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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Top Five Falsely Imprisoned

Every now and then, Hollywood comes up with a new idea, or at least an idea that hasn't been touched on in a few decades, so you get two movies basically telling the exact same story. I know I'm stealing this from some movie, but the best examples of this are Wyatt Earp having its Tombstone, and Deep Impact having its Armageddon. Hmm, maybe that was Knocked Up where they have that conversation, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that some form of technology may change, let's say something like CGI, and then all of a sudden it's either alien movies or disaster movies aplenty. Maybe there's a big news story about a kidnapping or something, then all of a sudden … kidnapping movies aplenty. In retrospect, one of the reasons why The Player is such a good movie is it gives you a good amount of insight as to the film making process.

The early 1990s got caught up in the "wrong accused/falsely imprisoned" theme. Whether it was Harrison Ford telling Tommy Lee Jones that, "I didn't kill my wife!" with Mr. Jones responding, "I don't care!" or Andy Dufresne going over it a thousand times with Red about how he didn't kill his wife either, or maybe it was Jerry Conlan who didn't bomb anyone and was just another flower power slacker hippie from across the pond, Hollywood producers determined that the American public wants to see stories of people who are in jail and don't deserve to be. They even had that one movie with Christian Slater about going to jail for some minor crime, and then turning into an animal while he was in jail. I forget that one, but I'm sure you understand why, but I'll make fun of Christian Slater some other time (Read: True Romance).

So, with all that being said, here's my Top 5 Falsely Imprisoned People of Film list. Please note, being a true story or not has no bearing on my list. Once your story has made it to the big screen, it's so embellished it's no longer true. Everything is based off of a true story, well, except Star Wars.

5. The "Take My Hand Boss" Guy From The Green Mile

I've never seen this movie in its entirety, but I have the read the book. Sure, maybe the magic man never killed those girls and was only trying to help them, but he practiced witchcraft, and people who practice witchcraft should be burned at the stake. How do I know he is a witch? Well, he turned me into a newt. Side note: What makes the Holy Grail so great is that I've probably quoted the witch scene more than any other movie ever, and it's still funny to me every time.

4. Ruben "Hurricane" Carter

There are some who say he actually was guilty of the crime he was imprisoned for. There are others who say he was guilty of so many other crimes, that he should have been in jail anyway. But how can the life of such a man be in the palm of such fool's hands? That's the story of the Hurricane. It won't be over until they clear his name. Ruben could take a man out with just one punch though, and even though he didn't like to talk about it all that much, he should be in jail just to keep that lethal punch off the street.

3. Andy Dufresne

He probably doesn't rank too much higher because, and this is the best spoiler ever if you haven't seen the movie, he escapes. Not only does he escape, he makes a lot of money, takes down the warden, and winds up with Red somewhere on the Western beaches of Mexico. Sure, maybe that whole Boggs thing wasn't too good, and all the time in the hole, well, he probably is never going to get that back, but at least it ended well.

2. Dr. Richard Kimble

Harrison Ford is probably the greatest action hero of all time. This will be another list in the future though, so I won't dwell on that here. What makes his escape better then Andy's, is he doesn't run off to some tropical paradise, no, he returns to the city he's from to prove his innocence. Here's my thing with this false imprisonment though. When he knew it was a one-armed man, couldn't the police have shown him pictures of all the one-armed men? If the good doctor was wise enough to do the research, I'm sure detectives could have too. Sure, it wouldn't have been good for the movie because there would have been no fugitive, but at least the good doctor would have been saved a lot of time and aggravation.

1. Jerry Conlan

Granted, of all these movies, this was the most serious crime and the most serious drama. It also happens to be the truest story of the bunch, which is just awful. Terrorism really has a lot of losers, and no winners … awwwwwwwwww. Wow, that was a terrible sentence. Instead of going that way, maybe Jerry Conlan the hippie slacker, should have been put in jail because there's a scene where he and his hippie friends are playing soccer with an invisible ball. I don't know if it's just drug stereotypes or what not, but with whatever I've done in my life, and I'll speak for my friends too, and whatever they've done in their life, there's never been a moment where we wanted to engage in a sporting event with a mythical ball, so maybe Mr. Conlan should have done about 6 months for that.

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