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A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Women Without Men") | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Betty Garde ...
Kitty Stark
...
Jeta Kovsky aka Smoochie
Lee Patrick ...
Elvira Powell
Olive Deering ...
June Roberts - Inmate
...
Isolation Matron
Gertrude Michael ...
...
Helen (as Sheila Stevens)
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Storyline

Frightened 19-year-old Marie Allen gets sent to an Illinois penitentiary for being an accomplice in an armed robbery. A sympathetic prison head tries to help, but her efforts are subverted by cruel matron Evelyn Harper. Marie's harsh experiences turn her from doe-eyed innocent to hard-nosed con. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of a Women's Prison Today! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Femmes en cage  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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

Originally titled The Big Cage, an early version of the script was intended as a Bette Davis/Joan Crawford vehicle. See more »

Goofs

When Marie Allen announces that her kitten has died, the cat opens its mouth. See more »

Quotes

Kitty Stark: [to Elvira] Quit shaking the tambourine.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Caged Heat (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still A Stunner
2 August 2001 | by (Noth Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie in Hollywood as part of the annual film noir festival at the American Cinematheque. This film has lost none of its ability to move an audience. Not only is it a good prison drama, but it is a good example of film noir moviemaking as well.

It was a bit of daring to show how corrupt the prison system can be and "inmates decaying" as one character put it.The lead character (Eleanor Parker) goes from being an innocent to becoming as hard as anyone else in the prison system due to the efforts of her matron and chief tormentor (Hope Emerson). It is because of this transformation that the film goes from being a routine prison drama to a first-rate noir thriller.

Jan Sterling, who plays "Smoochie" in the film, was at the screening and spoke afterward. She said director John Cromwell (father of character actor James Cromwell) did a great job of making you feel like you were in prison. She said by the end of the shoot, the performers felt like they were really confined. Parker, Emerson and the script by Virginia Kellogg and Bernard C. Schoenfeld were nominated for Oscars.


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