Review by CJ
Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, William H. Macy
Other notable appearances:
Brad Dourif, Stephen Tobolowsky
Watch this if you liked:
A Few Good Men, Philadelphia
“This film is inspired by a true story.”
Henri Young (Bacon) was sent to prison for stealing five dollars from a post office. He was sent to Alcatraz prison. He tried to escape.
As punishment for the failed escape attempt, Henri is sent to solitary confinement. The hole. The dungeon. Henri is beaten and only allowed one thirty-minute period outside over the entire three-year period he spends in solitary confinement. During this time he is crippled – physically and emotionally.
Once Henri is released back into the general population as a broken man, he snaps and stabs another inmate to death with a spoon. That the other inmate was involved in the escape attempt but informed thus escaping solitary confinement is of no concern to the system that immediately tries Henri for murder in the first degree. A crime punishable by death.
Young lawyer James Stamphill (Slater) is given the case. His boss feels it is a no-win case and that it should be easy for the rookie. However, James sees something in Henri. A petty-thief who became a cold-blooded killer doesn’t sit well with James. Once he investigates the circumstances of Henri’s incarceration, James realises Henri was just the weapon. Alcatraz was the murderer.
Continue reading Murder in the First (1995)