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Murder in the First Details


This shocking prison drama was inspired by a true story. In 1938, Henri Young (Kevin Bacon), sentenced to Alcatraz for stealing $5, attempted to escape from prison with three other prisoners. One of the escapees was captured, and to curry favor with Warden Glenn (Gary Oldman), he informed on the others. Young was soon brought back to custody, and was to be punished by spending 19 days in solitary confinement. Nineteen days stretched into three years, in which Young was kept in a pit with no light, no toilet, no furniture, and nothing to read. Young emerged from solitary a vengeful madman, and he quickly murdered the convict who turned him in. Young was put on trial for the killing, and assigned a first-time public defender, James Stamphill (Christian Slater). Stamphill was horrified by Young's tales of the conditions at Alcatraz, and he used them as the basis of his defense for his client, believing that anyone would be driven to madness and murder if they had been treated the same way as Young. Murder in the First also features Embeth Davidtz, William H. Macy, Brad Dourif, and R. Lee Ermey. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Awarded by
Broadcast Film Critics Association Kevin Bacon Best Actor 1995 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Kevin Bacon Best Supporting Actor 1995 Nominee


Christian Slater
as James Stamphill
Kevin Bacon
as Henri Young
Gary Oldman
as Associate Warden Glenn
Embeth Davidtz
as Mary McCasslin
William H. Macy
as William McNeil
Brad Dourif
as Byron Stamphill
R. Lee Ermey
as Judge Clawson
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Mr. Henkin
Eve Brenner
as Winthrop's Secretary
Stuart Nisbet
as Harve
Neil Summers
as Alcatraz Guard Whitney
Danny Kovacs
as Man on the Street
Sheldon Feldner
as Man on the Street
Ben Slack
as Jerry Hoolihan
Tony Barr
as Winthrop
Wally Rose
as Shopkeeper
Charles Boswell
as Simpson
James Keane
as Alcatraz Guard
Gary Lee Davis
as Giant of a Man
George Maguire
as Inmate #1
Stefan Gierasch
as Warden James Humson
Eddie Bowz
as Alcatraz Guard
Tim Winters
as Alcatraz Guard
William Hall
as Man on the Street
Randy Pelish
as Alcatraz Guard Wimer
Gary Ballard
as Alcatraz Guard Swenson
Mia Kirshner
as Adult Rosetta Young
Kyra Sedgwick
as Blanche


Marc Rocco
Mark Wolper
Marc Frydman
Dan Gordon
Fred Murphy
Ed White
Musical Direction/Supervision
Christopher Young
Composer (Music Score)
Russell Livingstone
Kirk M. Petruccelli
Production Designer
Michael Rizzo
Art Director
Deborah Lee
Philip McKeon
Associate Producer
David L. Wolper
Executive Producer
Marc Rocco
Executive Producer
Greg Grande
Set Designer
Sylvia Vega-Vasquez
Costume Designer
Mary Jo Slater