Ever since we came up with the concept of locking the wicked and wrong-doing away from society in buildings with metal bars and heavily armed guards, there have been attempts at escape. This theme is heavily present in literature and film, possibly as a representation of our own fears of being trapped inside ourselves. Some innocent and some very, very guilty, here are a few of the most interesting prison escapist artists . . .
J is for Jailbreaker
Edmond Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo) – An innocent man set up for crimes he didn't commit, Edmond Dantes spent fourteen years in Chateau d'If, an island fortress from which no prisoner has ever escaped. After spending six years in solitary confinement and contemplating suicide, he finally broke through a wall and befriended a priest named Faria on the other side. Together they hatch a plan of escape, and though Faria dies before they can enact it, Dantes manages to get away from Chateau d'If by taking the place of his dead friend in the body bag, leaving him free to seek revenge against the men that betrayed him.
Dr. Richard Kimbel (The Fugitive) – An innocent man like Dantes, Richard Kimbel is sent to prison for the murder of his wife. Following an escape attempt by a fellow prisoner gone awry, Kimbel manages to slip free from the bus carrying him to death row. Kimbel must then allude the law as he searches for the one-armed man that murdered his wife and clear his name.
Michael Scofield . . . and Lincoln Burrows (Prison Break) – [Note: Though both brothers qualify for this post, I am focusing primarily on Michael.] When Michael Scofield's older brother Lincoln is falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to death row, he gets himself deliberately thrown in jail in order to break his brother out via a complex plan and a detailed map tattooed over his body. After he and Lincoln escape Fox River State Penitentiary, Michael subsequently gets thrown into a second prison. Of course he manages to break out of this one as well, making him the only character to pull off not one, but two jailbreaks.
Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs) – The most disgusting of all prison breakouts, Hannibal Lecter's escape is carried out with brutal precision. Spoilers: He cuts the face off of one his guards, placing it over his own before taking the guard's place in the ambulance, a series of events which demonstrates his ease with blood and mutilation. Though for a man nicknamed "Hannibal the Cannibal", that's really no great surprise.
John "Hannibal" Smith, "Face" Peck, Bosco "B.A." Baracas and "Howling Mad" Murdock (The A Team) – Masterminds of my absolutely favorite jailbreak in cinematic history, Hannibal, Face, B.A. and Murdock – better known as the "A Team" – had me howling with laughter as they busted through the walls of an insane asylum, hijack a military aircraft, and somehow managed to FLY A TANK. Definitely one of the most inventive and hilarious breakouts ever filmed.
And there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Jailbreakers. What are some of your favorites?
This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2013. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is character types and tropes. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the other participants, simply click here.