4 user 7 critic

The Brig (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama | 20 September 1964 (USA)
A ultra-realistic depiction of life in a Marine Corps brig (or jail) at a camp in Japan in 1957. Marine prisoners are awakened and put through work details for the course of a single day, ... See full summary »


Jonas Mekas


Kenneth H. Brown (play), Kenneth H. Brown (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film collage tracing the story of the lives, loves, and deaths within the artistic community surrounding Jonas Mekas.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Kenneth Anger, Robert Breer, Alberto Cavalcanti
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A depressed woman, Barbara, is on the verge of suicide while a man she meets in a church and a married couple try to convince her that life is worth living.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Adolfas Mekas, Frances Stillman, Ben Carruthers
Hare Krishna (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jonas Mekas's freewheeling camerawork leaves itself open to the possibility of a second Great Awakening in this impressionistic sketch of a Hare Krishna troupe taking to the streets. Later ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Rabindranath Das, Vamanadeva Das, Barbara Rubin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film diary divided into three episodes. In the first part Jonas Mekas tells about his time as emigrant in New York in 1950s, after leaving the home country of Lithuania. The second part ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Jonas Mekas, Adolfas Mekas, Pola Chapelle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Artist-writer-poet-filmmaker Jonas Mekas documents his early years building a life and discovering an arts community in New York.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Peter Beard, Ed Emshwiller, Ken Jacobs
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Director Jonas Mekas provides an intimate glimpse of his personal life by constructing a feature length narrative from over 30 years of private home movie footage.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Jonas Mekas, Jane Brakhage, Stan Brakhage
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Jonas Mekas' elegant report on a Poughkeepsie police department's raid of Timothy Leary's base-of-operations amply demonstrates the political potential of his diary filmmaking. The film's ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A chronogical about life including self, family, friend, couple and idol in 6 reels

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Timothy Leary, Ed Emshwiller, Franz Fuenstler
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A motion picture composed of brief scenes not used in completed films from the years 1960-2000.

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Friedl Bondy, James Broughton, William S. Burroughs
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The short film is a montage of sped up video clips of The Ringling Brothers Circus in action set to a musical track. The film is separated into four segments, each segment which focuses on ... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Mekas
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Filmed in 1971, this film includes images of Moscow the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

Director: Jonas Mekas
In Between (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

IN BETWEEN is a great opportunity to reach an authentically insight into the pilgrimage. For those of you who have already had the wonderful experience of reaching Santiago, you can now revive the special atmosphere of being a pilgrim.

Director: Jonas Mekas


Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Finnerty ... Guard
Jim Anderson Jim Anderson ... Guard
Henry Howard Henry Howard ... Guard
Tom Lillard Tom Lillard ... Guard
James Tiroff James Tiroff ... Prisoner (as Jim Tiroff)
Steven Ben Israel Steven Ben Israel ... Prisoner
Gene Lipton Gene Lipton ... Prisoner
Rufus Collins ... Prisoner
Michael Elias ... Prisoner
William Shari William Shari ... Prisoner
Viktor Allen Viktor Allen ... Prisoner
George Bartenieff George Bartenieff ... Prisoner
Gene Gordon Gene Gordon ... Prisoner
Mark Duffy Mark Duffy ... Prisoner
Henry Proach Henry Proach ... Prisoner


A ultra-realistic depiction of life in a Marine Corps brig (or jail) at a camp in Japan in 1957. Marine prisoners are awakened and put through work details for the course of a single day, submitting in the course of it to extremely harsh and shocking physical and mental degradation and abuse. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated


Official Sites:

DVD | Official site





Release Date:

20 September 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buren See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

White Line Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Jonas (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A scary reconstruction of life in Marine Corps Prison, Fuji, Japan

Not a typical Mekas film, yet brilliant nonetheless.

Theatre director Judith Malina of avant-garde New York theatre troupe, the Living Theater, decided to stage a production which was a meticulous recreation of life in marine corps prison (the brig). Having been ordered off the premises due to lack of funds, they broke into their theatre and produced one last performance of the play, which Jonas Mekas immortalised on film. It is more than a filmed play though, the camera is certainly not static and most of the action is very close up. The film was, quite amazingly, shot with no retakes, but is still works perfectly, even if occasionally the quality of the sound is not great.

The brig is a very small space where about ten men are kept in a cage lined with bunkbeds. At about half four in the morning they get half beaten out of bed and must jump into their boots pronto. Then it's time to wash their "handsies and facies". Hopefully, if they manage to make their bed as tight as a drum beforehand, they won't get a haymaker to the belly from sarge. The realism is quite amazing, some of the actors genuinely look terrified, producing the play may well have been quite upsetting for these folks. Mekas went as far as to consider the film a documentary, and indeed the film won best documentary at the Venice film festival.

Every action performed is as a result of an order, the men are constantly in motion having to call out their numbers, whilst they march on the spot in marktime, or proceed though the brig in lockstep/mark time. There are white lines all over the brig which they have to ask permission for to cross over. It's really very frightening, and had me on the verge of tears at one point. The entire movie is filmed in the one claustrophobic room which creates a lot of tension. The men are forbidden from talking to each other and must read from the Marine Corps manual when they are not doing anything else, stood at attention with the book held up to their faces. The job of the day is to avoid cracking up and getting thrown in solitary.

So it's apparently extremely realistic and makes other film treatments of Marine Corps life look positively rosy. I suppose if you want men to do something as unnatural as killing each other, this is how you have to treat them.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed