Dead Man Walking

Leaves you awash in emotion

Dead Man Walking
The prison chaplin warns Sister Helen Prejean she should not expect the impending execution of a convicted killer to be like "a James Cagney movie." He has a point.

Cagney, you will recall, bristled with indignation as he walked to the electric chair in one of his most memorable performances. By contrast what makes Tim Robbins' "Dead Man Walking" such a riveting, profoundly moving experience is its unflinching realism.

Hollywood has traditionally made heroes out of bad guys but that does not happen here. Matthew Poncelet, the Death Row inmate in this particular case, displays Cagney's defiantly unrepentent attitude at first. But he soon confesses that he's scared.

Using Sister Helen Prejean's 1993 autobiography as his inspiration, Robbins more than confirms his talent as both a screenwriter and a director. That he would even dare to make a movie about a spiritual journey such as this shows remarkable courage.

And to his credit, Robbins presents a carefully balanced view of capital punishment, revealing the true complexity of this highly emotional issue.

Susan Sarandon's unadorned face accurately mirrors the inner strength and momentary doubts of Sister Helen. She gives a remarkably sensitive performance. Sean Penn transforms Poncelet into a compelling full-bodied character whose brash arrogance is slowly stripped away.

"Dead Man Walking" demonstrates the power of love in a way that's absolutely unforgettable, making it easily one of the best movies of the year. (K. Carroll, Film Scouts Review)

Tonight's film is being shown in anticipation of C.U. Opera's presentations at Macky on October 26, 27, and 28 (for more information, visit This free screening has been made possible by the Film Studies Program and the Center for Humanities and the Arts.

Dead Man Walking

Free show!

Sponsored by Center for Humanities and the Arts and CU Film Studies

Wed October 24, 2007, 7:00 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

UK/USA, 1995, English, Color, 122 min, R, 35 mm, 1.85:1



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cover art for Spring 2 2022
Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sun Oct 2, 2022

Fantastic Planet

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Fri Oct 21, 2022

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...