The film our group chose to study for this project is called “The Last Castle” directed by Rob Lurie. This film is about a highly respected military officer who is convicted of a crime and sent to prison. Once there he is praised by his fellow inmates and learns about the negligence and mistreatment of the prisoners at this prison. He and his fellow inmates plan to take down the general and take over the prison for themselves. This movie shows great leadership and goal setting due to the commitment and honor displayed by the inmates at the prison, which is why we chose to look a little more into this film and its meaning.
The cast of this film that were most meaningful to our studies are as follows:
• Lt. Gen. Eugene Irwin- Robert Redford
• Col. Winter- James Gandolfini
• Cpl. Ramon Aguilar- Clifton Collins Jr.
• Yates- Mark Ruffalo
The main units we decided to base our studying on were Build a Team, Leading with Goals, Ethical Leadership, Empowering Others, and Articulating a Vision. All of these units were displayed in this film many times and directly related to our readings as well as our discussions in class.
Articulating a Vision was an easy concept to find in this film because of their goals to take over the prison and take down the general. There were many times when they has to describe their plans to others and convince them that they were doing this for the good of the prison and not to intentionally hurt anyone.
Scene- Cafeteria Speech
The scene in the movie that displayed this concept the best was when Irwin was describing his plan to take over the prison to the rest of the inmates in the cafeteria. In this speech he admitted his mistakes that he gotten him into the prison in the first place, and how it had led to the death of eight of his soldiers. He then described the steps needed to be taken in order to get the general released from his duties – if he lost control of his prison. Irwin’s speech speaks to all of the inmates because they were all feeling the same type of neglect from the general and all wanted him out. Irwin’s speech gave them hope and lifted their spirits. His speech included:
“So we're packed away here as prisoners. And one thing is certain, our captor have the power. They can humiliate us, they can beat us, they can lock us away in a dark hole for days on end. But there's one thing they cannot do. They cannot take away from us, who we *are*. And we are soldiers! And it is the one thing, the ONE thing that gives us a chance in here. And that nobody can take away!”(Irwin)
Reading #1 - “I Have a Dream”
This film also connected with the readings that we have discussed in class over the semester. We felt as if the film was most related to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Both of these speeches were meant to convey a vision to the audience and have them see their goals from their point of view. The part of Martin Luther King’s speech that connected the most with this topic is as follows:
“In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” (King)
Martin Luther King’s speech is famous for its beauty and…