Idealistic and naive Dr. Jason arrives at a school for delinquent girls and immediately begins to try to make a difference in the lives of some of the inmates. Oblivious to the sadistic treatment of the girls by the matrons, it takes a rebellious girl named Loretta to open his eyes. Assisted by a female staff member, Jason finally gets proof of the abuse and threatens the head of the school with exposure unless he is given full reign to run things. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
The director, Bernard Vorhaus, had real talent, as evidenced by the undeniably powerful firehose and suicide scenes, not to mention his handling of a fascinating young cast headed by Anne Francis (who is terrific) Rita Moreno, Anne Jackson and even Mike Kellin, in a bit. Vorhaus knows how to play with light and shadow - he probably would have excelled in Noir films had he not been blacklisted - and has a knack for finding novel settings to either enhance or contrast the mood of a particular scene. (The merry-go-round scene would do Hitchcock proud.) His camera's always on the move and the editing of the film has a rhythm and a pull that keeps you involved and in suspense.
But make no mistake this is a B-film with an erratic script that falters at several critical junctures. Immediately after the sadistic worker turns the hose on the girls for setting fire to the dorm, things come to a head, with Henried and pretty Catherine McLeod angrily confronting the corrupt Head of the institution (Cecil Clovelly) and threatening to file official reports on the abuse at the school unless sweeping changes are made. Clovelly admits that if that happened there would probably be an uproar, an unfavorable investigation and he would more than likely be fired, BUT - and this is what made absolutely no sense - he gets them to back down by suggesting that if he were fired who's to say somebody even worse than him wouldn't take his place? Huh?!!! What are the odds of that? I think I'd take my chances.
Still an effective film that will hold your interest. I should also point out that the other comment about this film is inaccurate on several plot details and seems to have it confused with some other film.
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