Dassin later referred to the film as a "really dumb picture" and remembers saying, "but all these prisoners are such nice sweet guys--they're all so lovely--what are they doing in jail!" (Sarcasm aside, he has a point. This black-and-white, baddies-and-goodies approach somewhat undermines its convictions.) Still, the emotional depth eclipses both these amateurish failings and the noirish futility, and it certainly delivers a message, however unintentional it may be.
Storm the tower, torch the cage: "Well, gentlemen, that’s one way of getting sprung." War is the lynchpin of the furioso allegory, ingrown fascism suffuses the vertical structure of an uniformed sadist looking down on a captive lumpen-proletariat... Kubrick's gladiators and Peckinpah's desperados alike are anticipated in a riot culminating in an image from Overthrow of the Titans, though not even Molotov cocktails can crack the grid.