The Con Film Festival


by Tisha Leung

"The Con Film Festival," a two-week, twenty-one film series of prison movies, spotlighting cons, ex-cons and other incarcerated outcasts, runs at Film Forum through Thursday, 21 May 2009.

Featuring a special appearance by Dawson Brown, Acting Superintendent of Sing Sing Correctional Facility, he'll introduce tomorrow's 6:15pm show of "20,000 Years In Sing Sing" (1933). Following the screening, a Q and A session with the Sing Sing staff including Assistant Deputy Superintendent Dr. Lesley Malin, Corrections Captain Ron Brereton, Brant Kehn, Retired former First Deputy Superintendent, and Dennis Crowley, Supervising Superintendent of all of NYC’s area facilities, will take place.


Based on the best-selling book by Warden Lewis E. Lawes, the title refers to the accumulated sentences since the prison’s founding in 1828. (Still pictured above left.) Starring Spencer Tracy and Bette Davis, Tracy plays a gangster sentenced to the legendary penitentiary in Ossining, New York who does the time for the murder Davis committed in self defense. The 35mm archival print from the original camera negative is courtesy of the Library of Congress.


While there are no online ticket sales for this special screening, tickets will be available at the box office the day of the show.


Go to the Film Forum site for a complete Con Film Festival schedule. Other classic con films featured during include "Ladies of the Big House" (1931), "Les Miserables" (1935), "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "Escape From Alcatraz" (1979) and "O Brother, Where Art Thou" (2000). It's a killer line-up—pun intended.