: : : Short Eyes

Story

Though time and HBO's Oz have eclipsed its ground-breaking impact, Short Eyes remains a milestone of American independent film, and a vital entry in the prison-film genre. Adapted by Miguel Piñero from his acclaimed play, this gritty drama was filmed in Manhattan's infamous Men's House of Detention (better known as "the Tombs"), giving a rough, authentic edge to Piñero's unflinching portrait of men trapped in legal-system limbo. Inmate tensions intensify when an alleged pedophile ("Short Eyes" in prison slang, played by Bruce Davison) is dropped into detention, and instantly ostracized by white, Latino, and black inmates alike. Under the documentary-like direction of Robert M. Young, this claustrophobic, emotionally raw study of hopelessness was a real eye-opener for its time (1977), revealing depths of anguish, danger, and cruelty that had never before been dramatized on film. Paving the way for harsher prison dramas that followed, Short Eyes features Piñero in a supporting role, and look closely for Traffic's Luis Guzmán in his screen debut. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Bruce DavisonClark Davis
Shawn ElliottPaco
Joseph CarberryLongshoe
Luis GuzmanLuis Guzmán
Mark MargolisMr. Morrison
Freddy FenderJohnny
Curtis MayfieldPappy

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Robert M. Young
  • Producer: Fox Lorber
  • Length: 100 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1977
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaAug 12, 2003
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