Remember going to Knotts Berry Farm and going to the Ghost Town Jail where you would secretly tell Sad Eye Joe to tell something funny to one of your unsuspecting friends or relatives. Ha Ha. We used to laugh for hours about the look of surprise on their face when Joe would say something like "Hi Gil, I hear you're visiting all the way from Chicago. Do you want to come in and share my cell". Or something like that.
That's when jails were fun. But how about some movies about prisons that aren't so fun. Here are the three worst prisons in films (my votes for the worst, that is), maybe you have other choices.
From 1932 I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang starring Paul Muni. This is one of those unfair, hopeless kinds of prison films that just make you want to punch out every bad guy in the prison.
An even worse prison is the one Steve McQueen finds himself in the 1973 film Papillon. It's another one of those hopeless, helpless situations that just keep you squirming in your seat. Dustin Hoffman is wonderful in this film - Remember his super, thick glasses?
This is one of the best worst prison films you'll ever have the misfortune of seeing. This is a scene from the film that is so chilling. You'll never smuggle drugs again after you see this. The film is Midnight Express from 1978 and stars Brad Davis.
I'd say "enjoy these films" but none of them are exactly enjoyable. But they sure are good. They're just the best of the worst prison films. One interesting note is that all of these films are based on true stories.
If you want to see other great films, check out the North County Film Club.