5.3/10
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Caged Heat (1974)

In a women's prison, a group of inmates band together to combat the repressive and abusive policies of the warden.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

Jonathan Demme
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juanita Brown ... Maggie
Roberta Collins ... Belle Tyson
Erica Gavin Erica Gavin ... Jacqueline Wilson
Ella Reid Ella Reid ... Pandora
Cheryl Smith ... Lavelle (as Rainbeaux Smith)
Warren Miller Warren Miller ... Dr. Randolph
Barbara Steele ... Supt. McQueen
Crystin Sinclaire ... Crazy Alice (as Lynda Gold)
Mickey Fox ... Bernice
Toby Carr Rafelson Toby Carr Rafelson ... Pinter (as Tobi Carr Refelson)
Ann Stockdale Ann Stockdale ... Bonnie
Irene Stokes Irene Stokes ... Hazel
Cynthia Songé ... Rosemary (as Cynthia Songey)
Carmen Argenziano ... Undercover Wrestler
John Aprea ... Dream Man
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Storyline

A girl is caught in a drug bust and sent to the hoosegow. The iron-handed superintendent takes exception to a skit performed by the girls and takes punitive steps, aided by the sadistic doctor who is doing illegal electroshock experiments and raping drugged prisoners. After a while the prisoners put away their petty differences and plan the Big Prison Escape. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Women's prison U.S.A. - Rape Riot and Revenge! White Hot Desires melting cold prison steel!

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1975 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Caged Heat! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Steele kept herself separate from the rest of the cast in order to stay in character. See more »

Quotes

Supt. McQueen: That show of yours last night was positively disgusting. Given the chance to express yourselves you went straight to the gutter. Even for criminals you're just a particularly poor reflection on womanhood.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Caged Heat II: Stripped of Freedom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not as sleazy as some entries in the genre, but still good.
24 May 2015 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Jonathan Demme's feature length first unit directorial debut was this women in prison favourite, done for his boss in the 1970s, Roger Corman. It stars Erica Gavin as Jacqueline Wilson, a young woman nabbed by the police during a drug bust. While serving time, she meets a variety of convicts, among them the ultra tough Maggie (Juanita Brown), the equally feisty Belle (Roberta Collins), and the more low key Lavelle (Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith). When two of the ladies perform a risqué routine in order to entertain the others, the superintendent (Barbara Steele) decides to come down hard on her charges.

Once one stops to think about it, they do realize that there is more going on than in the standard issue type of W.I.P. feature. It *is* exploitative, of course; Demme does realize what's required of him. Still, he waits until about 24 minutes into the movie before he even begins showing off the birthday suits on the babes. There are shower scenes, and cat fights, and generally agreeable mayhem. There's also a decent subtext about the degrees to which males exploit females, and take advantage of them, and what can happen when enough females band together to take preventative steps. One can hardly fail to notice the depravity of a central male character, the nefarious prison doctor Randolph (Warren Miller), who has a taste for electro shock therapy and for taking nude photos of his patients at their most vulnerable.

The script by Demme is also laced with humour at appropriate moments. The characters maintain a good amount of rooting interest, with exploitation veterans like Brown and Collins offering standout performances. However, the most intriguing person here is Superintendent McQueen, played as being very repressed by Ms. Steele. In the real world, McQueen is confined to a wheelchair, and has one very erotic dream sequence.

Fans of the 1970s B movie will recognize a number of the supporting and bit players: Crystin Sinclaire, Carmen Argenziano, John Aprea, Patrick Wright, Gary Littlejohn. Pay close attention to catch Demme's regular cinematographer Tak Fujimoto as a sex emporium customer.

"Caged Heat" is sexy and violent, paced reasonably well, and delivers some excitement in its climactic prison breakout sequence.

Seven out of 10.


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