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

David Bordwell on Acting in Brute Force
David Bordwell on Acting in Brute Force

Professor David Bordwell uses the economically expressive performances of Jules Dassin’s Brute Force as an object lesson for breaking down the fundamentals of screen acting.