Brute Force

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Well, it's a prison movie. With two about-to-be big stars, Burt Lancaster and Hume Cronyn. And a bunch of supporting actors who would go on to be on Star Trek one day: Whit Bissell, Jeff Corey, John Hoyt, John Harmon, and Tom Steele!

OK, I had to have IMDB help for those last two.

But there's also Mrs. Munster, Yvonne De Carlo. And the bad sister from Mildred Pierce, Ann Blyth. And… well, you can read IMDB as well as I can.

There's also a lot of pretentious dialog, and—I think—ham-handed symbolism, but I tend to ignore that. (The director was ex-Commie Jules Dassin.)

Set in a brutal prison. With a brutal Hume Cronyn running the show, easily bypassing the effete warden. He gets his kicks from inflicting pain (mental and physical) upon the cons he dislikes. Which includes Burt Lancaster, the noble victim who decides to hatch an audacious escape plot while in solitary confinement.

The convicts are a decent lot in comparison. Oh, sure: sometimes they need to inflict their own brand of rough justice on stoolies. Fortunately, they work in a shop where there's a massive piece of machinery that's ideal: I'm pretty sure it's called the Stoolie Masher.

Everyone seems to be in the joint because of some dame, though.

Anyway, the escape attempt, when it finally happens, is pretty spectacular and violent for 1947.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 9:42 AM EDT

URLs du Jour


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  • One of our annual Christmas traditions is to link to someone else's annual Christmas tradition: Dave Barry Holiday Gift Guide for Christmas 2020. I will quote generously, probably way outside the fair use guidelines.

    But the point is, we can celebrate the holidays, but we need to take certain precautions this year. Specifically we need to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s pandemic holiday guidelines, which include:

    MISTLETOE: Everyone within 25 feet of a mistletoe sprig must wear a hazmat suit.

    CHRISTMAS TREES: According to the CDC, it is “unlikely” that the coronavirus can be transmitted via Christmas trees, but out of an abundance of caution, CDC guidelines state that you should keep your tree quarantined outdoors “until all the needles fall off, or Easter, whichever is later.”

    CAROLING: When singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” carolers should stop after Day Ten, to avoid the emission of saliva droplets caused by singing the words “pipers piping.” Also, in “Deck the Halls” carolers should sing the “fa la la la la” parts directly into their elbows.

    EGGNOG: If you’re planning to serve eggnog in a communal punch bowl, CDC guidelines state that your eggnog recipe should “meet the same requirement for alcohol content — 60 percent or higher — as hand sanitizer.”

    CANDLES: There should be no candles within 250 feet of the eggnog.

    FRUITCAKE: Under no circumstances should you allow fruitcake into your home. This is not because of the coronavirus. This is because, according to the CDC, “fruitcake sucks.” Also you should go easy on the figgy pudding, because — again, quoting the CDC — “That stuff will give you a bad case of wassail.”

    Of course these are just a few of the CDC’s holiday guidelines, which run to 237 pages in the full document, titled “Let’s Have A Fun Holiday Season By Reducing Our Risk Of Death.” We urge you to read the whole thing, maybe after a couple of eggnogs.

    The Amazon Product du Jour is one of Dave's picks. And it's supposedly the high-quality one. Dave quotes the creator as warning of “knockoff, low-budget, blurry copycat calendars”. You don't want a blurry picture of a crapping cat on your wall. [Update, October 2022. 2021 calendar no longer available! Replaced with a 2023 equivalent.]

  • I keep saying this myself, but maybe you'll belive Steven Greenhut at Reason: Trump Has Only Himself To Blame for Losing the Election.

    […] it's time for President Donald Trump's supporters to consider that, quite possibly, there are reasons beyond a vast voter-fraud conspiracy that explain his decisive loss. The president and his legal advocates have argued that Trump actually won by millions of votes, Democratic operatives stuffed ballots (but were too stupid to fix down-ticket races), and rigged electronic voting software.

    Maybe those local GOP election officials who dispute those claims were actually helping Biden. A dark, deep-state secret might also explain why the Department of Homeland Security disputed them. It's hard to prove a negative. I suppose the only reason you dispute my thesis about aliens is that they have also invaded your body. Prove me wrong.

    I got involved in a voter-fraud comment discussion over at Granite Grok, a site with which I'm normally in sympathy. Probably a bad idea.

  • At the Daily Signal, Victor Davis Hanson asks the musical question: Why Do Progressives No Longer Defend Free Expression?

    A half-century ago, progressives used to push limitless free expression, blasting conservatives for their allegedly blinkered traditionalism. They boasted of obliterating once-normal boundaries in art, music, and literature to allow nudity, profanity, sexuality, and anti-American boilerplate.


    The left is Victorian—increasingly puritanical, regressive, and hypersensitive. Even totalitarian censorship and book-burning have weirdly become part of their by-any-means-necessary methods.

    The left (I think) seems Puritanical, but it's only because they're beginning to realize they don't have very good arguments.

  • The passing of Walter E. Williams has brought a lot of tributes out there. But I was especially moved by Thomas Sowell's: Farewell to Economist and Teacher Walter E. Williams, My Best Friend.

    Walter E. Williams loved teaching. Unlike too many other teachers today, he made it a point never to impose his opinions on his students.

    Those who read Walter Williams’ syndicated newspaper columns know that he expressed his opinions boldly and unequivocally there. But not in the classroom.

    Walter, a professor of economics at George Mason University for 40 years, once said he hoped that, on the day he died, he would have taught a class that day. And that is just the way it was when he died Wednesday, Dec. 2.

    He was my best friend for half a century. There was no one I trusted more or whose integrity I respected more.

    The link goes an archive of Professor Williams' columns at the Daily Signal. Lot's of wisdom in a small, convenient package.

  • The Free Beacon notes price-gouging from an unlikely source (but its it really unlikely?): AOC Sells $58 'Tax the Rich' Sweatshirts on Campaign Website.

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), a prominent critic of capitalism, is selling sweatshirts on her campaign website that feature the socialist mantra "tax the rich." The sweatshirt can be yours for a steep $58 (not including tax).

    Just sayin': you can get a "Tax the Rich" sweatshirt with the AOC logo from Amazon for only $30.99. And I don't even get a cut if you use that link; just say no to AOC's price-gouging!

  • And the Babylon Bee notes the latest in social justice: Elliot Page Retroactively Awarded 17 Oscars For Amazingly Convincing Portrayals Of Women.

    At a lavish press conference today, actor Elliot Page received 17 Oscar awards for his previous work portraying women in a variety of films, even though Page himself is a man, which is something we definitely believe, as you can tell by our use of words like “his” and “himself.”

    “We are proud to recognize Elliot’s amazing work in portraying women so very realistically -- most people didn't even know he was a man,” said Brett Long, Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Subcommittee on Preemptive Apologies and Narrative Alignment.

    It's about time this was remedied.

Last Modified 2022-10-21 4:55 AM EDT