1980 "One man against a cruel system."


7.1 | 2h5m | R | en | Drama

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

View More
Rent / Buy
Buy from $9.99 Rent from $3.79


All Prime Video
Cancel anytime

Watch Now
7.1 | 2h5m | R | en | Drama , Crime | More Info
Released: June. 20,1980 | Released Producted By: 20th Century Fox , Country: United States of America Budget: 0 Revenue: 0 Official Website:

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

...... View More
Stream Online

The movie is currently not available onine


Robert Redford , Yaphet Kotto , Jane Alexander


J. Michael Riva

Producted By

20th Century Fox ,


Watch Free for 30 Days

All Prime Video Movies and TV Shows. Cancel anytime.

Watch Now

Trailers & Images


AaronCapenBanner Robert Redford stars in director Stuart Rosenberg's biographical account of Henry Brubaker, who goes undercover as an inmate at a southern prison where he is to be the new warden. He does this in order to evaluate for himself the extent of the alleged corruption taking place there. Once he does, he reveals himself to the prison authorities, who are of course shocked by the deception, and will continue to be after Brubaker implements a series of reforms to improve conditions. Those in the system who profited from the illegal activities decide to fight back, and make political trouble for the new warden, who has further uncovered a worse scandal...a score of unmarked prisoner graves.Well-directed and scripted film features fine performances by all, which also includes Yaphet Kotto and Morgan Freeman as prisoners, and Murray Hamilton in his last performance. A companion piece of sorts to "Cool Hand Luke".
Rodrigo Amaro This almost forgotten film should be analyzed today after its unexpected and unimagined possibility of an alternate reality that wasn't a complete fabrication. The story of a prison warden who wants to change everything that's wrong in the prison system of his state really happened. "Brubaker" focus on a challenge to a corrupt system that on the surface seems to be doing its service of punishing convicted criminals but also is a vile and dirty business whose purpose is to profit above all costs. The lead character, played by an unusual and remarkable Robert Redford, is introduced to us as a prisoner who barely speaks but observers everything concerning how inmates are treated by the guards, how the machine works behind bars and the constant brutality of the place. The plot twist to everyone is when he presents himself as the new warden and he sets up a whole reformation on the place, condemning what's wrong and doing what he believes it's right. There's plenty of benefits for the prisoners but the guards and the businessman who always gained advantages with the old administration aren't happy about this, and that misery and dissatisfaction goes back to the people who hired him, the governor and his staff who now pressure the man to go easy with his work. After all, they are losing a lot of money obtained with frauds and illegal schemes. One man alone means nothing so Brubaker is helped by some inmates and a local authority (Jane Alexander) who is close to the state governor, and will try to convince everyone that Brubaker's idealism if put to work can be profitable for everyone involved.Brubaker's idea isn't just to denounce the illegal affairs of the state and make budget cuts. He's more concerned with the way convicted felons are treated, want to stop their exploitation and make the place a safe environment instead of the critical animal factories that don't punish anyone but is only useful to transform them into bigger monsters whose only fate is either death, or commit more violent crimes or to return to the animal factory again. Sure, this idea is good and valuable but not practical. In the film's case, it fails because one can't change a system unless if one being part of it; Brubaker made the terrible mistake of not firing the whole officials team, and those guys still managed to cause harm and work their way behind his back; and the people with the money will always speak higher.Such idealism wouldn't work today, that's sure but it could worth a shot, specially in countries where the private initiative isn't the option (because politics are having their big time with a failing system that pays them well). Today's criminal minds are far more worse than the ones from the 1980's when this was made and they probably wouldn't leave a place where they could feel as if being on a hotel, practically with the cell keys on their hands, dictating orders like Pablo Escobar did in his "prison" time. But it can be made. And that final image of accomplish given here says everything even though things didn't turned the way it could. The film has a fine progression and it's greatly well acted by Alexander, Redford and heightened by convincing performances from trustworthy character actors Everett McGill, David Keith, Yaphet Kotto, Matt Clark, M. Emmet Walsh, Murray Hamilton and a young Morgan Freeman. "Brubaker" has that rare quality of being dreamy, that enlightening power some movies have in our reality and we want to believe of making a dream possible. To change the world. 8/10
jc-osms Unremittingly tough jail-drama set in the modern-day but somehow feeling retro in many ways. There's a good true-to-life story here, of a newly installed reforming prison governor attempting a root and branch reform of the corrupt, inhumane and as it turns out evil practices at a prison somewhere in the prison south. Baulked by politics as his reforms start to make themselves felt, Redford's title character must decide whether or not to toe the party line and compromise his beliefs.For me, the story was weakened by just too any scenes coming over as second-hand, witnessed in so many prison dramas of yore. At least the movie tells its story from a different point of view, in placing Brubaker at the centre of the drama and not the usually heroic prisoners.The cinematography is excellent, as, for the most part is the ensemble acting. I'm not convinced Redford was right for the part, his good looks yet again working against him and his performance falling short of the crusading zeal the part demands. He rarely seems to get really angry, which is strange, as there's plenty for a liberal like him to rail against. I wasn't convinced by the over melodramatic "Spartacus" meets "Goodbye Mr Chips" finish, which just didn't ring true.All that said, I was reasonably engrossed all the way through but didn't in the end feel the film conveyed a suitably dramatic arc, or insightful delineation of character, to really make it remarkable.Good, yes, but not great.
silversurfer_umit Firstly I have to say that this is one of the best prison movie I have ever watched. Robert Redford is a very very good choice for the role of brubaker. He made a good job in this movie. No need to say something about the story because it already nominated to an academy award, it was really really good. As an addition; seeing middle-aged morgan freeman as a mad prisoner was a good experience. I also liked David keith acting and his character in the movie.Secondly I liked about the movie is giving importance to the details like brubaker's prison management. He shows to every manager; how should be a manager like? He is interested in everything about the prisoners and their problems of course. His attitude against politicians was also interesting to watch.Lastly this was a good movie also a very good prison movie. It is some harsh but it suits this story. If you like prison movies you should watch this one. A good experience to watch and analyze a degenerated system.