Murder in the First

January 20th, 1995


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Still of Kevin Bacon and Christian Slater in Murder in the FirstKevin Bacon in Murder in the FirstChristian Slater in Murder in the First

An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 7.1/10 (12,964 voted)

Director: Marc Rocco

Stars: Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman

Henri Young stole five dollars from a post office and ended up going to prison - to the most famous, or infamous, prison of them all: Alcatraz. He tried to escape, failed, and spent three years and two months in solitary confinement - in a dungeon, with no light, no heat and no toilet. Milton Glenn, the assistant warden, who was given free reign by his duty-shirking superior, was responsible for Young's treatment. Glenn even took a straight razor and hobbled Young for life. After three years and two months, Young was taken out of solitary confinement and put with the rest of the prisoners. Almost immediately, Young took a spoon and stabbed a fellow prisoner in the neck, killing him. Now, Young is on trial for murder, and if he's convicted he'll go to the gas chamber. An eager and idealistic young attorney, James Stamphill, is given this impossible case, and argues before a shocked courtroom that Young had a co-conspirator. The true murderer, he says, was Alcatraz.

Christian Slater - James Stamphill
Kevin Bacon - Henri Young
Gary Oldman - Milton Glenn
Embeth Davidtz - Mary McCasslin
William H. Macy - D.A. William McNeil
Stephen Tobolowsky - Mr. Henkin
Brad Dourif - Byron Stamphill
R. Lee Ermey - Judge Clawson
Mia Kirshner - Adult Rosetta Young
Ben Slack - Jerry Hoolihan
Stefan Gierasch - Warden James Humson
Kyra Sedgwick - Blanche, Hooker
Alex Bookston - Alcatraz Doc (as Alexander Bookston)
Richie Allan - Jury Foreman
Herb Ritts - Mike Kelly

Taglines: "I accuse Alcatraz of crimes against humanity." - The lawyer "I was a weapon, but I ain't no killer." - The accused "I am not on trial here." - The warden

Release Date: 20 January 1995

Filming Locations: Alamo Square, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California, USA

Gross: $17,382,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Following the Northridge earthquake after-shocks continuously rocked the makeup trailer. A fed up Gary Oldman jumped from the hairstylist's chair, opened the door, looking skyward he yelled "STOP!"

Revealing mistakes: All of the street cars aren't running on tracks as they are in fact trucks as the tires can easily be seen from several different angles.

[first lines]
Prison Barber: They're coming! Run!

User Review

Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon--(Maybe even 7 or 8)

Rating: 9/10

As Wayne would have it---"DENIED!!"

how this film escaped the attention of Oscar and Globe voters is one of the great Hollywood mysteries of our time...if Bacon ain't Oscar meat here, i don't know what absolutely brilliant performance in the kind of role the voters usually jump all over at ballot time...ya really gotta wonder...

conspiracy theories aside, this is one helluva flick...besides our pal Kevin, there's outstanding work from Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, and everybody's favorite drill sergeant, Lee Ermey...Moe Greene's kid, Marc Rocco, gets a great period feeling economically...solid work by the wardrobe and make-up units...this film deserved a much better fate at the box office and at awards season in '96...if you haven't seen this one yet, you're missing a real gem...