitting as its title, Brute Force was the first of Jules Dassin’s forays into the crime genre, a prison melodrama that takes a critical look at American society as well. Burt Lancaster is the timeworn Joe Collins, who, along with his fellow inmates, lives under the heavy thumb of the sadistic, power-tripping guard Captain Munsey (a riveting Hume Cronyn). Only Collins’s dreams of escape keep him going, but how can he possibly bust out of Munsey’s chains? Matter-of-fact and ferocious, Brute Force builds to an explosive climax that shows the lengths men will go to when fighting for their freedom.

Film Info

  • Jules Dassin
  • United States
  • 1947
  • 98 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #383

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • A new interview with Paul Mason, author of Capturing the Media: Prison Discourse in Popular Culture
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Stills gallery
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Michael Atkinson, a 1947 profile of producer Mark Hellinger, and rare correspondence between Hellinger and Production Code administrator Joseph Breen over the film's content

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • A new interview with Paul Mason, author of Capturing the Media: Prison Discourse in Popular Culture
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Stills gallery
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Michael Atkinson, a 1947 profile of producer Mark Hellinger, and rare correspondence between Hellinger and Production Code administrator Joseph Breen over the film's content

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Brute Force
Cast
Burt Lancaster
Joe Collins
Hume Cronyn
Capt. Munsey
Charles Bickford
Gallagher
Yvonne de Carlo
Gina Ferrara
Ann Blyth
Ruth
Ella Raines
Cora Lister
Anita Colby
Flossie
Howard Duff
Robert ‘Soldier’ Becker
Credits
Director
Jules Dassin
Producer
Mark Hellinger
Music
Miklós Rózsa
Cinematography
William Daniels
Screenplay
Richard Brooks
Story
Robert Patterson
Art direction
Bernard Herzbrun
Art direction
John F. DeCuir
Editing
Edward Curtiss

From The Current

Joe Mantegna’s Top 10

Joe Mantegna played the lead roles in David Mamet’s House of Games and Homicide. Mantegna has starred in more than forty films and currently appears on CBS’s Criminal Minds.


Steve Buscemi’s Top 10

Steve Buscemi is an actor who has appeared in such films as Mystery Train, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, and Armageddon. He also also directed such films as Trees Lounge, Animal Factory, and Interview.


Brute Force: Screws and Proles

Here we are in the dark territories again, the republic of bitternesses and bile known as noir, squaring our jaws against an amoral universe and roaming the rain-wet, lightless American City as if it were a circle of the inferno where backstabbers, g…

By Michael Atkinson