Scared Straight!

"Very Good"

Scared Straight! Review


You know what it means to get "scared straight," dontcha? It means you've got the crap scared out of you so badly you'll change your criminal (or other wrongdoing) ways.

Here's the origin of the term: Scared Straight! a watershed documentary about highschool delinquents who are exposed to the real criminal element during a three-hour deprogramming session in a real prison. Here, 30-year-to-lifers get face to face -- nose to nose, really -- with uppity teenagers thinking they're invulnerable and will never get caught during their petty crimes.

The prisoners drag these kids around, scream in their faces, and tell them what the joint is really like. The idea is to scare the pants off them so they'll stop sniffing glue, shoplifting, or whatever. Peter Falk narrates as only Peter Falk can.

The one drawback with the film is that its production values are quite low. It's hard to understand the dialogue what with all the yelling and lack of up-close microphones. In the end it's hard to figure out exactly why these kids are scared straight except that these guys make for really menacing role models.

The new DVD adds present-day coverage showing us what happened to some of the prisoners and most of the teens, hosted by Danny Glover. Were they really scared straight? Most were, some weren't. The ones that appeared hardest during the original shoot in 1978 remained that way -- and most went to prison themselves in later years (or died along the way). As a cultural study, it's far more interesting that Michael Apted's 42 Up series.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 52 mins

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.