1980 film directed by Stuart Rosenberg

Brubaker is a 1980 film about the new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas who tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Directed by Stuart Rosenberg. Written by W. D. Richter and Arthur A. Ross, based on a story by Joe Hyams and Tom Murton.
The most wanted man in Wakefield prison is the warden! (taglines)

Henry Brubaker

  • That's murder they're talking about in there. And if they condone it, how are you gonna turn around and tell these guys why they're locked up?

Richard 'Dickie' Coombes

  • I don't get men like you, you're dangerous men. You start wars and then let other people fight them for you. You come in and say 'do this, do that, think like this, become this kind of person', you put a sign in somebody's hand and say 'follow me, I have all the answers', but all you do is get people killed!

Lillian Gray

  • You can't reform the system if you're not in it


Coombes: What you gon' do about Abraham?
Brubaker: I've got Purcell filling out forms in triplicate, and I'm going to get him released just as soon as I-
Coombes: Now why do you wanna go and do that?
Brubaker: Do what?
Coombes: Look, why don't you just leave him be. I mean, all he knows is this place.
Brubaker: You - You knew that he had been in here as long as he'd been in here.
Coombes: Just leave him alone. He's not- He's not botherin' nobody here.
Brubaker: Hey... You can't hide in prison forever, Coombes.

Rauch: Sanitation detail. You too, Bullen!
Coombes: Now, wait a minute. This man's hurt.
Rauch: You just deal with the colored - I'll take care of the white folks. 'Sides, I don't think Bullen's got much more'n refried shit for brains this morning.

Brubaker: Hey. Can we talk?
Walter: Who the fuck are you? I want the man!
Brubaker: I am. I am the man. I'm the new warden here. My name's Henry Brubaker.
Walter: [throws Bullen and advances on Brubaker] Man, don't be fucking with my head. 'New warden' my ass!
Brubaker: It's true - I swear it.
Walter: Then how come you look like a scumbag?
Brubaker: 'Cause I'm fooling those guys out there.

Brubaker: Mess with me now; you're gonna regret it later.
Coombes: We don't work this thing out fast, mister, you're not gonna be around later.
Brubaker: Do you want ID?
Coombes: Listen, man. All I have to do is raise my right hand and that tower guard's gonna blow you out.
Brubaker: ...or you can continue walking with me, like the smart escort I figure you to be.

Bullen: I got picked up for vagrancy - a misdemeanor. Next morning, the toilet's broke clean off the damn wall. There's six men in the cell, and they stick me with destruction of city property over $50. Felony number three.
Brubaker: Habitual. That judge gives you life for a toilet.
Bullen: Yeah, or give me the toilet for life. Same difference. Anyhow; here I am shoveling shit for dead men.
Brubaker: Instead, how'd you like to be a trustee, and run my motorpool?
Bullen: Mr. Brubaker, I've been studying you since you first come in. And it's come clear to me that you are one weird fucking individual. I ain't got you figgered out yet - whether you're a good thing or a bad one.
Brubaker: Does that mean you'll run my motorpool?
Bullen: [whistles] Wear them khakis? Get me a guitar? Be the warden's new boy?
Brubaker: No, you're smarter than that.
Bullen: The whole world's fucked up, Mr. Brubaker. Ain't no use.

Brubaker: Tower number 3 - who'm I looking at? He's looking at me.
Coombes: Up there, you got Douglass Mizell.
Brubaker: Who the hell is Doug Mizell?
Coombes: He's a forger. Three times grand theft.
Brubaker: I want a rundown on everybody that's got tower duty. I-
Coombes: I do believe that's Purcell's job, sir.
Brubaker: I want only murderers up there; one-time impulse killers.
Coombes: Well, aren't you taking kind of a chance doing that? Aren't you? I mean, uh...
Brubaker: No, it's the habituals you can't trust. Murderers - most of 'em - already have it out of their system. Guys like you, right?
Coombes: [laughs] There's nobody around here like me.

Brubaker: Why don't we build them a roof that won't cave in on their heads?
Rauch: That's enough.
Brubaker: An insured roof, this time.
Glenn Elwood: What do you mean?
Brubaker: The collapsed roof isn't covered at all - that's what I mean. But we DO have coverage for thrashing machines, balers, swathers, a tractor...
Rauch: Sounds pretty sensible to me to have the things insured. I approved those policies personally.
Brubaker: You did more than that: your company sold us the policies. The only trouble with it is: we don't have any of that equipment on our farm. It doesn't exist.
Rauch: What you HAVE got Mr. Brubaker is a piss-poor attitude.

Brubaker: You're not eating?
Coombes: I don't eat that shit you eat.
Brubaker: Do you know anything about nutrition?
Coombes: I know about hungry.


  • The most wanted man in Wakefield prison is the warden!
  • One man against a cruel system.


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