4.4/10
112
13 user 4 critic

Girls in Chains (1943)

When a teacher loses her job because her brother-in-law is a racketeer, she takes a position at a girls' reformatory.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Helen Martin
Roger Clark ...
Frank Donovan
...
Rita Randall
...
Ruth
Dorothy Burgess ...
Mrs. Peters
...
Marcus
...
Johnny Moon (as Allan Byron)
...
Jean Moon
...
Pinkhead (as Sidney Melton)
Russell Gaige ...
Mr. Dalvers
Emmett Lynn ...
Lionel Cleeter
Richard Clarke ...
Tom Havershield
...
Mrs. Grey
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Storyline

When Ruth Martin is discharged from her teaching position because her sister is married to a notorious criminal (who is basically running the city), she accepts a job at a girls correctional facility. Her intent is to try and prepare the inmates for a better life once they are released. Ruth runs up against the supervisor (who is controlled by her brother-in-law) who is only interested in skimming money off the budget and his gang of matrons who only want to keep the girls in line doing laundry. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

17 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ragazze in catena  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stock footage of the Hollywood Pantages theatre showing a Mavis Arden film is lifted out of Go West Young Man (1936) starring Mae West as Mavis Arden. See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the worst pictures ever made?
5 May 2008 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Thanks to TCM, I am acquainting myself with this little gem. I was actually stopped in my tracks while channel-hopping by the sight of what I thought was Olivia de Havilland having a very bad hair day. This was our main character and the resemblance with Olivia was only accidental. No self-respecting actress would have compromised herself in those monumental, gravity-defying hair-dos and with such a bad script. The story is convoluted, improbable and totally lacking in logic, as shocking, "daring" and exploitative as it strives to be. The acting is really, really bad with most of the actors lacking direction and not knowing what to do with their body parts except squaring their shoulders, leaning on things, scowling, acting gruff, walking in and walking out of "rooms" and lighting a cigarette or cigar that the editing can't seem to keep track of. The wall-to-wall stock music is especially turgid and repulsive and conspires to deprive every single scene of what little dignity it has left. It gives new meaning to the word "melodrama": a generic Spanish bolero accompanies the bitching of female inmates sitting around a prison parlour; a pointless bit of business in a laboratory is helped along with a depressing vaguely Hungarian "valse triste", and so on. Still, the film is ahead of its time in many ways, and one would have to wait nearly 12 years to see such wooden acting, narrative incompetence and low production values at the service of a pointless storyline again in the films of Ed Wood and Jean-Luc Godard. And with original scripts being what they are in Hollywood these days, this film is probably scheduled for a CGI-augmented remake starring Bruce Willis.


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