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Prison sans barreaux (1938)

In a state correctional institute for teenage girls, Madame Appel, the superintendent, rules with an iron fist. The State appoints thirty-year-old Yvonne to evaluate the situation. The ... See full summary »


Léonide Moguy


Hans Wilhelm (screenplay), Gina Kaus (story) | 3 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Annie Ducaux ... Yvonne Chanel, la directrice
Roger Duchesne ... Guy Maréchal, le docteur
Ginette Leclerc ... Renée
Corinne Luchaire ... Nelly
Marthe Mellot Marthe Mellot ... Madame Renard
Madeleine Suffel Madeleine Suffel ... La bonne
Alice Cortot Alice Cortot ... Louise
Maximilienne Maximilienne ... Madame Appel
Gisèle Préville Gisèle Préville ... Alice
Marguerite Pierry Marguerite Pierry ... Mademoiselle Pauline


In a state correctional institute for teenage girls, Madame Appel, the superintendent, rules with an iron fist. The State appoints thirty-year-old Yvonne to evaluate the situation. The young woman is convinced that the girls should feel wanted rather than be constantly subdued and is accordingly determined to make Madame Appel change her methods of education. On a private level Yvonne is secretly engaged to Guy Maréchal, the doctor serving the institute. Unfortunately for her, the latter starts flirting with Nelly, a beautiful but rebellious inmate. Another prisoner, Renée, who has discovered the romance, blackmails Nelly... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

18 February 1938 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A rácsnélküli börtön See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film occurred in New York City Friday 21 January 1949 on WCBS (Channel 2), and in Los Angeles Sunday 20 February 1949 on KTSL (Channel 2). See more »


Remade as Prison Without Bars (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Girls behind bars
29 January 2009 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

The only movie of the FRench thirties dealing with reform schools (for girls).The movie,very dated ,and in spite of its high rating , really a relic ,features two parts lasting about 45 minutes each.

The first part shows how a young daring headmistress (Annie Ducaux) imposes her "new " methods based on loyalty,courage and respect.The old one,a shrew,is almost a caricature like the other "tutors" :sinister-looking (only good-looking people are good?),treating her inmates as dogs (the scene when the girls undress before going to bed is the best).

The second part gets lost in second-rate melodrama ,one of the girls falling in love with the doctor (who is also the new headmistress's fiancé),and one of the girls (Ginette Leclerc,who at 26,was cast as an adolescent!)blackmails her to get cigarettes and alcohol.

The conclusion predates the Vichy ideology;reneging on her love,the noble woman will devote her whole life to help girls redeem themselves.

Word to the wise: Take Duvivier' s "Au Royaume Des Cieux"(1950) instead ;it's the same subject ,with a great director,which Leonide Moguy was not.

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