80 user 32 critic

Caged (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 10 June 1950 (USA)
2:05 | Trailer
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.


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





Complete credited cast:
Eleanor Parker ... Marie Allen
Agnes Moorehead ... Ruth Benton
Ellen Corby ... Emma Barber
Hope Emerson ... Evelyn Harper
Betty Garde ... Kitty Stark
Jan Sterling ... Jeta Kovsky - aka Smoochie
Lee Patrick ... Elvira Powell
Olive Deering ... June Roberts - Inmate
Jane Darwell ... Isolation Matron
Gertrude Michael ... Georgia Harrison
Sheila MacRae ... Helen (as Sheila Stevens)
Learn more

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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 | Plot Synopsis


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


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In order to do research for her book, former L.A. Times reporter and screenwriter (under contract at Warner's) Virginia Kellogg pulled some strings to incarcerate herself in a woman's prison. She then wrote a book about it, "Women without Men," which was a kind of almanac of everything she witnessed while in prison. Warner Bros. then had her write the screenplay, which was nominated for an Oscar. See more »


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


Marie Allen: I feel a little sick.
Infirmary Nurse: Get that way often?
Marie Allen: Yes, the last week or so.
Infirmary Nurse: Say, you expecting company?
Marie Allen: [mumbles] I don't know.
Infirmary Nurse: [cynically] Another pregnant one! Get up!... You know who the father is?
Marie Allen: My husband.
Marie Allen: [sarcastically] Well, ain't we gettin' respectable! Could he help with the expenses?
Marie Allen: He's dead!
Infirmary Nurse: [with contempt] Another bill for the state! Get dressed!
See more »


Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

User Reviews

One of the Most Stunning Screen Transformations in Recent Memory
8 March 2009 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

John Cromwell's Caged is an exceptionally made film for the most part, a bold expose for its time on the prison system. There are many overt visual techniques which make the cinematography cloudy and suggestive, very impressive acting and a fair deal of realism.

Eleanor Parker fashions one of the most stunning screen transformations in recent memory. From the beginning, she delineates all the chastity and defenselessness of an injured yearling. As one foul interval after another follows her, that unworldliness rusts, her clean hands are continuously stained and she boils over into the vintage hard-bitten felon. If no attempt is made to adjust felons, all a prison is good for is to further indoctrinate criminals in their pegged rackets.

Of all of them, the most indelible impression is made by the gruff voice and towering physicality of Hope Emerson, who mustered all of the feelings of inadequacy one frankly imagines she suffered in her time to scald the morale of the inmates over which she abuses the power she sadistically relishes. That's not to say she is a "cow" surrounded by sumptuous, insatiable inmates. Cromwell indeed surrounds Parker with jowled, bug-eyed, bony, gnarly women. The corporeal presence of the vast majority of the convicts speaks volumes to why, in 1950 America, these women led the lives they did. And Parker, sent to prison, after a botched armed robbery attempt by her equally young husband who is killed, leaving her with an accomplice technicality as a curious wedding gift, is pitted among them in nightmarish situations. Her entirely unnatural experience inside begins with her discovery that she is pregnant. She gives birth to a healthy baby and grants custody to her mother to get the baby back after she is released, but her apathetic mother gives the child up for adoption for good because the child does not harmonize with the grandmother's habits.

Parker is then left with all the abandonments of the most deeply felt order: Her husband, her freedom, her child, her mother. Subsequently, one need just run down the characters surrounding her to map the bearings of the angle the drama will take: Manipulative and vicious superintendent Hope Emerson, hard-boiled ringleader Kitty Stark played by the boldly unglamorous Betty Garde, and corruption matron Lee Patrick. How does a sympathetic warden, Agnes Moorehead, match the impact of the environment she finds that she provides someone like Parker? The final handful of shots endure.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

10 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caged See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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