Early in his career, Don Siegel made his mark with this sensational and high-octane but economically constructed drama set in a maximum-security penitentiary. Riot in Cell Block 11, the brainchild of producer extraordinaire Walter Wanger, is a ripped-from-the-headlines social-problem picture about inmates’ rights that was inspired by a recent spate of uprisings in American prisons. In Siegel’s hands, the film, shot on location at Folsom State Prison, with real inmates and guards as extras, is at once brash and humane, showcasing the hard-boiled visual flair and bold storytelling for which the director would become known.
- New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New audio commentary by film scholar Matthew H. Bernstein
- Excerpts from the director’s 1993 autobiography, A Siegel Film, read by his son Kristoffer Tabori
- Excerpts from Stuart Kaminsky’s 1974 book Don Siegel: Director, read by Tabori
- Excerpts from the 1953 NBC radio documentary series The Challenge of Our Prisons
- PLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by producer Walter Wanger (dual-format only), and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (dual-format only)
New cover by Eric Skillman