The Criterion Collection
Edition no. 383
LicensorMaster Licensing, Inc.
Directed by: Jules Dassin
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.
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: English 1.0 PCM Mono
Discs: 1 Disc | BD-50
- Audio commentary from 2007 featuring film-noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
- Interview from 2007 with Paul Mason, editor of Captured by the Media: Prison Discourse in Popular Culture
- Program from 2017 on Brute Force’s array of acting styles featuring film scholar David Bordwell
- Stills gallery
- An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson, a 1947 profile of producer Mark Hellinger, and rare correspondence between Mark Hellinger and Production Code administrator Joseph Breen over the film’s content
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