Women's Prison


Action / Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Cleo Moore Photo
Cleo Moore as Mae
Laurie Mitchell Photo
Laurie Mitchell as Inmate
Phyllis Thaxter Photo
Phyllis Thaxter as Helene Jensen
Ida Lupino Photo
Ida Lupino as Amelia van Zandt
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
734.52 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
P/S 0 / 5
1.33 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by planktonrules8 / 10

Highly entertaining junk...

This is NOT a film that would ever be mistaken for an episode of "Masterpiece Theater"! In fact, in many ways it's a sensationalistic piece of junk...but also a very well-made and entertaining piece of junk! In the 1950s, there were a ton of women in prison films and this might just rank among the best. Part of the reason for this being better than average is the excellent cast. Ida Lupino is a treat to watch as a sadistic warden who is more screwed up and vile than the inmates! And, among the inmates are such colorful dames as Jan Sterling, Cleo Moore, Audrey Totter and Phyllis Thaxter.

The film begins with a lady (Thaxter) being sent to lady for accidentally killing a child due to her negligent driving. Thaxter is emotionally fragile and the prison doctor is concerned about her. However, the warden is insistent that Thaxter be broken just like the rest of the prisoners and pushes the woman to a mental breakdown. In fact, throughout the film Lupino pushes the prisoners to near-riot and she seems to have people skills that would make Attila the Hun seem like a member of the Peace Corps by comparison! There's a lot more to the film--but I don't want to spoil the suspense.

The bottom line is that the film is highly entertaining by being unapologetically loud and over the top. Sensational but far from subtle--this is a great guilty pleasure.

Reviewed by classicsoncall7 / 10

"Make trouble, you get trouble..."

The title pretty much says it all, and conveys what the viewer might expect to see in a low budget feature like this one from the 1950's. Ida Lupino stars as the tough minded, non-compassionate superintendent of a woman's prison, in a picture that starts out fairly mundane but gets rolling with all manner of evil machinations on the part of Van Zandt (Lupino). The core stories involve a housewife serving a manslaughter sentence for the accidental death of a young girl, and a female prisoner who gets pregnant by her husband during a surreptitious visit from the men's side of the prison. Should tell you what kind of a life this kid would have had.

To say there are plot holes and continuity problems galore here would be an understatement. As if to underscore the point, I got a kick out of the conversation between the two prison matrons about half way through the movie, when Miss Saunders (Mae Clarke) states she likes to pick out the flaws in prison movies. I came up with a bunch without even trying. First off, when inmate Brenda (Jan Sterling) dropped the newly laundered and pressed clothes upon discovering Joan and Glen in the storeroom, she picks up a pile of completely disheveled garments as if they just came out of a dryer! Secondly, soon after Brenda burns her hand intentionally in the clothes press, she's shown helping Joan get to her feet after she faints, and her hand clearly shows no injury. Later on in the story, when Dr. Crane (Howard Duff) goes looking for Van Zandt, he wakes up a woman prisoner who tells him that the inmates have taken over - how did she know that if she was sleeping?

A break before I continue. Though she didn't have a large role, Vivian Marshall was entertaining as the would be Shakespearean actress doing Bette Davis and Talullah Bankhead impressions. That was a clever set up for her to imitate the voices of Matron Sturges and Van Zandt later in the flick when all heck is about to break loose.

Back to the goofy stuff. How was it that after only one day in jail, Dr. Crane tells Helene Jensen that he'll bring her three letters from her husband. And after she's read them, he'll exchange them for three more! That Mr. Jensen sure must have liked to write!

I don't even want to get into how easily Glen Burton (Warren Stevens) managed to make his way from the men's prison to the women's side at will. You'd think that after the first time, the warden would have put a tail on him to figure out how he did it, instead of relying on Van Zandt to beat it out of the Mrs. By the time Burton whips out a gun during the hectic finale, it looks like one of the more believable elements of the story.

But you know, even with all this nonsense going on, the story managed to keep my interest during it's entire hour and a half run. Each of the characterizations, even the minor roles was entertaining. It was worth it to get to the point where Crane orders the straight jacket for Van Zandt as she's about to take off for la-la land.

OK, two more. How is it that Jensen, serving one to ten for that manslaughter charge gets released after about the two weeks of the film's story?

And the name of the black woman prisoner in the role call - O'Shaughnessy???

Reviewed by Handlinghandel7 / 10

Not "Caged" But Good On Its Own Terms

Ida Lupino gets one of her juiciest roles here. It may not be one of her subtlest but she gets to sink her teeth into it. She is the conniving, heartless, loveless warden of the title institution.

The inmates include blowzy dames from various studios. It's a great cast. We have Jan Sterling, Audrey Totter, and Cleo Moore. Moore is sans Hugo Haas.

It's a trifle hard to believe the plot. A co-ed prison where the women are abused. But though it may not be terribly cogent, it's strong. It's forceful.

Early in the movie Juanita Hall, playing a character named Polly, is introduced. She says she was named after the hospital where she was born: Polyclinic. Hey, I was born there, too. Maybe I should have been named Clint.

Watch this one. It's not campy. It can be taken very seriously. But it's also fun to see all these dolls cracking wise and playing tough.

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