Life at a 1950s women's maximum security prison where the warden and the guards are as brutal as the inmates.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Amelia van Zandt
Brenda Martin
Joan Burton
Helene Jensen
Dr. Crane
Glen Burton
Barry Kelley ...
Warden Brock
Chief Matron Sturgess
Vivian Marshall ...
Dottie LaRose
Matron Saunders
Don Jensen
Adelle August ...
Chief Guard Tierney
Polyclinic 'Polly' Jones


During the 1950s, two women inmates are sent to a maximum security state prison. One of the two women is a repeat offender who knows many of the inmates and guards at the prison. She almost feels like returning home to her prison family. The other woman is a decent person, a first-time offender who's no criminal.She unintentionally killed a child in a car accident. She's very young, married, and is terrified of being in prison. Her mental state is very fragile. The women's prison is adjacent to the men's prison. The two prisons are separated by a high wall but there are secret ways of crossing from one prison into the other. Warden Brock is in charge of the men's prison while Amelia van Zandt is the heartless brutal director of the women's prison. The guards are severe and not very friendly, since, they too, fear the wrath of their female warden van Zandt. The only ray of hope and decency in this earthly inferno is the prison doctor, Dr. Crane. However, the good doctor has little ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sensational scandal rocks women's prison! See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


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Release Date:

February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Femmes en prison  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to film's popularity in the 1980s, Sony Pictures released it in the boxed set Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume II. See more »


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. See more »


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.
See more »


Referenced in Fright Night Part 2 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Not "Caged" But Good On Its Own Terms
14 June 2007 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

Ida Lupino gets one of her juiciest roles here. It may not be one of her subtlest but she gets to sink her teeth into it. She is the conniving, heartless, loveless warden of the title institution.

The inmates include blowzy dames from various studios. It's a great cast. We have Jan Sterling, Audrey Totter, and Cleo Moore. Moore is sans Hugo Haas.

It's a trifle hard to believe the plot. A co-ed prison where the women are abused. But though it may not be terribly cogent, it's strong. It's forceful.

Early in the movie Juanita Hall, playing a character named Polly, is introduced. She says she was named after the hospital where she was born: Polyclinic. Hey, I was born there, too. Maybe I should have been named Clint.

Watch this one. It's not campy. It can be taken very seriously. But it's also fun to see all these dolls cracking wise and playing tough.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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