Don Siegel’s hard-hitting entry in the prison-movie genre Riot In Cell Block 11 was shot on location in Folsom Prison, and it succeeds with a documentary-like feel in building suspense and action without sentimentalizing the prisoners or turning the authorities into stereotypes.
Neville Brand as James V. Dunn leads a revolt in his cell block when he can longer abide the conditions and the treatment by the guards. He accomplishes the first stage of the uprising with the fists of Crazy Mike Carne (Leo Gordon), but his accomplice is a pathological criminal who has no interest in Brand’s agenda. The prison riot spreads to other cell blocks as Brand tries to negotiate with sympathetic warden Reynolds (Emile Meyer) and keep Gordon under control.
Riot in Cell Block 11 producer Walter Wanger, who insisted on shooting the film on location in Folsom Prison, had himself just been released from jail after serving time for shooting his wife’s lover, agent Jennings Lang.
Neville Brand (James V. Dunn), Emile Meyer (Warden Reynolds), Frank Faylen (Commissioner Haskell), Leo Gordon (Crazy Mike Carne), Robert Osterloh (The Colonel), Paul Frees (Guard Monroe), Don Keefer (Reporter), Alvy Moore (Gator), Dabbs Greer (Schuyler), Whit Bissell (Guard Snader), James Anderson (Guard Acton), Carleton Young (Captain of the Guards Barrett), Harold J. Kennedy (Reporter), William Schallert (Reporter), Jonathan Hole (Reporter Russell), Robert Patten (Frank), William Phipps (Mickey), Joel Fluellen (Al), Roy Glenn (Guard Delmar), Joe Kerr (Mac), John Tarangelo (Manuel), Robert Burton (Guard Ambrose), Thomas Browne Henry (Governor),
Director: Don Siegel
Producer: Walter Wanger
Director of Photography: Russell Harlan
Editing: Bruce B. Pierce
Music: Herschel Burke Gilbert
Script: Richard Collins
Production Design: Robert Priestley
USA / Allied Artists / 80 minutes / 1954