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10 Absorbing Films About Prison

Columbia Pictures

I absolutely love any film or TV programme set in prison. I am the proud owner of all 692 episodes of Prisoner Cell Block H on DVD boxsets. I have a real dread of ending up in prison – not because I commit crimes, but because I fear being framed or caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The idea of prison has captivated the cinematic imagination for decades and it has produced some very decent films – among them, some of the greatest films that have been made. These films deal with the misery of being confined all day, the deep friendships and bitter rivalry that can develop between prisoners, saintly or sadistic screws, the Darwinism of prison that only the strong survive. Prisons are definitely hotbeds of drama, cruelty and also transcendence.

I have listed 10 prison films that captured my imagination below. Please add your own favourites.

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