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SHORT EYES

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Director: Robert M. Young, Robert M. Young, Robert M. Young, Robert M. Young, Robert M. Young, Robert M. Young
1977 / 100min / 35mm

An adaptation of Miguel Piñero’s 1974 play of the same title, taken from cellblock slang for pedophiles, Young’s fiction debut—released just ahead of the same year’s Alambrista!—is a furious, gripping, claustrophobic drama of moral quandary shot on-location in Manhattan’s “Tombs” detention house. Clark (Bruce Davison), a white, middle-class prisoner accused of raping a young girl, is introduced to the largely Black and Latino population of inmates, and only the guardianship of one of the older prisoners, Juan (Jose Perez), stands between the newly incarcerated Clark and prison yard justice courtesy his fellow detainees. Soul superstar Curtis Mayfield, who has a piquant cameo role, provides the score, as well as performing “Do Do Wap Is Strong in Here.” Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

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