Part prison film, part football film, this violent but outstanding comedy-drama by gifted action director Robert Aldrich (KISS ME DEADLY, THE DIRTY DOZEN) explores the brutality inherent in both the American penal system and football. Burt Reynolds gives one of his best performances as
Paul Crewe, a former pro who tires of being a kept man, steals his lover's car, and ends up in the prison ruled by Warden Hazen (Eddie Albert). Hazen compels Crewe to put together a team of prisoners to face the crack guard team, offering him parole in exchange for a lopsided loss. Crewe assembles
the "Mean Machine" and then does his best to throw the game (which takes up 47 minutes ...