Scared Straight!

Subscribe to Peter Falk alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 52 mins

Reviews 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew



Scared Straight! Movie Review

You know what it means to get "scared straight," dontcha? It means you've got the crap scared out of you so badly you'll change your criminal (or other wrongdoing) ways.

Here's the origin of the term: Scared Straight! a watershed documentary about highschool delinquents who are exposed to the real criminal element during a three-hour deprogramming session in a real prison. Here, 30-year-to-lifers get face to face -- nose to nose, really -- with uppity teenagers thinking they're invulnerable and will never get caught during their petty crimes.

The prisoners drag these kids around, scream in their faces, and tell them what the joint is really like. The idea is to scare the pants off them so they'll stop sniffing glue, shoplifting, or whatever. Peter Falk narrates as only Peter Falk can.

The one drawback with the film is that its production values are quite low. It's hard to understand the dialogue what with all the yelling and lack of up-close microphones. In the end it's hard to figure out exactly why these kids are scared straight except that these guys make for really menacing role models.

The new DVD adds present-day coverage showing us what happened to some of the prisoners and most of the teens, hosted by Danny Glover. Were they really scared straight? Most were, some weren't. The ones that appeared hardest during the original shoot in 1978 remained that way -- and most went to prison themselves in later years (or died along the way). As a cultural study, it's far more interesting that Michael Apted's 42 Up series.


Subscribe to Peter Falk alerts


Scared Straight! Rating

" Good "


More Peter Falk

Laura Marling - Short Movie Video

Laura Marling has now launched the title track for her forthcoming new album 'Short Movie' alongside a colourful animated equine video. The record co-produced by...

Pond - Sitting Up On Our Crane Video

Tame Impala side-project Pond unveil a psychedelic graphics laden video for their new track 'Sitting Up On Our Crane', taken from their forthcoming new album...

Wolf Alice - Giant Peach (Live) Video

Recently nominated for BBC's Sound of 2015, Wolf Alice perform an intimate rendition of their new track 'Giant Peach'. The band are currently working on...

Owl City - Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time (Audio) Video

Getting into the festive spirit is Owl City, whose fun new single 'Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time' has now been made available ahead of...


Wolf Alice - Interview Video

One half of London quartet Wolf Alice discuss their recent tour, their excitement for 2015 and a possible album release. They also unveil their favourite...

The Loft Trailer

Five married friends decide to buy a loft together, and each owned a key, but no one else did. The men use the loft as...

Far From The Madding Crowd Trailer

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life of a young farmer, he falls utterly in love with...

Paul McCartney - The Daily Show Clips Video

Paul McCartney recently unveiled a new single, entitled 'Hope', to go alongside the release of brand new video shooter game 'Destiny'. However, while promoting the...