28 March 2015 | Spikeopath
Directed by Stephen Wallace and written by Bob Jewson, Stir stars Bryan Brown, Max Phipps, Dennis Miller, Gary Waddell and Phil Motherwell. Music is by Cameron Allan and cinematography by Geoff Burton.
Stir is a tough Australian prison drama based on the real life prison riot that occurred at Bathurst Gaol 1974. Writer Bob Jewson was an inmate at the time and draws on his observations for the screenplay.
The standard rules of prison dramas are adhered to here, sadistic guards, homosexuality (though tenderly handled and not involving rape), poor conditions etc. Where Stir lifts itself into the upper echelons of similar genre pictures is with the characterisations, they are credibly written and performed. There are a number of human interest stories running through the plot, none of which involve outsiders, which is a bonus as we all are cemented in this concrete and iron jungle. While the mounting tension is unbearable at times, headed up by the terrific Brown who is pumped with snake eyed hardness and coiled spring intensity.
Criminally under seen, Stir is as tough as steel toe-capped boots and demands to be labelled as essential viewing for those interested in penal based movies. 8/10