Our Prisons

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Our Prisons is a short film from 1956 released on 16mm. It is held in the Prelinger Archives collection.

Footage of state prisons ca. 1956 in Kansas.

PA-2003 Our Prisons

00:00:02:19 - 00:29:59:18 B/W Silent 1956

           "Our Prisons" (A & B Rolls) Documentary of prisons and reformatory
           institutions in Kansas and Michigan. Building structures &
           interiors - Bunks, cots, cell blocks, cafeterias, uniformed guards,
           inmates, weapons, prison jobs, classes, security, law and order.
           (lots of black between many shots.)

00:00:02:19 - 00:03:20:14 B/W Silent 1956

           SFU. ZO Man in suit sits in an armchair & reads by the fireplace in
           a fake living room setting. He turns to camera, starts talking.
           Talking head host. He stands & introduces film.

00:03:20:15 - 00:06:10:24 B/W Silent 1956

           Male inmates in uniforms walk in prison courtyard w/ large brick
           institutional building in BG. EXT sign: Kansas Industrial School
           for Girls. PAN over grounds. EXT two brick buildings. INT bedroom
           w/ rag doll on bed - reform schools. Host talks.  (black frames
           between shots)

00:04:56:25 - 00:06:50:21 B/W Silent 1956

           EXT Castle-like brick prison. Uniformed guard walks into cell
           block. Inmate sits on top bunk - guard shuts gate in his cell. CU
           daily count of prison population by race & length of sentence (99
           life termers). Guards look out from brick turret watchtower.
           Labeled weapons storage area- gas grenades, rifles in case of
           prison riots. Uniformed prison guards aim pistols on firing line
           for target practice. SWISH PAN to targets.

00:06:56:09 - 00:09:03:15 B/W Silent 1956

           Prison life - work & occupations. Inmate in metal shop sharpens
           metal piece on grinding press. Inmate hangs wet laundry on
           clothesline. EXT Brick bunkers outdoors. INT sleeping quarters w/
           dormitory-style beds. New Kansas state automobile license plates
           move on conveyor belt. CU cooks serve food into inmates' trays on
           line in prison cafeteria 9could pass for factory cafeteria). WS
           inmates eat at desks. Man serves bread on long pole. Inmates pick
           up towels from laundry counter. Teacher conducts class in prison.

00:09:08:07 - 00:10:33:22 B/W Silent 1956

           Man released from prison. EXT Hospital sign. Uniformed guard opens
           door as guard escorts inmate out. CU prisoner signs ledger at
           window, receives five dollars in cash back. Released inmate & guard
           walk down outdoor steps. Guard signals to sentry over gate. Guard
           walks released inmate through gate. Freedom.

00:15:11:03 - 00:18:18:07 B/W Silent 1956

           CU legs of male inmates walking through opened door of prison cell.
           (More black leader) Card listing penal institutions & industrial
           schools where film was shot State Industrial Reformatory,
           Hutchinson, Kansas. State Penitentiary for Men & Women in Lansing,
           Michigan. Industrial School for Boys & Girls in Topeka, Kansas.

00:18:51:27 - 00:22:10:07 B/W Silent 1956

           B-roll. Sign- Kansas Industrial School for Boys. EXT: PAN over
           brick building. EXT: sign- Kansas Industrial Farm for Women. INT
           doors in hallway. MS rag doll on bed blanket. EXT castle-like brick
           building. CU date of building's construction in 1864. INT PAN long
           cell blocks inside prison. Good over-the-shoulder POV of uniformed
           sentry guard looking over prison courtyard. LA sentry stands on
           platform. Sentry walks along stone wall by outside of prison. Guard
           lowers key on string for man to enter gate. Guard inspects machine
           guns. Outdoor targets for shooting practice.

00:22:17:12 - 00:24:58:06 B/W Silent 1956

           Prison life. CU hand w/ drill bit in metal shop. WS rows of inmates
           work at sewing machines. EXT building. CU inmate's hand moving car
           license plates from hooks to conveyor belt. Inmates work in
           industrial metal shop. Inmates stand in line. INT place settings in
           empty prison cafeteria. PAN empty shower stalls. CU teacher's hand
           writing fractions on classroom chalk board. Inmates under blankets
           on cots in sleeping quarters. CU Man hands clothing to inmate
           (restituting belongings upon him completing his sentence). CU man
           opening cell door w/ key.

00:25:42:22 - 00:29:59:18 B/W Silent 1956

Talking head host. Titles.

Our Prisons
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ewid: 3463 | Fresh | || dopt: {{{dopt}}}