Documentary "Scared Straight" - DVD, 8/26!!

Old 06-18-03, 02:35 PM
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Documentary "Scared Straight" - DVD, 8/26!!

This truly extraordinary program, narrated by Peter Falk, was shown on TV (I think) in 1978.

A group of recidivist adolescent miscreants is sent to Rahway Prison for an "intervention" seminar, one which basically consists of hardened convicts spitting expletives at them and threatening their lives. In one terrifying moment, a lifer, angry at one kid's insolence, vows to kill him if he keeps smirking; he declares he has nothing to lose since he's going to be locked up for the remainder of his life anyway. The kid looks as if he'll crap his pants.

The DVD is a little pricey at $25 MSRP, since, although the description notes its length as 90 min., I remember it being about 65 min. Regardless, it's one of the most powerful and disturbing pieces of film I've ever seen, and I'll be getting it for sure.
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Old 06-18-03, 07:04 PM
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If I remember correctly, there were two "films" out called Scared Straight. One actual footage, and one that was a movie based on the actual Scared Straight program. That second one included Terri Nunn, who went on to front the 80's band BERLIN. I'd like to see that one again.

Sounds like this is the actual footage one.
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Old 06-18-03, 07:57 PM
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will this be unedited?
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Old 06-18-03, 08:39 PM
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That's very ****ing cool, I'm very ****ing pleased, and I hope it ain't ****ing censored! I'm a lifer here in DVD Talk, and I may have to get violent if it's censored!

But seriously, this was a great thing...and I'm certain it's one of a few things that kept me from ever doing truly delinquent things. I've had my fair share of soft drug usage (marijuana, and some hallucinagenics) but I've never done what I consider to be hardcore drugs (coke and the harder stuff), nor have I ever been involved in any crime worse than speeding and driving a bit like a maniac (NOT while on the soft drugs mind you!).

Perhaps this 90 minute has more footage in it that was cut for tv? Or, it may just be the film that someone suggested....I've never seen that flick....

So someone please let us know the instant we are sure that this is the documentary and not some flick that's riding on the coattails!
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Old 06-18-03, 09:12 PM
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Yes, there was a TV movie made in 1980. I don't think this is the fictional version, although DVDEmpire's incomplete description doesn't really confirm anything:
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Old 06-18-03, 11:11 PM
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Sounds cool.

I saw an updated version that was on MTV a while back and they actually left everything uncensored. I mean how could you not really?
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Old 06-19-03, 12:16 AM
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Unfortunately, research failed to validate the scared straight program. Kids who went through it were no less likely to get involved in crime.

Nice show however....
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Old 06-19-03, 02:05 AM
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I remember a "20 Years On" thing that was hosted by Danny Glover, that I think supported Freud's observation.
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Old 06-19-03, 03:28 AM
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I don't suppose there's any chance the Beavis and Butthead episode would end up on there as an Easter egg?
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Old 06-19-03, 10:27 AM
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The documentary wasn't censored when it was shown on broadcast TV, even back in 1978 as well as a re-airing shown in the 80s. I'd say there's very little chance that it would be censored on DVD.
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Old 06-19-03, 10:33 AM
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I remember watching this in 1978 on TV. I was 15. It was at that point that I made the decision not to go to prison. Ever.
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Old 06-19-03, 10:45 AM
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TNT was showing "An Innocent Man" on TV last night. That movie has scared me straight! I mean, who wants to get shanked by Magnum PI?
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Old 06-20-03, 01:31 PM
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Yes, I believe it's the addition of the "20 years later" program that accounts for the DVDs 90 mins. Hearing about it jogged my memory as to having seen it on PBS in (must have been) '98.
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Old 06-20-03, 05:06 PM
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damn, I was thinking this was the mtv special where sgts cussed out kids. (the only time I have heard the f bomb on mtv uncut many times)
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