The Film Score Freak Recognizes: Mark Hellinger and Jules Dassin’s Prison Noir Masterpiece Brute Force (1947) & Jo Gabriel’s ‘The Simple Truth’

“HUMAN DYNAMITE! Told the Raw, Ruthless “KILLERS” Way!”



Produced by Mark Hellinger and directed by Jules Dassin, the film is a strikingly potent Prison Noir Masterpiece. Brute Force (1947) is one of my all time favorite films that transcends genre labeling. The entire cast performs the piece like a well oiled Tanker filled with nitro glycerine speeding out of control. With a collection of characters pushed to the brink of fury, dominated by a sadist who reigns over the social institution and the beautiful women who wait for the men who are never coming home.

Richard Brooks wrote the screenplay and William H Daniel’s was responsible for the explosive cinematography that grips you by the throat. With an equally compelling score by the master composer Miklós Rózsa.

Brute Force

Brute Force 2

Brute Force_3

Starring Burt Lancaster is Joe Collins, Hume Cronyn is the savage and psychopathic Captain Munsey, Charles Bickford is Gallagher, Yvonne De Carlo is Gina Ferrara, Ann Blyth plays Ruth, Ella Raines is Cora Lister, Anita Colby is Flossie, Sam Levene is Louie Miller #7033, Jeff Corey plays the rat ‘Freshman’ Stack, John Hoyt plays Spencer, Jack Overman is Kid Coy, Sir Lancelot is Calypso and Jay C Flippen is Hodges the guard.

I couldn’t resist mashing up in the mixing bowl, this brutal bit of noir with my tough as satin nails ‘The Simple Truth’ somehow the confluence of visual collective upheaval and raw honesty of my song… a track off my debut album ‘Island’


for the international label Kalinkaland Records, just seemed to feel right to me… I hope you enjoy this little homage. Here’s MonsterGirl as Jo Gabriel lending her music to a fire storming montage of images from Brute Force

Always brutally truthful -Your MonsterGirl

5 thoughts on “The Film Score Freak Recognizes: Mark Hellinger and Jules Dassin’s Prison Noir Masterpiece Brute Force (1947) & Jo Gabriel’s ‘The Simple Truth’

  1. Holy cats, Jo, that’s you singing? Truly, I’m wowed at your beautiful voice! Kinda reminds me of Kate Bush’s singing style. I dig the moving juxtaposition of the violence of Dassin’s BRUTE FORCE, and your poignant song stylings. BRAVA, my talented friend; I’m rooting for you to get your music heard everywhere!

    1. Okay, now I’m really going to have to send you a box of chocolates or your favorite perfume for that one. The reason I bow down to your compliment is that I openly honor how much Kate Bush has inspired me as an artist. You see, when I started writing these odd little songs, I stumbled onto her video of Running Up That Hill. It was at that moment, I had my first epiphany. She gave me permission to follow my instincts and write and sing what I felt inside. Up til then I was writing top 40 pop ballads. Big surprise right. So, I listened to Kate with an eye on authenticity and breaking the binds of creativity. Since then, I’ve not only been compared to her, I’m being included in a book that will be published about us international female artists who have had the honor of being considered worth mentioning in the same sentence as the Great Kate. I’ve been out there for a while. I have a nice following in Europe. I used to play out live in NYC all the time. I’ve got plans my friend, I’ve got plans to re-emerge, a new album in the works and more. But what’s most wonderful is that I’ve found a way to embrace my love of film with my passion as a singer songwriter. And hey that’s me playing the old ivories too. Jo Gabriel, Singer/Songwriter/Pianist, MonsterGirl film lover, cat lover and general all around nice gal- Bless you Dori

      1. Bless YOU, Joey, for having the courage and gumption to follow your star and working toward getting your beautiful music out there where others can discover and enjoy your talent! So many people talk about following their artistic dreams, but so many never follow them through. I’m so proud of you, not only because of your gorgeous music, but also because you’re taking positive steps toward making it happen for you! I also applaud your excellent taste in music as well as movies!

        For the record, while I too think Kate The Great is amazing with her haunting voice, I’m also a big fan of The Beatles and Nick Lowe. When it comes to movie scores, my favorites include Miklos Rozsa and Bernard Herrmann!

        One more thing, Jo: I noticed that the movies mentioned on your blog include Truffaut’s adaptation of THE BRIDE WORE BLACK. Have you actually seen it? I ask because if you have, I’d love to hear your opinion of it. Have a swell evening, my dear, talented friend, and as Cole Porter would say, do that voodoo that you do so well! :-D!

  2. You know those “TCM Remembers” segments that they run at year’s end, honouring all those who passed away during the year? This song reminds me of that – haunting and poignant when combined with the imagery.

    Very nice work. I am not at all surprised to hear you have a following in Europe – and North America soon too, I hope.

    I hope you’ll be posting more details of your upcoming album. :)

    1. I do know those TCM remembers segments. They always made me well up with tears. They pack a wallop of poignancy in just a short time.Thanks so much for telling me that it reminds you of that, it’s a high compliment indeed. I’ll definitely let everyone know when I have some new music on the fires.

      As always thanks so much for all your kind words here – Joey

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