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Sensational Scandal Rocks Women's Prison!
A crusading psychiatrist battles a sadistic female warden to improve conditions at a women's prison.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Ida Lupino, an accomplished veteran in front of the camera, would direct a number of low-budget independent features during the early 1950s, making her the sole female director working in Hollywood at the time. Struggling to find financiers for her projects in the mid-fifties, she had to take on acting jobs in pictures like Women’s Prison in order to keep busy. While the film may not serve as much more than junk food, Lupino brings her typical ferocity to the material, which she always accompanied with a slight underlying tone of sadness. Directed by Lewis Seiler, Women’s Prison is the brassy sort of programmer that moves nimbly and captivates if only because of its cast. Alongside Lupino, who revels in…
This film gets off to a pretty good start with Phyllis Thaxter and Jan Sterling arriving for a stay in the Women’s prison. Thaxter (was there a duller actress in films than her?) arrives looking like she’s on her way to a luncheon at her women’s club. She’s in for 1 to 10 for running over and killing a little girl, and Jan is back again for writing bad checks. Jan throws off some nice zingers and calls everyone hon or kid or honey. Jan is swell. She’s tough but kind, and soon we meet some of the other broads in the pen. There’s Audrey Totter who is an innocent accomplice to her husband’s crime of robbery, but still got…
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