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The Best Prison Movies and TV Shows on TCM

Finding a good Prison movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Prison movies and TV shows of all time streaming on TCM.

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1. Bringing Up Baby

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1938
Comedy, Romance

What it's about: David Huxley is waiting to get a bone he needs for his museum collection. Through a series of strange circumstances, he meets Susan Vance, and the duo have a series of misadventures which include a leopard called Baby.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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2. High Sierra

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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74/100
Released: 1941
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: Given a pardon from jail, Roy Earle gets back into the swing of things as he robs a swanky resort.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. Birdman of Alcatraz

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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73/100
Released: 1962Rated: PG-13
Biography, Drama

What it's about: After killing a prison guard, convict Robert Stroud faces life imprisonment in solitary confinement. Driven nearly mad by loneliness and despair, Stroud's life gains new meaning when he happens upon a helpless baby sparrow in the exercise yard and nurses it back to health. Despite having only a third grade education, Stroud goes on to become a renowned ornithologist and achieves a greater sense of freedom and purpose behind bars than most people find in the outside world.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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4. The Big Doll House

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.9/10
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64/100
Released: 1971Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Independent

What it's about: Female prisoners in a Phillippine jail are being subjected to sadistic torture. Five of the women--along with the help of two men--plot an escape.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Shout Factory TV), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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5. Each Dawn I Die

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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52/100
Released: 1939
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).