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The Movie List – Top Ten Evil Prison Wardens

Put all your worldly possessions in a ziplock bag and surrender your shoelaces, because The Movie List is heading to prison. Here are ten evil prison wardens to definitely avoid.


10. Warden Norton (Bob Gunton), The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Despite his posh accent, Norton’s a weasley creep with a cruel and sadistic nature. Good thing he has no head for numbers.

9. Warden (Michael Lerner), No Escape (1994): He works in a futuristic prison run by private corporations. His hobbies include dumping prisoners on an island and letting them fight it out.

8. Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon), Sleepers (1996): This top guard is far more evil than any of the delinquents he oversees, and is one big reason why juvie has the rep it does.

7. Warden Hennessey (Joan Allen), Death Race (2008): She enjoys making her inmates race to the death. That’s right: Hennessey’s a she, and the kind of woman who watches NASCAR solely for the crashes.

6. McQueen (Barbara Steele), Caged Heat (1974): You’d think running a women’s prison would mean she’d seen it all. But a horrible event sends her over the edge: The prison talent show.

5. Warden Hazen (Eddie Albert), The Longest Yard (1974): Hazen advocates his boys playing sports, specifically an inmates vs. guards game where the guards play dirty.

4. Col. Winter (James Gandolfini), The Last Castle (2001): Gandolfini’s thuggish Tony Soprano looks like Man of the Year compared to this harsh and vindictive warden, out to punish inmate Robert Redford.

3. Warden Drumgoole (Donald Sutherland), Lock Up (1989): Drumgoole takes the phrase “hard time” literarlly and is determined to make inmate Sylvester Stallone suffer.

2. Captain (Strother Martin), Cool Hand Luke (1967): He told Paul Newman “What we’ve got here … is a failure to communicate.” He’s so mean, he probably chews scorpions instead of tobacco.

1. Warden (Patrick McGoohan), Escape from Alcatraz (1979): He rules over a prison from which nobody escapes and does everything in his power to keep Clint Eastwood in his place.

Want to rank these (and five other) evil prison wardens?


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