The Top Five Prison Guards in the History of Movies

Nobody likes prison, it’s not a place you go to for fun, and the worst part isn’t even being locked up, it’s the fact that someone else controls your life. Each and every day a person is in prison they are told when to eat, when to wake up, when to sleep, and so on and so on. It is not free existence since the guards essentially have the power to tell you to do anything and you’re expected to follow it. Regulations and prisoners’ rights have changed over the years, but the guards are still to be obeyed and questioning their decisions is usually a bad idea. In films it might be a little more played up but it’s still pretty much the same.

Here are a few good examples.

5. The Shawshank Redemption – Captain Hadley

Hadley is the kind of guy that you don’t want to talk to let alone mess with. He came within a few inches of throwing Andy off the roof at one point and was responsible for the death of another inmate earlier on in the film. He went where he was told and did what he was told but otherwise he was the overlord of the prison and didn’t suffer any foolishness from anyone.

4. The Stanford Prison Experiment – Christopher Archer

Putting aside the fact that this was an experiment there are just some people that should never be given authority. Based on a real life incident in which a study was performed to explain the impact of giving power to one group while taking power away from another, this film shows just how dangerous it can be to give this type of authority to just anyone over another person.

3. The Longest Yard – Captain Knauer

He was a massive jerk throughout most of the film, but when the end of it came he actually turned out to be a decent guy. It doesn’t forgive the fact that he pummeled Paul Crewe to within an inch of his life at times but it at least gave a nice resolution to the movie. Knauer is the type of guy that believes in what he’s doing but can at least admit when he’s wrong every so often.

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Dementors

This would be the absolute last type of prison guard you’d ever want to meet. Keep in mind they’re used to contain witches and wizards who are known to be extraordinarily powerful, but they are so over the top that their mere presence creates a sudden chill in the air. The Dementors of Harry Potter are in a sense the embodiment of despair and utter hopelessness.

1. The Green Mile – Paul Edgecomb

If you had to have someone pull the switch on Ol’ Sparky you couldn’t have any better witness than Paul. He might be tough but he’s fair and he’s evenhanded when it comes to justice and punishment. It doesn’t seem too bad of an idea to be on speaking terms with inmates that are on death row awaiting their ride in the chair, though it would make the job a bit harder.

All but one of these guards would be your worst nightmare in prison.


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