Women’s Prison [1955]


 

  One of the first “real” women in prison films. Sure, there were films where women were in prison, but before Caged in 1950 and Women’s Prison in 1995 the whole movie was not happening in a prison. However, this is not your sexually explicit W.I.P. a la Caged Heat or The Big Doll House. But you could’ve guessed that, since the year is 1955. Actually even by mid-century standards, the film is tame.



Overreacting I mentioned

  Amelia van Zandt (Ida Lupino) is a cruel warden manager of a female ward of a prison where both men and women are imprisoned. Unfortunately, they are separated by a wall and there is no pimping and unisex shower scenes. A married couple, Joan (Audrey Totter) and Glen (Warren Stevens) Burton happen to be in the prison, separated and not allowed to see each other, according to prison rules. However, one day Glen manages to cross the wall, meet Joan in a storage room and knock her up. Once the prison manager finds out he wants van Zandt to know how he crossed the wall, by all means possible. All means possible are not requiring Joan to be nude, but they require slapping the shit out of her. But Joan happens to be a very fragile girl, and from all that slapping she falls into a coma.



Sweet dreams of cock

  Other inmates are Helene Jensen (Phyllis Thaxter) who just came in, guilty of killing a child while driving too fast. She’s a fine girl, certainly not a type for a prison, and she in an overreacting fashion breaks down the very minute she in confined. Once in a straitjacket and a padded cell, she goes nuts completely, falls in a coma and almost dies. She would like spontaneously combust or turn into a black hole if the too good too be true Dr. Crane (Howard Duff) didn’t protect her.



Dr. Crane

  Not to retell plot any more, I’ll just say that there’s a riot scene at one point, of course, and a pretty thrilling one. There not a single minute of this movie that’s boring. Maybe because of variety of plot elements and focus on more than one or two characters, maybe because of witty dialogues, maybe because of fast paced plot, probably because of all that combined. The movie is a bit naive, but in a charming way. The only complaint someone expecting risqué scenes might be that there are no risqué scenes. Of course I’m not expecting shower scenes, strip searches and open talk about cock craving, but some sexual innuendo might be expected in a prison movie. Or I’m wrong, not seeing enough of 50s W.I.P. Nevertheless, it’s a very fun and fast-paced movie, and I would recommend it to genre fans and other viewers alike.



Being killed by slapping



From the shoulder, that’s the trick



She’s gonna butter her up



How come they have knives on the first place?



Mmm



Am I the only one who thinks zombies MUST be in the next scene?



I dig the doors

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