In The Jailhouse Now

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In Women’s Prison, venerated actress and director Ida Lupino is Amelia Van Zandt, one of the most cold-blooded wardens in women-in-prison film history. (And she began a grand tradition, continued by Barbara Steele in Caged Heat and Stella Stevens in Chained Heat, of ruthless wardens whose borderline psychopathic control-freakishness stems from sexual frustration…she’s even more love-starved than the inmates. What sets Women’s Prison apart from most of the rest of the genre is that the women are not hardened, feral amazons who brawl for status. They’re well-mannered, affable, charming ladies who either took one major wrong turn in their lives or were screwed over by fate. So it’s easy to have sympathy for them. What we’ve got here is that rarest of birds, a classy women-in-prison picture…

 

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