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.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Hope Emerson ...
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

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

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Details

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Release Date:

19 May 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Femmes en cage  »

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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.
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Connections

Referenced in The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classic movie about women's prison with an excellent Hope Emerson
6 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

This is the angry story of beautiful Marie Allan(Eleanor Parker) a one-mistake girl,the men betrayed and the law forgot inside the big house for women,she can't afford to let stay at large now .We have seen what the matron(Hope Emerson) does to women in the prison,we have seen women tortured, sweated and mistreated and a sensational scandal rock women's prison.Film dared to tell the whole hideous truth about brutal cruelty by villain jailer.This is a new kind of picture.It's a scenario writer's idea (Virginia Kellog's screenwriter) of a women's prison,authentic experiences of a convicts in a gaol that is a hell on earth.Screen's most gripping drama of violence and gals on rampage in prison riot.It's a story about it what happens to women without men,the shocking tale of one warden against sixty inmates.The movie arises a questions : Will she come out woman or wildcat?,is the coming out good or is the coming out to avenge the torments and terrors that make a jail for women a college for the crime?.Hope Emerson as a cruel,sensation-hungry nasty is magnificent ,she organizes a crack newspaper campaign announcing against prison chief(Agnes Morehead).Warner Bros has filmed with all of the power and realism at its command.Virginia Kellogg's exciting plot surpasses even ¨Iam a fugitive from a chain gang¨film and John Cromwell directed with genius. Picture obtained three nominations for Academy Award : the best principal actress(Eleanor Parker),support cast(Hope Emerson) and the best original screenplay(Kellogg).The musical score is by the classic Max Steiner.The film is remade as ¨House of Women¨(1962)with Shirley Knight and originated a real sub-genre and spreading several sequels and copies as ¨Women's prison¨(1955) with Ida Lupino and ¨Girls in Prison¨with Joan Taylor. Besides of exploitation flicks as ¨Naked cage'(1982) directed by Paul Nicholas and ¨Chained Heat¨with Linda Blair.


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