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Nightmare in Badham County (1976)

During a road trip, two UCLA coeds end up in a Southern prison farm on trumped-up charges brought on by a small town sex-crazed corrupt sheriff.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Cathy Phillips
... Diane Emery
... Sheriff Danen
... Dulcie (as Fionnuala Flanagan)
... Greer
... Supt. Dancer
... Sarah
... Smitty
... Judge
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Annette Henley ... White inmate #1
Tom Keith ... Gas station attendant
John Malloy ... Mr. Phillips
Thomas Hal Phillips ... The Mayor (as Hal Thomas Phillips)


Two UCLA coeds have engine trouble in a small Southern town. When they spurn the local sheriff's advances he arranges for them to be taken to the women's prison on trivial charges (the judge is a cousin), where they must endure atrocities at the hands of the administrators of the prison and the prison guards. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where Innocence Is A Punishable Crime


Drama | Thriller


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nightmare  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

| (Ryder Sound Services)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film premiered in the US first on TV in a cut version, but had a theatrical release overseas uncut, proving to be an especially huge hit in China. The film's success in China was so substantial that star Deborah Raffin became the unofficial ambassador from Hollywood to China; she arranged meetings between Hollywood luminaries and Chinese leaders and filmmakers to get Chinese films distributed in America and American films released in China. Moreover, Raffin was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in the picture. See more »


Greer: You got 2 seconds to get away from that fence Nigger!
Sarah: Raise that strap to me white trash and I will tear your ugly heart out!
See more »


Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Sherwood Schwartz sitcom actors in a sleazy WIP flick--oohh yeah!
13 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

Being a fan of 1970's made-for-TV movies AND women-in-prison films, I just couldn't miss this 1970's made-for-TV woman-in-prison flick. And as bonus, unlike other made made-for-TV WIP films like "Jackson County Jail", this was released overseas in a much sleazier version than the one that appeared on American network TV. Thus you have fairly respectable American TV actors (at least if you consider "Mike Brady" from "The Brady Bunch"and "Ginger" from "Gilligan's Island" to be "respectable") appearing in a typically sleazy WIP flick.

The plot is actually fairly serious--two UCLA co-eds, one white and one black, are traveling through the Deep South. They have car trouble and are arrested for vagrancy by a racist sheriff (Bo Hopkins) the black girl earlier insulted. After a brutal (off-screen) rape they are sentenced to a work farm where they are kept segregated and cut off from the outside world and brutalized by sadistic "honorees" (prisoners acting as guards), one of whom is Tina "Ginger" Louise. Robert "Mike Brady" Reed plays the warden who takes sexual advantage of the women (again, off-screen, thank god). There is brutality, suicide, homicide, multiple escape attempts, and--in the "European" version--graphic lesbianism and a nude whipping. In typical 70's fashion the end is not unambiguously happy.

The "respectable" actors stay out of the sleaze scenes (but Tina Louise does do some of her guarding in a halter top and hot pants). Former Bond girl (and the much less talented sister of Natalie) Lana Wood appears in a lesbian scene with a naked inmate. And fans of 70's sleaze cinema will be gratified to know the nude whip-ee is Denise Dillaway from "The Cheerleaders".(Regrettably, her scenes probably didn't make the broadcast TV version). Nor is this quite the collision of Sherwood Schwartz sitcom actors and softcore porn that myself and others might have fantasized about (i.e. there's no three-way lesbian shower scene with "Mary Ann", "Marcia Brady" and "Laurie Partridge"). Still, I would certainly recommend this (especially the uncut version) to fans of both 70's made-for-TV and WIP movies.

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