Cinematic images of the formal criminal law and punishment for its transgression provide insight into the web of cultural and social practices that shape and maintain boundaries between “criminals” and the rest of society. The prison movie is arguably quintessential and is certainly one of the most accessible modes through which we imagine, understand, and construct myths about the nature of discipline in contemporary society. Consequently, this article focuses on the canonical cinematic representation of discipline: American prison movies from the early 20th ...

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