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Jail break movie Maze filmed in Cork Prison


Jail break movie Maze filmed on location in Cork Prison in Ireland to tell the true story of a mass escape from Belfast’s infamous Maze facility in 1983.

Her Majesty’s Prison Maze held Irish Republican Army paramilitaries during Northern Ireland’s Troubles from the early 1970s. Thirty-eight later managed to escape in the biggest single jailbreak of its kind in post-war Europe.  

Stephen Burke’s low-budget movie was made as an Irish/Swedish co-production.

With the real Maze site partly demolished since its closure in 2000, Burke and his team initially planned to build a full prison set. This changed when Cork Prison suddenly became available as a filming location weeks before the shoot.  

There were in fact still inmates in the prison when Burke and his team first visited to plan their filming schedule, the writer/director revealed in an interview with Irish Film and Television Network.

“Shooting in a real prison was a massive advantage,” said actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, who co-stars in the film. 

“There was no need to imagine the feel of incarceration; the walls, the cells, all the history of a building like that hung in the air.”

While most of the movie was shot in Cork Prison, the individual cells were built as sets at Gothenburg Studios in Sweden for a few days of shooting.

“The move from Cork to Sweden to finish off the film was seamless, I thought,” said Martin McCann, another of the movie’s co-stars. “The Swedish crew had done a great job at recreating the prison within the Swedish studio. It was a very friendly atmosphere and they made our jobs easier.”

See KFTV's production profile for more on filming in Ireland.

Image: Ola Kjelbye


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