Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Jun 2019)
Brief Synopsis – A young pregnant widow is sent to prison after she is caught being part of an armed robbery.
My Take on it – This is yet another film that I had never heard of before coming across it in my quest to watch all film that have garnered Oscar nominated performances.
This is a film that takes a great look at the way that the prison system of the time worked especially when taking into consideration how women deal with being incarcerated.
The film shows how the system tried on the one hand to rehabilitate the inmates yet at the same time create an atmosphere of the inmates getting accustomed to the institutionalized lifestyle which becomes permeated throughout their lives.
Eleanor Parker does a wonderful job in the lead and makes us believe the naivety of her character whose personality and mindset changes during the time she spends in the prison system.
She was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here.
In addition, Hope Emerson was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work as a sadistic prison guard.
In some ways, this film is reminiscent of The Shawshank Redemption (1994) in the way that it shows how prison life can affect someone so profoundly and change them in ways that are not necessarily expected.
Bottom Line – Great look at how the prison system of the time worked especially when dealing with female prisoners., The film does a great job looking at how the system on the one hand tries to rehabilitate yet on the other, the prison become use to the institutionalized lifestyle which causes the idea to become cyclical in their lives. Parker is superb in the lead role and makes us believe her character’s petty life of crime yet being institutionalized transforms her. She was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance here. Emerson was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her work as a sadistic guard. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In order to do research for her book, former L.A. Times reporter and screenwriter (under contract at Warner’s) Virginia Kellogg pulled some strings to incarcerate herself in a woman’s prison. She then wrote a book about it, “Women without Men,” which was a kind of almanac of everything she witnessed while in prison. Warner Bros. then had her write the screenplay, which was nominated for an Oscar. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)
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