Study Questions

1. Reflect on some of your own favorite crime and prison films and why it is that you enjoy them. In what ways do you think your responses might be different from those of your parents’ and grandparents’ generation?

2. Write a review comparing an original crime film and its remake. From this comparative analysis, what can you observe about emerging social anxieties and changing attitudes toward crime and justice over the years covered by the two films you have reviewed?

3. Given this volume’s earlier discussions about media influence and effects (and the problems with making causal links between screen violence and real-life offending behaviors), how would you characterize the relationship between crime movies and criminals?

4. Why have prison movies, despite their popularity, failed to inform penal reform agendas? Do you agree with Rex Bloomstein that documentaries such as those he produces have greater potential to change public perceptions of prisoners and lead to less punitive attitudes more widely?