In this rough-and tumble movie, actually filmed on-location at the Georgia State Prison, the cons are the heroes and the guards are the heavies. Eddie Albert is the sadistic warden who'll gladly make any sacrifice to push his guards' semi-pro football team to the national championship. Burt Reynolds plays one-time pro quarterback Paul Crewe, now behind bars for leading State Police on a wild chase in a "borrowed car" and more. He agrees to organize a prisoners' team to play the guards. The warden intercedes to assure that his goon squad will meet only passive resistance from Crewe's "Mean Machine." But the license to pound on their hated guards is a big incentive for murderers and thieves to learn strategy.