Prison movies, at one time a staple of Hollywood production, are not much in favor these days, so it is fortunate that DVDs of some of the old classics are newly available.
Top pick would be "Riot in Cell Block 11," released with the usual flood of extras by the Criterion Collection. Inspired by real-life riots over prison conditions, "Cell Block 11" is notable as an early 1954 work by director Don Siegel, an action maestro who was one of Clint Eastwood's key mentors.
Also of considerable interest is 1949's "Caged," released by the Warner Archive Collection. Starring Eleanor Parker and subtitled "the story of a woman's prison today," it offers life-behind-bars melodrama with a vengeance.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times