urder in the First (1995) is based on the life of Henri Young, a petty thief, who stole $5 to feed his hungry sister. He was captured and sent to prison. The prison was none other than the famous Alcatraz, which was also called as The Rock. Young tries to flee the prison with some of his prison inmates but was captured. As a punishment, he was sent to solitary confinement which lasted for 3 years and 2 months. When Mr. Young got a chance to get out of it, the outside world was very different than what he was used to, by then. He spotted his prison mate who betrayed him and his friends during the escape and kills him at the first opportunity. Thus becoming a killer and faced trial for first degree murder.
His lawyer, James Stamphill, who slowly bonded with Young and started to present a case which was never seen before by the world. His job was to prove that Young was not a murderer but a device that was crafted in Alcatraz by the authorities. He was to prove this, with little help from Young, facing challenges that one could think of when one challenge the members of governing bodies.
This movie was finely crafted by Mark Rocco (director) and well organized by Dan Gordon(writer). The story had perfect pace and well positioned characters or events. It also shows the intense courtroom drama which is worth watching.
As far as the acting goes, every one had played their part brilliantly. Kevin Bacon, played the part of Henri Young and was awesome at it. He has reportedly lost weight for this and played a role of a mentally unstable. Through his acting he has tried his best to show how a man behaves when exposed to such extreme conditions. During this movie he moved with a bent down posture as he feels he did nothing in his life. However at the end one see him walking straight, as he believed that he has done something.
Christian Slater played the role of James Stamphill and was best suited for it. So as Gary Oldman, who played the role of the warden at Alcatraz. They had their moments during the movie and were the best fit for the character.
As far as the movie goes, one cannot ask for more from this. Enjoy!
Some additional notes:
One argues that this movie does not have all the facts. The film makes numerous changes to the actual story like the real Henri Young was not just a petty thief but a bank robber and a murderer before he moved in. Also its said that Alcatraz was not the place where he died.
Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles offshore from San Francisco, California, US. Often referred to as "The Rock," the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. In 1972
Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a
National Historic Landmark in 1986.
During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed no prisoner
had successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape