Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Jailbreaker

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? 
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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.

23 comments:

  1. Nic Cage in Con Air is great.

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  2. I see I have some prison breaks to catch up with. Thanks.

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  3. The only person I can think to add to your list is Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption.

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    1. Yeah. And I wasn't even thinking of him until you mentioned him!

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    2. Totally stole my response! Great movie

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  4. Sirius Black. Escaping by changing into a dog? Brilliant :)

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  5. You have given me new things to consider - I'm really glad i stopped by.
    Now, I'd prefer not to locked up to begin with . . BUT, I teach - I hope I am giving keys to a better life - so any of "my" students will be able to escape any limiting situation - I hope they find they've acquired the keys to set themselves free from any kind of bondage.
    Happy A to Z, -g-

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  6. Love it!

    What about Escape from Alcatraz? I've always been fascinated by that island prison. To have that gorgeous view of SF so close and yet so far.

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  7. The Great Escape- Steve McQueen & The Shawshank Redemption. Total classics!

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  8. omg, my post today is on the difference between Jail and Prison.
    I guess great minds...

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    MM

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  9. Monte Cristo was the first thing that came to mind. In fact, I have a copy of it right next to me, because I've been planning to re-read it for... well, you don't need to know how long it's been sitting here.

    I grew up on the A-Team. It was my brother's favorite show. I did enjoy the movie, too, and don't understand why people didn't like it. The cast was great.

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  10. There's always Toy Story 3, when the toys attempt to escape the daycare.

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  11. Great blog! How about Papillion, an autobiography by Henri Charierre? The book describes Charierre's escape from Devil's Island. It was made into an outstanding movie of the same name. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. The film still stands the test of time.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  12. Watchmen features a memorable prison break. Although it's a little hard to believe anyone thought it was a good idea to place Rorschach in a confined space.

    The Truman Show features a different kind of prison break. Jim Carrey also stars in I Love You Phillip Morris, filled with unthinkable prison breaks. Tom Hardy does the same in Bronson.

    I will stop there.

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  13. I really love the jailbreakers in Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

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  14. Hands down: Andy Dufresne in Shawshank. And also Frank Morris & the Anglin Brothers who escaped from Alcatraz. I'd like to think they made it.

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  15. Am I a total dork for saying Joe Carroll and his two escapes on The Following?

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  16. I never watched Prison Break, but I wanted to. Maybe I'll Netflix the seasons. ^_^

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  17. I agree with Michael. The escape from The Shawshank Redemption was intense. I don't usually watch that type of show, preferring the more lighter side of movies, but that ending totally blew me away. Great idea for a theme.

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  18. Was it from the movie Silence of the Lambs when Hannibal Lecter managed to espace?


    Sincerely,Miss Uncertain---sidetracked

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  19. Love the Count of Monte Cristo for the romance of revenge. Hannibal is the most punctuated. ;)

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  20. oh you really have some of my fave characters and movie / novels here...well done you.

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