Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951) Movie Script

I am Folsom Prison
At one time they called me Bloody Folsom
And I earned the name.
I've been standing here in California
since 1878.
My own prisoners built me,
shutting themselves off
from the free world.
Every block of my granite
is cemented by their tears,
their pain
and the blood of many men.
This is a story
from my rough, tough past.
It happened not long after
the turn of the century.
At the time I tell about
I had within my walls 1,000 dangerous men
that other prisons couldn't hold.
but I held them.
If I couldn't break a man's spirit
I broke his bones.
I kept many of them in a cell house
that wasn't fit for animals,
let alone men.
It's cells were more like tombs.
And the doors were made
of solid iron,
secured by bars that
only dynamite could budge.
Two men, and often more,
were crowded into those airless crypts.
They slept, when they could sleep,
on mattresses alive with vermin.
They froze on winter nights
and their bodies were drained of sweat
in the breathless heat of summer.
Every morning,
whilst it was still dark,
my guards made the rounds
turning out the inmate kitchen workers
so they could cook the slop that was
fed my prisoners under the name of
Is it any wonder that
after a sleepless night
a man sometimes went berserk and
fought the hated walls that shut him in?
Knock it off you
and let a guy get some sleep!
Pipe down you wing-ding.
This was a common thing
in those old days.
I had so little work for them to do.
Idleness and brutal restraint is
a combination that rots a man's mind.
Every Sunday morning
a long line of prisoners
waited before the gate
which led to the office
of the Captain of the Guard.
These men had dared to break my rules.
Rules no man could keep
under such conditions.
And they were there
to be sentenced to punishment.
First in line was the man whose mind
had cracked under the awful strain.
His feet were touching the Dead Line.
and every prisoner knew
that it meant just that.
That the convict who stepped across
that line without being ordered to do so
invited hot lead from the rifles
of the guards from the towers.
Trigger happy morons
who needed no second invitation.
In every prison population
there is always a leader
and Chuck Daniels, serving a life term
was just that.
My warden of that time
was of the old school
In the language of the prison world,
a con hater.
To him, convicts were brutes.
And brute force was the only thing
that would keep them in line.
Pete Donovan!
Close the gate.
Well Pete,
you had a little trouble this morning.
- What have you got to say for yourself?
- Nothing.
Destroying prison property
is a serious offence.
Haven't you got
any explanation to offer?
You try sleeping in
one of them sweat boxes.
- According to regulations I should
put you in solitary. - Go ahead.
Drop 30 days on me.
a concrete bed'll be better than that
stinking mattress I've been sleeping on.
- 10 days solitary.
- Wait a minute.
He could do 10 days
standing on his head.
Getting temperamental again eh?
Lock him down for 30.
Take that long to cool off,
a big boy like Pete.
Get him out of here.
- Chick Fullis
- I think 10 days is enough, Warden.
10 days?
What do you think we're running here,
a flop house for these guys?
Fullis, why did you start a fight
with Matese in the yard?
I didn't start anything.
- The report says...
- The report's all wrong, Captain.
- What about it Sergeant?
- All I know is Matese's in the hospital.
Somebody gave him a pretty good
working over, Matese says it was Fullis.
- Any witnesses?
- None that'll talk.
It wasn't me, think I'm stupid.
I just did 30 in the hole,
Think I want to go back there?
That's the trouble with this joint, you
blink an eye and the roof falls in on you.
Wait a minute.
Who are you yelling at, con?
Give him another 30
that'll teach him some manners.
Get outta here.
- Drop out of line.
- What's wrong, Chuck?
Tell you later, go to the other end
of the yard and wait for me.
See you over there.
- The students are sure
nervous this morning. - Yeah.
Don't try it Jeff, call it off.
- Why?
- It looks bad.
Why is Rickey
standing up there watching us?
Look at them bulls in there, 16.
Got a hunch somebody
tipped them off.
Give it up, Jeff.
- It's too late now.
- We'll get another chance.
- I'm going.
- Not me.
Take my advice Jeff,
call it off.
- Anything wrong. - No, give the signal
when I look through the gate.
- Ciprean
- Riordan.
Shut that gate!
They made a break
for the Captain's office!
Open the gate, Joe.
Get outside that gate
or we'll kill these guys.
Get away from that gate,
we're coming through.
Alright, fire!
Fire, I tell you!
Get in there.
Hold your fire.
Hold your fire!
Hold your fire!
Quiet you fellows,
everybody back.
You two are responsible for this.
I'll take care of you responsibly.
OK boy, the game's over.
- What's the score?
- Three dead...
Four, maybe five.
- I had a bid at that party.
- Yeah, so did I.
I passed it up.
When I go I go alone.
How are you going, boy?
You'll find out.
After I've gone.
Doc Hayden just phoned.
Captain Baxter died during the night.
Two officers dead.
Lacks discipline is the answer.
If Baxter hadn't been so soft
he'd be alive today.
So we're clamping down the lid.
As of now
all privileges are cancelled.
The men not assigned to jobs will be
locked in their cells 24 hours a day.
Stop the tobacco issue.
Lights out in the cells
the minute the men get back from supper.
Tell the mess sergeant
to cut the con's meals to the bone.
No meat, not sugar,
beans three times a day.
And close the canteen
till further orders.
Sergeant, you're acting
Captain of the guard.
I'll recommend you to the board,
make your promotion permanent.
Thank you very much, Sir.
I want you to take the men
who instigated this riot
Say about three weeks before
they come to trial...
And give them
six hours a day on the horse.
I'll talk to Jeffrey.
Take the cuffs of him.
Go ahead.
Jeff isn't dangerous.
Not now.
Wait outside.
You're a bigger fool
than I thought you were.
Nobody ever escapes
what they've done.
Six of you got through the gate.
There were others who couldn't make it,
others who were all set to go.
- Who were they?
- Didn't your stool pigeon tell you that?
He told us there was a break coming.
But he couldn't tell us when
or who'd be in on it.
I'll make a deal with you.
The name of the stool pigeon
for the names of those who missed out.
I know the name of the stool pigeon.
Look, you're no hoodlum like the others.
Why protect them.
Officers have been killed.
That means the death sentence.
I can get you a commutation.
You know Stu was in on it,
wasn't he?
You're not even warm, Warden.
Not Daniels, your good friend?
- You wouldn't go without him.
- He didn't know anything about it.
Neither did the others.
You're wasting my time
and your life, Jeff.
Now you know you're going to tell me.
Sit down.
Don't you know
hospitality when you see it?
That was a mistake, Jeff.
Now we're really
going to have a little session.
- Not Daniels?
- Not Daniels.
Got it from an orderly in the hospital.
He got it from a guy
who works in administration.
Jeff wouldn't talk,
no matter what they did to him.
Jeff thinks somebody tipped
the warden off about the break.
- That's what it looks like.
- Yeah.
- But who?
- That's one thing that can't be covered up.
The name of the stool pigeon.
Somebody knows who he is.
Somebody'll find out.
Yeah, that'll be the end of him.
The end of him, yeah.
But not the end of Rickey.
Turning men against each other,
tormenting them until they fight back.
And get shot down.
We'll have him on our necks
till we get out. Get me?
I told you guys not to smoke in here.
You know what we got
stashed in this cell?
Wanna be carried out
of here in a basket?
- Morning.
- Good morning, what can I do for you?
I'm Frazier, Sacramento Press.
I want to see the Warden.
He hasn't come back from lunch,
but his house is right across the street.
- Why don't you step over and send
your name in. - Thanks, I will.
- Take this man over to
the Warden's house. - Thank you.
- Warden Rickey? I'm Frazier,
Jim Frazier, Sacramento Press.
- Well?
- I'd...
- I'd like a few minutes of
your time, Warden. - What for?
Well, it's been reported to my paper
that one of your inmates
was so badly beaten by...
a prison officer,
that he's now paralysed.
- Anything in it?
- No.
I'll have to have more proof
than that to kill this story.
In other words,
you don't believe me.
That's about it.
Alright Mr. Frazier, come with me.
Get in.
Why do they have to search your car?
How do we knowbut
somebody stashed a gun under the hood.
You better shake this guy down too,
he's a newspaper man.
Yeah, I might have
a typewriter taped to my skin.
- After you Mr. Frazier.
- Thank you.
What's the name of the man
you had the report on?
Riordan, Jeff Riordan.
Number 16.
Just a moment, what is this?
Those are the men
who started that riot a few weeks ago.
- How long have they been getting
this treatment? - About
two weeks I guess.
Riordan's in here.
Move your leg!
See, he's not paralysed.
Leave him alone.
- What did he do?
- He was top man in the riot.
Don't you think he ought
to be in the hospital?
Perhaps you're right.
You should have reported
Riordan's condition to the Captain's office.
Phone the hospital and have them
send a stretcher down right away.
Any other suggestions...
Mr. Frazier?
We have to get out here
and show ourselves to the gate guards.
What for?
So they can see there's nobody in the car
holding a gun on us.
We lost a warden that way once.
- Good warden?
- Not bad...
As wardens go.
It's only fair to warn you
that the story I'm going to write
will tell exactly what I saw here today.
Go ahead and write it,
but write this too.
Those men murdered
Captain Baxter and the guards.
They tried to use
Sergeant Hart and me as hostages.
If they'd got away with it,
we would have had our throats cut.
What would you do in a case like that?
Put them in the bridal suite
and give them breakfast in bed?
- Drop in again Mr. Frazier, any time.
- Thanks. Maybe I will.
- What do you want? - Mr. Rickey, Sir, the
word's out that I tipped you off about...
- You know...
- Well?
You got to help me sir,
get me away from the yard.
- You'll be alright, we'll protect you.
- I don't think you can, they'll kill me.
Alright, if it worries you that much
I'll have you transferred to the ranch.
- Shall I have him transferred right away?
- No.
Forget about it,
leave him where he is.
- Hello. - I'll be glad to
give you a lift if you're going my way.
- Well...
- Now don't misunderstand me, I mean a lift.
That's awfully nice of you,
but I...
- I'm going to the prison.
- Well so am I, get in.
My husband's in Folsom.
- What does he do?
- He works in the quarry.
- He's a convict.
- Oh, I see.
- What's his name?
- Red Pardue.
He'll be getting out soon.
- That's good news.
- It is for me.
Tough going bringing
up a couple of kids without a father.
Two kids? You?
Boy and girl.
- You got children?
- Uh huh.
- You should have.
- I gotta get a wife first.
That would be better.
- They're such fun.
- What, wives?
No, kids.
Well, here we are.
- Have a nice visit.
- We will.
Thanks for the ride.
How d'you like that. When I come to
see him they've got him in the hole.
If he's in the hole,
how did you get in here?
Just asked to see somebody else.
I've got lots of friends living in this place.
- I'm crazy about you kid.
- I'm the same way about you.
- You're not going to ditch me?
- Never. - If I could only...
- What's going on here?
- Have a heart, we're on our honeymoon.
Don't wear what you're wearing now,
get something simple, understand?
OK, Chuck.
Tell the people you rent from your husband's
in the hospital, lung trouble or something.
- You need a place for him to get well in.
- ??? was close to Folsom.
Don't be stupid,
that's just the first stop.
- I'll tell you what Molly.
- Yes, Joe?
Send me some yarn,
I'm learning how to knit.
The way things happen, Janey.
There I was all set to go with that mob.
I told you it was crazy.
A couple of weeks later
I get a letter from the board.
- Telling me they've granted my parole.
- You could begin now.
- You should thank God on your knees.
- I did.
Just think Janey...
Six more months and I'll be coming home.
I haven't been able to think
of anything else since I got your letter.
- You told the kids?
- Of course.
- Jenny is too young to understand.
- She hardly knows.
- But the boy...
- What did he say?
What all kids say when they're glad.
He ain't ashamed I'm a con?
He boasts about it, Red.
- Oh, now look, that's bad.
- I know.
You say he's crazy about football?
You tell him life's just like that.
That you can't play the game
without the rules.
And if you break the rules,
You gotta pay the penalty.
Tell him
a thief's not only a snide player
but he's a chump who gets it
in the neck every time.
And tell him
I love him,
I love them both.
Well, I see you've heard the bad news.
Yeah, I hear some guy's
moving into Baxter's quarters.
- They also tell me he's going to be the
new Captain of the Guard. - That's right.
What happens to me,
what about my promotion?
I thought I could get the board
to leave things as they are.
Put the new man in your old spot.
I even talked to them on the phone.
No dice.
I know how you feel Cliff.
But I'm not happy either.
All the years I've put in here,
makes me feel like a sap.
I know, but listen
to what the board wrote to me.
Get this.
You've been working too hard, Ben
and you're tired.
Your staff has let you down.
What you need in Folsom
is a transfusion.
New blood, young blood.
So we're sending Mark Benson
as your new Captain of the Guard.
New blood, young blood!
- What do they think I am, old?
- Mark Benson?
- Didn't he use to work at Quentin.
- Yeah, he was a sergeant. University guy.
Later they made him
superintendent of road camps.
I met him a couple of times.
Heard him sound off once at a
meeting of the Prison Association.
Cons are mentally sick,
or early influences.
- Society's to blame, that line.
- Yeah, I know.
What are we supposed to do,
give them a shot in the arm?
- You know what he wants to use on cons?
- No, what?
- Psychology.
- No kidding!
You know what that is?
- Well it's...
- Here.
The science which treats of
the mind of men in any of its aspects.
Systematic knowledge and investigation
of the phenomena of
consciousness and behaviour.
He better not try that stuff in here.
Oh, I want him to try it.
I'm going to give him
all the rope he needs
and watch him hang himself.
Mr. Benson is here, Warden.
Come in, come in.
Hi Mark, welcome to Folsom.
Thank you, it's going to be
a pleasure to work with you.
You've met Captain... Sergeant Hart?
No I haven't,
but I've heard about him.
- I'm going to need a lot of help from
you Sergeant. - That's what I'm here for.
Of course it'll take me a few days
to orient myself.
You know this is
a pretty big reservation.
Yes it is,
so take all the time you want.
Now that we've got new blood in here
I'm going to take it easy.
You know your job,
so I'm giving you a free hand.
Folsom means maximum security
and we're stuck with it.
But outside of that I welcome
any suggestions you have to offer.
That's very kind of you, Warden.
- I really hadn't expected...
- I know, I've got a tough reputation.
But my bark is worse than my bite.
- Eh, Cliff?
- That's right Warden.
- You been here before?
- Just once.
- Hart'll show you around.
- Sure.
I know we're going to get along
just fine together.
- Thank you Warden.
- See you later.
This is the guard relief.
The day shift just got on duty.
- Boys, I want you to meet Mr. Benson,
the new Captain. - How are you.
That's all fellows.
The Folsom guard line hasn't
changed much since I saw it last.
- Any high school men among them?
- Yeah, a couple I guess.
- It's tough to get good men.
- Only $60 a month and their keep.
You can't buy much for that kind of dough.
Let's go see the canning plant first.
Here's a character you should know.
Rufe, meet the new Captain.
- Rufe Mosier, the oldest con in the pen.
- Yep, I've been here since 1895.
He was eligible for parole
13 years before he applied for it.
- Then when he got it he
didn't want to leave. - Why not?
Well you see, I wanted to take
my dog Jojo with me.
I got the Warden's permission
to take him.
And everything went fine
until we got to the front gate.
Then he wouldn't move.
Nothing I could do
would make him stir his self.
So I figured
If Jojo didn't like it outside
maybe I wouldn't like it neither,
no sir!
- Do you permit dogs in here?
- Jojo's the only one.
He's a good ratter.
The joint's full of rats.
We manufacture and repair
all the shoes we use in the place.
Hello Leo, how's it going?
- OK, Sir.
- Meet Mr. Benson, new Captain of the Guard.
How old are you Leo?
Twenty, Captain.
He's doing life.
Murder first.
Tell him how it happened, Leo.
I killed my wife.
She was 18.
Five bullets.
For every bullet
I quoted a word from the marriage service.
Until... death... do... us...
Funny thing about it,
she didn't do what he thought she did.
- He knows that I suppose.
- He does now.
- That's a stiff climb.
- Sure is. My name is Borden
- Mine's Benson, the new Captain
of the Guard. - Glad to know you, Sir.
Get a good view of the yard from here.
Well, I see some old friends
of mine from the Sierra road camp.
Yeah, there's Hot Rand
Marty McCain
Hot's got rabbit blood in him,
always taking it out on the lam.
That's how come he
finally landed in here.
That's the noon call for mess.
How much are we allowed per day
to feed the inmates?
14 cents per man.
That's less than 5 cents per meal
That's right.
What kind of food
can be bought for that money?
Beans for breakfast, dinner and supper.
What I wouldn't give to crash out of this
joint and get some decent chow for a change.
Yeah, me too.
Why aren't the men permitted
to talk whilst they eat?
Warden's orders.
Bad for morale.
I didn't like the looks of the food
I saw on those tables either.
I don't think the cons
like the looks of them.
- Kind of hot ain't it?
- Yeah.
- Can I get you guys some water?
- We'll get our own water.
- He's right on time. - Tate said we
could expect him through here about 10:30.
Watch yourselves, now.
- This is the stool pigeon.
- Stay away, you guys, stay away.
Hey guard, he fell in.
Get a rope, hurry up.
Quick, get him will you.
- Who was it?
- Gebhardt, he fell in.
- He can't swim, he'll go over the dam.
- There's a man in the river!
- Who was it?
- Gebhardt.
- He slipped and fell in the mill race.
- We tried to grab him, but it was too late.
- Alright, get 'em back on the job.
- Come on, let's go.
Who was he Sergeant?
Stool pigeon.
That was no accident, Sergeant.
Shall we go back?
Well, did you see everything?
I saw an inmate killed, Warden.
One of the men on the track gang.
He fell into the mill race
and was swept over the dam.
- Who was it?
- Gebhardt.
- An accident?
- Yes, warden, it was an accident.
Here's his file card.
Evens, bring in your book.
Carl Gebhardt.
The stool pigeon,
they come and go.
Write this man's wife.
"Regret to inform you
"Your husband died as of..."
"Your husband died accidentally
as of this date.
He has $2 on the prison books.
Please inform us
what you wish done with his body."
- Sign my name and so on.
- Yes, Warden.
Well, Benson,
what do you think of Folsom.
It's quite a place, Warden.
No, no, I wouldn't do that.
OK I'll take care of it myself.
Yeah, I'll call you later on it,
right, goodbye.
Like your new office?
- Close to the yard.
- Well, you picked it.
You remember that wire
we sent to the wife of that con
that was killed down by the dam,
with $2 on the prison books?
Here's her answer.
You keep the body,
send me the $2.
Warden, I sent you a list of changes
the other day that I wanted to make.
- Why don't you make 'em?
- I was waiting for your OK.
I told you I was giving you a free hand.
What more do you want?
That's fine.
There's one other thing.
What about those men
being punished in the hole?
What about them?
They'll be coming up for trial
in a few weeks...
They'll all get the death sentence.
- Don't you think that's punishment enough?
- Look, Captain...
That's one department
I want you to keep your hands off.
Is that clear?
- It's quite clear.
- OK, forget it.
What's for breakfast this morning?
Same old slop,
veg, mush, skim milk and black coffee.
- Want to see us Captain.
- Yes, I did.
Sergeant, how can prisoners respect men
who have no respect for their own appearance?
From now on the officers of the guard line
will report for duty
in uniforms that are at least clean.
And will conduct themselves
like officers.
Not like thugs.
- Yes, Sir.
- Stewart!
If a pure food inspector was
shown through the prison canning plant
he'd have apoplexy.
The place reeks of filth.
As for discipline,
the workers are either bullied by
the guards or left to do as they please.
The same thing applies
to all the shops.
- Clean 'em up!
- Yes, Sir.
Also I want that "Silence" sign
taken out of the mess hall.
Let the men talk whilst they eat.
And as off today,
we're taking beans off the prison menu.
How can you run a prison without beans?
Beans are a good wholesome food.
They might be
if they weren't spoiled.
According to the record 10 barrels
of rejected food, mostly beans
were thrown to the ranch hogs,
last week.
- Is that right, Stewart?
- Yes Sir.
But what am I going to feed 'em
if I can't feed 'em beans?
Feed 'em the ranch hogs.
Then they'll get the beans
in a more palatable form.
- Dont you ever feed meat to the inmates?
- Sometimes.
Make it three times a week.
What do they get for dessert?
Each man gets a pint of ice cream
every fourth of July.
Give 'em a pint every Sunday.
We've got a dairy herd on the ranch.
Put the milk to work.
That's all Stewart,
oh, and don't forget...
- Meat for dinner.
- Meat!
Will that be all, Mr. Benson.
That's all, Sergeant.
- What's so funny?
- I've been reading your file card.
That's quite a score, Chuck.
You've crashed the walls of more
jail houses than any man in the country.
What would you do
if you were serving a life sentence?
I'm afraid my answer
might incriminate me.
Besides, I'm on the opposing team.
How do you like it in here?
Not so good, the joint's
full of suspicious characters.
You're due to go out
pretty soon, aren't you Red?
127 days, 12 hours,
31 minutes, 11 seconds.
You can see he hasn't
given it much thought.
- I see by your file you were a licensed
dynamite man outside. - That's right.
I've got a friend in Redwood City
in the lumber business.
I think I can get you a job with him.
- Come in and see me in a couple of days.
- Thanks Captain, I will.
So long, fellows.
Not a bad guy.
Your move.
Say, Mr. Benson,
Yes, Tinker?
- That's Tinker, not Stinker.
- That's what I said.
- I'd like to talk to you about
getting out of here. - Alright.
You know I'm... I'm not a confirmed
criminal like the rest of the guys in here.
I should be on the outside.
Maybe you're right at that.
You'd probably do more good for the law
outside than you would inside.
Yeah, that's what I've been
trying to tell everybody.
I bet you could keep at least
ten policeman working all the time.
All men called for the quarry detail
answer to your names.
- McCain - Here!
- Ryan... Masters... White
Pardue... Tinker!
Here, present, here I am.
- Got a light?
- No!
Daniels... White
Let's go.
Alright, come on!
We're going to follow that big edge
up there. Check it out and go ahead with the wires.
You fellows follow with those cases.
Here's yours Tinker.
Walk easy, Tinker.
- What's the set-up here?
- Pardue's top powder man.
That was his job on the outside.
We help him, come on.
Say Nick,
what's in this?
- What's that?
- Dynamite.
Hey, watch out for blasts!
Hey, if anything happens to me
I'm going to quit this job.
- What do you want?
- This is 60% dynamite, Sarge.
If we use this stuff
it'll shatter the rock.
- The case is marked 40.
- Must have used the wrong stencil.
- We've got three other cases.
- They're all the same, 60.
The powder company
doesn't deliver till tomorrow.
- Can't you borrow some in town.
- Yeah we might.
Put the cover back on that case, Chuck.
While you're about it you better get
some no. 6 and no. 8 detonator caps.
- We're running short.
- OK.
I'll have to send you in with
the pick-up truck to handle the stuff.
Tinker, Freddy, get back to your drilling.
- You heard what he said.
- Yeah, I heard him.
- Hey, where you going?
- I've got a date.
With a guy named Freddy.
Pardue's a licensed dynamite man, Captain.
It's safer to let him handle it.
Yes Sir, I have a guard I can spare.
You go with him Michaels,
get the pick-up truck at the garage.
Here's an order for the keys.
Stop at the Captain's office on your way out
and pick up a pass for Pardue.
I'll phone. the stuff'll be ready
by the time you reach town.
- Where you bound for?
- Down to the village.
Wait here a minute.
Want to phone the wife,
see if she wants anything in town.
Cover that truck.
OK Red, let's go.
Hold it Red, get away from there.
- What's the matter?
- I got word to shake this down again.
Alright, don't get nervous screw,
I'm getting out.
I know you are.
You can kiss that parole goodbye, Red.
- He didn't know anything about it. - I bet
he didn't. He was driving the truck, wasn't he.
Come on, inside, both of you.
I'd have done the same thing
in your place.
We got to face it Red,
there are no secrets in prison.
Even though the guards are
the only ones that know what happened
- the inmates are liable to figure out
that you... - Turned stool pigeon?
- I wouldn't put it that way.
- You're not a con.
That's just what I'm getting at.
Glad to see one of you cons
has a brain in his head.
This note you sent up to the tower
was one for the books.
Your mind really worked fast,
didn't it Red?
It had to, Warden.
I wonder what'd happen if I posted this
on the bulletin board out in the yard?
They'd turn on you
like a pack of wolves.
Now, you don't need to worry.
I told everybody that knows about it
to keep their mouths shut.
I think we owe Red
a vote of thanks.
Sure, sure.
I appreciate it.
Well, Michael's waiting for you
in the truck.
You go on into town,
get your dynamite.
Go right back to your job
as if nothing had happened.
Yes Sir.
You're not going to send him back to
the yard, to his old job?
Why not?
The cons know nothing about this.
They'll find out soon enough.
Ferretti was found in the truck.
They're liable to suspect Red.
Let me tell you something.
The minute I turn Red
out of his regular spot
every con in Folsom
will know he turned Ferretti in.
You didn't think of that did you?
You know why?
That's something you learn from
experience, not books on psychology.
He's going out in a few months.
We owe him protection.
I need him in my quarry.
Want me to play nursemaid to the guy?
I still think
you're risking his life.
And I say I'm still warden here.
You seem to forget that once in a while.
It's a bad habit, Mr. Benson.
- Hey Pete, I've been looking for you.
Where you been? - To school.
They carry your books?
- What you study today?
- Home economics.
That's all about marriage.
That's what you ought to do, get married.
Me, give up my freedom?
You're crazy.
We missed you since
you got transferred, Red.
Hey, that's neat.
- The air from the vent makes it go round.
- That's neat, what you got it for?
Something to look at
when I'm trying to sleep.
What are you holed up in here for, Red.
I don't feel right.
Know what day this is?
The Placerville Tigers are
playing our team this afternoon.
You ought to be sitting on top of the world,
the break you got the other day.
You know if Ferretti had made it,
they'd have dropped the axe on you.
- What's the matter with you anyway?
- Nothing.
You sure?
I turned Ferretti in.
- What are you talking about?
- I turned him in.
I spotted him behind
the seat in the cab.
I didn't know what to do, Chuck.
I thought of my parole,
my wife and kids.
I had to do it.
- Does Ferretti know?
- No.
- Who does?
- Rickey, Benson.
Half a dozen guards, you.
Ferretti knew that if he did make it,
you'd take the rap.
That's like sneaking up behind a guy in
the dark and sticking a knife in his back.
The other cons won't see it that way.
They believe what
they read about themselves.
The cons don't talk.
70% of the prisoners in every
stir I've ever been in
squeal on each other all the time.
That's the code of the underworld.
Try to make 'em believe that.
- To them I'll be a stool pigeon.
- But not to me Red.
You're the kind of a guy
I'd tie to every time.
Didn't I take you in on this
break I've been planning for years.
You're the first guy I told about it.
If it wasn't for your parole
you'd be going with us when we go.
Now come on.
Let's go out and watch that game.
Hey Jennings, look what you drew.
- Well Tinker, you ain't been down here
in a long time. - Have you missed me?
They sent him down to do that
plumbing job you've been griping about.
It's about time.
How would this place ever operate
without my guiding hand?
Get in there.
Call me when you're though with him.
- Right.
- For nine, Tinker.
Got a leaky waste trap in this one.
Can you fix it?
A guy who can pick a lock
can fix most anything.
See if you can pick that one.
Sing out when you've finished.
How long they going to keep you
down here?
I'll be lucky if I ever get out of here.
Nick, how come you got caught?
Pardue turned me in.
- Pardue?
- No kidding.
I didn't know anything about it
till a couple of days ago.
Why that doesn't seem possible.
I didn't think he knew I was
in the truck. He must have got wise.
You see I got a friend
in the Captain's office.
One of the con clerks.
He figured out a way
to tip me off.
Want me to spread the word in the yard.
That would fix him good.
No, no.
Daniels would cover up for him.
Yeah, I guess he would at that.
Look, Tinker.
I got close to 300
on the prison books.
You stop Pardue from going out
and it's yours.
Have it sent any way you say.
You know I've got
good connections outside.
They can't help me because
I'm in on murder first.
They could spring you out for parole,
it'd be a cinch.
Accidents happen all the time.
What about it Tinker?
What about it?
Hey Jennings, the job's done.
Let me out of here.
300 bucks, Tinker.
And a sure fire rain-check for you.
You'll have to stand still, Red.
- if you expect me to get this thing right.
- You know what this means don't you?
- I do.
- You'll be going out tomorrow.
But don't worry,
I'll have it ready for you.
It means my wife is going to
see me for the first time in five years.
Without a prison uniform.
She's coming up to get me.
What's the matter?
Don't you think you can find the way home?
She'll wear a new dress,
blue like her eyes.
She'll straighten my tie and say...
Red you big lug.
And then she won't be able to talk,
and neither will I.
- Red, Noonan wants you over
in the quarry, come on. - I'm coming.
- My last job before I sign out.
- Right.
Tell the Sarge we're all ready to blast.
It's all wired except this hole.
Everybody stand clear!
All clear?
All clear!
Keep your head down.
- What's the matter?
- Flying piece of rock got me.
I told you to keep your head down.
Dobie here got hit,
he had to see the fireworks.
Go tell Officer Brock
to take you into the doctor's.
- How did it go?
- Not so good.
One side didn't blow at all,
must be a break in the cable.
It's old stuff, I'll find it.
- It's a break alright Sarge.
- Yes.
Looks like we've got a jinx on this job.
Hurry it up, Red.
That explosion's got Red!
It wasn't my fault.
- He kept yanking on the wire.
- Why didn't you stop him?
I started to. He gave it another yank
and it slipped over and made contact.
I tried to grab it but it was too late.
He did it himself.
I couldn't help it.
I never had no trouble with Red.
I was no friend of Ferretti's either.
So you knew about that, huh?
OK Tinker, OK.
Come in.
Mrs. Pardue, Mr. Benson.
I remember you, you gave me
a ride to the prison, didn't you?
That's right.
This isn't my office, but I had you
brought here so we wouldn't be disturbed.
It's about your husband, Red.
Won't you sit down.
What's the matter, Captain Benson?
Has Red done something wrong?
You're not keeping him in here
any longer are you?
Is he hurt?
Tell me.
I'm going to tell you, Mrs. Pardue.
I'm going to tell you
exactly what happened.
Well Benson, what's new?
I've just finished telling Red Pardue's wife
that he's going out today.
What's that?
- In a box.
- Oh, I see.
How did she take it?
In a way you wouldn't understand.
You see...
- She loved him.
- You told her it was an accident, of course.
I told her it was murder!
What do you mean, murder?
We couldn't prove that
in a thousand years.
I told her you killed him, Warden.
You wouldn't dare say that.
When you sent that man
back to the yard
you knew that sooner or later the men
inside would find out what had happened.
- That was a chance he had to take.
- The chance you made him take.
In your twisted mind
a convicted man is no longer human.
He's a thing to be kicked around,
to be thrown away.
That's how you show your courage.
By stepping on men
who can't strike back.
Why you phony reformer!
You're all worked up, Captain
or you wouldn't say such things.
I face these cons, thieves, murderers.
Alone, unarmed.
That's why they have respect for me.
They hate you Rickey.
They despise you.
Maybe, but not to my face.
I had you figured right, Benson.
Your psychology is
just another name for weakness.
It takes guts to run a prison.
No, it takes brains.
Brains and understanding.
- And all you have is beef.
- Don't you talk that way to me.
Listen, I've got news for you.
From now on
I run this prison my way.
That's the only way you understand.
There's a change coming.
A big change.
- Only you're too blind to see it.
- Yeah?
There are men in this country who are
making a science of penology.
Not weak men, strong men.
Strong because they're right, Rickey.
And before long the prisons
of this state will be in their hands.
- Tell that to the board of directors.
- They know it.
And they know that you
and your kind are on the way out.
You're dated Rickey.
You're a back number.
You have no fear of thieves and murderers
because you think the way they do.
You're as much a psychopathic case
as any man in here.
And you're making the same blunders
every dictator made since time began.
Study the records.
You'll see they all
went down in disaster.
Gimme Sergeant Hart.
- Hart speaking.
- Hello, Hart.
The warden speaking.
Mr. Benson has just resigned.
I want you to take his place.
And I want you to revoke every change
made by Benson when he was Captain.
From now on the rule is rigid discipline
and the tougher the better.
That's all for now.
Well, they seem to be
taking it alright, don't they?
What else can they do but take it?
I'll be late for dinner.
You're in charge Sergeant.
- You mean Captain, don't you.
- Yeah, Captain.
- Keep your eyes open.
- Right.
This might be the time for it.
Pass the word on
to McCain and Rand as we go out.
They know what to do.
Who are you stepping on big-foot!
- Did it work?
- It sure did.
They counted him.
Well, they're all yours.
- Goodnight, Ken.
- Goodnight.
Collins calling, from the gun gallery
in number one. Everything's quiet.
Get back!
Drop that stick!
- Are you crazy Daniels?
- I said drop it.
That's it.
Now get off back to 197.
Come on!
Now you should open it.
Hurry it up!
Come on.
- Here, get McCain and Rand.
- Right.
Listen everybody.
We're going out.
Those of you who want to go along,
be ready.
those that don't lay low,
or you'll get hurt.
Alright, let's go.
Get him down there.
What's the matter, Tinker,
getting nervous?
Freddy and I want to be out.
Let us out of here.
Take it easy,
we'll get around to you boys.
Go to the desk.
- Where's the hot stuff?
- We got it. Here.
Smell that, screw.
Get on the phone, get Hart.
- What'll I say to him?
- Exactly what I say and nothing else.
Gimme Captain Hart's office.
- Hart speaking.
- This is Castle, Mr. Hart.
I'm in the old block.
Something wrong with the gun guy, Collins.
Yeah, what's the matter with him.
- I dunno. - He's got a stroke.
Tell him to get over here.
Maybe he's got a stroke.
You better get over here.
He's on his way. He's got the key
to the door that connects this
cell block to the administration building.
That's the way we're going out.
Come on, we'll meet him there.
You too, come on.
Drop that, come on.
Frisk him.
- Hart?
- OK.
I want the key to the door to
the administration building.
- You're out of luck Daniels,
I haven't got it. - Where is it?
- The warden has it.
- Where's he?
At his home, having dinner.
Good, we'll call him up.
Call Rickey and tell him
you need that key.
Tell him to send it to cell block 1.
- Well go on!
- Go on!
Hart speaking.
Connect me with the warden's home.
- What do you want Wong?
- Mr. Hart's on the phone, Warden.
A man can't even eat his dinner in peace.
Hello Cliff, what do you want?
I'm in old cell block number 1, Warden.
There's a break going on here,
the cons have got guns.
Hello? Cliff... Cliff?
Operator... operator!
This is the warden speaking, there's a break
going on in block no. 1. Turn in the alarm.
We're going already for you.
Vernon, call towers 18 and 21
- and tell them to keep that searchlight
on Cell House no. 1- Yes Sir.
Get me tower 18.
What are you doing here?
- I came to help you if I can.
- I don't need your help.
I can thank you
for what's happening here tonight.
Listen, I understand these men leading
the riot, let me go and talk to them.
- You want to get killed.
- No, I believe they'll listen.
- No that's out.
- Will you send for the militia?
- Why should I?
- For the effect on the rioters.
- Seeing the troops they'll know they're beaten.
- I've never asked for any help yet.
It'll save lives.
You haven't enough men to handle this.
I know what I'm doing
and I don't want your advice.
Warden, they've sent
a man out under a white flag.
He's talking to one of the screws.
Now they're taking him
to the Captain's office.
- Well? - Look Warden,
I've got nothing to do with this.
They opened my cell and told me
to bring you a message. that's all I know.
- How d'you get out?
- Through the gun gallery.
- How d'you get up there?
- They got a rope.
I tell you if you don't
make a deal with them...
- They're going to start killing
the guards, one at a time. - Yeah?
They want you to give them the key that
opens the door to the administration building.
- They want you to let them
out the front gate. - How many?
Six of 'em.
Once the way is clear
they'll take a couple of hundred with them.
They told me to tell you
that if I ain't back in 10 minutes
they'll start killing guards anyhow.
A very fair offer, eh, Mr. Benson.
Just about what I expected.
If you don't send him back
they'll kill those men.
I'm sending him back.
He's coming back.
You stay here Leo, keep your eyes open.
Come on, you two.
The guy we sent to the warden's
is on his way back.
You stick here
and keep this door covered.
- Is that you Ed?
- Yeah.
What's the warden's answer?
I got it right here.
Chuck! Chuck!
It was Rickey, I got him.
- Make sure.
- OK.
Rickey huh.
so that's the way they want it.
Alright, they'll get it.
Come on.
Don't bunch up around here.
Whitey, Tom.
Go down and cover those windows
at the other end. Go on, get going.
Get out of here Whitey.
Get back you guys.
Come on!
Hold your fire!
Hold your fire!
They stopped shooting.
- What does that mean?
- We'll find out.
Keep that opening covered.
- They cut the light.
- Take it easy.
- Daniels!
- Hold it.
- I want to talk to you.
- It's Benson.
What do you want? The warden?
It's too late, he's dead.
- You're going to surrender.
- What for?
- So you can string us all up.
- You've committed murder, Daniels.
That's what you call it.
If this thing goes on, we'll be forced
to attack the cell house with explosives.
Every man in there will die.
I want you to send out
Sergeant Hart
and the guard you're holding.
Also the men who are
still locked in their cells.
Then you ringleaders
must come out alone.
and with your hands over your heads.
I'm offering you
your only chance, Daniels.
You've got five minutes.
Look who's out there.
One minute.
We might as well face it.
Turn all those guys loose
in the cell blocks.
Three minutes.
Better turn those guns
over to us.
Go on! Get out of here
whilst you've got the chance.
Hey Chuck...
You're sending us out
with the others ain't you?
Yes Tinker,
we're sending you out.
The both of you.
Sending you out,
just like you sent out Red Pardue.
Four minutes!
- Get ready to duck you guys.
- No, not this time.
Don't Nick, that's dynamite!
There you have a story
from my notorious past.
Today the picture is
an entirely different one.
Through the years that followed
my board of directors
gave me modern, new buildings
to house my growing population.
But what is more important,
they gave me a change of heart.
Administrators who were
merciful as well as just.
Today under the direction
of an enlightened penologist
my guards are chosen
by competitive examination
and without political interference.
My walls are still impregnable,
but the prisoners inside them
are treated as individuals.
For what they are
and for what ails them.
I am still overcrowded.
There is still the evil
of two men in a cell.
In my prison hospital
you will find every modern appliance.
Every expert medical care.
To correct a man's thinking
you must keep his body fit.
And by the same token,
you must occupy his mind.
Here where 11 million license plates
were turned out this year
inmates are paid a nominal wage
and are given a chance
to regain their self respect.
I can't keep all the men you send to me.
The great majority will
one day be sent out on parole.
Their care, their rehabilitation
is your problem as well as mine.
You can't lock them up and forget them.
Sooner or later one of them
may be your next-door neighbour.
If they send you to me now
I'll be just,
I'll be humane.
But don't get me wrong,
I'm no pushover.
You will still find
that there is no substitute
for freedom.