7.3/10
23,301
112 user 42 critic

Murder in the First (1995)

An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mary McCasslin
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Byron Stamphill
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Adult Rosetta Young
Ben Slack ...
Jerry Hoolihan
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Warden James Humson
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Alex Bookston ...
Alcatraz Doc (as Alexander Bookston)
Richie Allan ...
Jury Foreman
Herb Ritts ...
Mike Kelly
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Storyline

Henri Young stole five dollars from a post office and ended up going to prison - to the most famous, or infamous, prison of them all: Alcatraz. He tried to escape, failed, and spent three years and two months in solitary confinement - in a dungeon, with no light, no heat and no toilet. Milton Glenn, the assistant warden, who was given free reign by his duty-shirking superior, was responsible for Young's treatment. Glenn even took a straight razor and hobbled Young for life. After three years and two months, Young was taken out of solitary confinement and put with the rest of the prisoners. Almost immediately, Young took a spoon and stabbed a fellow prisoner in the neck, killing him. Now, Young is on trial for murder, and if he's convicted he'll go to the gas chamber. An eager and idealistic young attorney, James Stamphill, is given this impossible case, and argues before a shocked courtroom that Young had a co-conspirator. The true murderer, he says, was Alcatraz. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One was condemned. The other was determined. Two men whose friendship gave them the will to take on the system. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong images of prison brutalities, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

20 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alcatraz - kohtaloni  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$17,382,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Stephen Tobolowsky, Oliver Stone was originally cast as Mr. Henkin, but did not show up on the day of filming. Mark Rocco called Tobolowsky to take over the role just a few hours before shooting. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Christian Slater's character is running down the hill after the Trolley in San Fransisco, you see many cars that are appropriate for the period lining the streets. If you look closely, however, you'll see Red-Zones. There weren't Red Zones in San Fransisco during this time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prison Barber: They're coming! Run!
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Crazy Credits

This Film is Inspired by a True Story See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #27.160 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen!
(uncredited)
Traditional English Christmas, earliest known publication 1833
Sung by Alcatraz wives and children
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User Reviews

 
How This Movie Didn't Win an Oscar is Unfathomable
23 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

Kevin Bacon was incredible. See he won for his performance. But so should Christian Slater have. So should the cinematographer. Unique, inventive and incredibly creative camera perspectives. Wonderful historic background interspersed, too. Superlative effort all around. every facet of it. Scenes I glanced away from, but that's just my distaste for depiction of violence. Thought it was tenderly beautiful that Kyra Sedgewick was cast in that cameo, since Bacon is her real life husband. Slater cannot act poorly. He's incapable of it.

Everything about it, to say nothing of the theme itself. The lighting, the cryptic cutting every time the point was made without fail, the lingering closeups when humanity was the point.


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