Monday, September 14, 2009

Women's Prison (1955)

Ida Lupino... Amelia van Zandt
Jan Sterling... Brenda Martin
Cleo Moore... Mae
Audrey Totter... Joan Burton
Phyllis Thaxter... Helene Jensen
Howard Duff... Dr. Crane
Warren Stevens... Glen Burton
Barry Kelley... Warden Brock
Gertrude Michael... Chief Matron Sturgess
Vivian Marshall... Dottie LaRose
Mae Clarke... Matron Saunders
Ross Elliott... Don Jensen
Adelle August... Grace
Don C. Harvey... Chief Guard Tierney
Juanita Moore... Polyclinic 'Polly' Jones

Lewis Seiler-Director
Brian Foy-Producer
Jack DeWitt-Screenplay
Crane Wilbur-Writer

Women in prison films have been around a long time. It’s a genre with timeless camp appeal. Actually, this is not only a women’s prison, men are also housed on the same location. A giant wall and razor wire seperate the two divisions.

To create a good prison movie you should:

*Start with a sadistic, borderline psychotic female warden played by Ida Lapino

*have a new inmate that is utterly out of place with criminals (housewife type)

*Add a wise cracking, slutty, bleach blonde repeat offender

*Include some funny and or crazy additional inmates in the mix

*Have a caring Prison Doctor to cause conflict with the female warden

Women’s Prison delivers all of the above and more. The beatings, mental abuse and riot only add to this movie’s appeal. This movie even has a twist—the prison is co-ed and occasionally a male prisoner slips over to the female side to get some loving!

I wanted to keep this review short. If you need some cheering up on a rainy day, watch this movie. A great choice for a rainy Friday night. You will be LOL throughout the entire movie.

Caged (1950) is a better prison  movie, but not as funny.


Nothing worth mentioning! Standard Prison garb. Ida Lupino does flash some cool cat eye glasses. I would like to own those!

Problems with Movie:

Continuity: During a sequence showing concurrent events at a co-ed prison (men on one side of wall, women on the other), the women are seen in the yard in sunny weather with short-sleeved uniforms, while the men's side is rainy, with prisoners in heavy coats.

Memorable Quotes:

Brenda Martin: Dottie's from show business.
Dotty LaRose: Yeah, stripteaser. But I always wanted to do impersonations. I wanted to take off people, not my clothes, and thats why I am doing a stretch from ten to life.
Helene Jensen: Ten to life for just taking off your clothes?
Dotty LaRose: No. I shot my agent.

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