Waste of incredible potential
M. A. Hawk | 12/10/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a long time follower of Alcatraz and its history, to say that I found this film dissapointing is an understatement. Is heavily influenced by the same titled (and vastly superior) book by Clark Howard.
The story itself centers around six individuals, but mainly Kentucky bank robber Bernard "Bernie" Coy - David Carradine trying his best to drag above a painfully wooden script loaded with the worst of B action movie cliche lines. Coy spent years working on the weaknesses of Alcatraz, arguably the most infamous prison in history - only to find out that the only area not heavily enforced was the main guards' cage, complete with cellblock keys and armaments! He creates an elaborate escape attempt relying on the help of Marvin Hubbard (David Morse in the film's best performance), Joe Cretzer (Howard Hesseman in by far and away the worst), "Buddy" Thompson (Jan-Michael Vincent), Sam Shockley (Charles Haid), and the only survivor of the whole thing - "Dan Durando" (really Clarence Carnes, his name was kept quiet originally, being a witness and all) and in May of 1946 they went to work.
The crux of the film arrives when the plot goes horribly awry due to a misplaced key and jammed lock. As things get more desperate the cons turn on each other, with the exception of Coy and Hubbard, who were friends to start with. Cellhouse guards are injured and killed, prompting the arrival of the Marines, among others. It is during this point that the film's biggest flaws really show - aforementioned script, a score that consists of chains clanking and a mechanical "ugh" for emphasis, numerous historical and continuity problems too lengthy to mention (not that I'm a purist, they were just that bad), and the persistent bugger that apparently in all of Alcatraz the only prisoners are our lot and Robert Stroud, the "Birdman" (Dennis Farina, in a role much more dramatic and key in reality) as cons run down empty cellblocks that previously had random hands sticking out to and fro all over. Without giving away the ultimate ending, things don't fare too well. And neither does the film, shot on location with some incredible views in that aspect. It comes across as a really low grade B movie, such a sad thing considering what happened and how the film could have been made with better attention to detail - and casting somebody, anybody other than Howard Hesseman. Persons not familiar with the "crashout" as it was called might find it interesting as a springboard in to better things. Folks interested in a better popcorn film (as this is intended to be on some levels) can check out David Morse yet again in "The Rock" or that Clint Eastwood perrenial "Escape from Alcatraz." Just don't bother with this.
I cant belive that people dont know about this tv movie!!!
Alvin Karpowicz | Redding CA. | 06/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the battle of alcatraz was an escape attempt with far more drama and better planning than morris and the anglins or cole and roe's escape,but those guys were never found so people can say "they might have made it" even though they probably did not.the six against the rock guys did not,well clarence carnes(under the name dan durando in the movie)did not die the rest did.bernard coy(davis caradine)joe cretzer(howard hesseman)and marvin hubbard(david morse)were killed after a long battle with gaurds and the marines.miran thompson(jan-michael vincent)and sam shockley(charles haid)were exucuted in san quentins gas chamber.coy hatched the plan to take the gun gallery,from loseing weight to smearing alex grease all over him he used a prison made bar spreader to painfully squeze through the bars and suprise the gaurd disarming him and capturing the guns and night sticks the plan is to go out the yard door and down to the prison boat....but....something goes wrong.i dont want to give you the ending but if you buy this movie you already know enough about alcatraz to know what happens. for being a tv movie this is amazing!!! i wont dare say its better than escape from alcatraz..but it is good. now we have to get alcatraz the whole shocking story out on dvd. thanks dean"
LOW Budget and Sucked!
Nicole M | 03/05/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What a piece of crap movie! Low budget, cheesy acting, looks like a film student filmed and wrote it. Prison inmates try to break out of prison and just all get killed at the end. Sucked."