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Animal Factory is a film about life in prison, set in San Quentinmarker and directed by actor Steve Buscemi. It was made in 2000.


Edward Furlong plays a young man named Ron Decker, who is sent to prison for drug possession, and Willem Dafoe is veteran con Earl Copen who takes Decker under his wing and introduces him into his own gang. Copen is the type of prisoner who has been behind bars long enough that, unlike most prisoners, he prefers his cell to society. Not only does Copen know how to survive behind bars, he knows how to thrive in the small society of prison convicts. Copen's knowledge of the legal system and the administrative side of the prison are shown as especially useful in this regard.


Animal Factory was filmed on location at Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker. Filming was completed in 30 days, two days longer than originally scheduled. Buscemi employed hundreds of prisoners from Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, the prison that replaced Holmesburg Prison in 1995.

The film is based upon the novel The Animal Factory by writer Edward Bunker, with whom Buscemi starred in Reservoir Dogs.



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