Caged (1950)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Eleanor Parker plays a naive young woman who helps her no-good husband in a robbery. Parker is sentenced to prison, where, despite the compassionate efforts of warden Agnes Moorehead, she is subjected to the cruelties of Amazonian matron Hope Emerson. The new prisoner's only "friend" on the inside is shoplifter Betty Garde, who teaches Parker all the tricks of her profession, hoping to recruit the girl as an accomplice upon release. Reeling from the twin tragedies of her husband's death and her miscarriage, Parker becomes as hard and cynical as her cellmates. Paroled, she faces an uncertain future on the Outside, as the warden observes resignedly that the girl will be back behind bars before long. Far superior to the general run of "women in prison" epics, Caged avoids such pitfalls as a happy ending or cliched characterizations. Eleanor Parker might well have been an Oscar contender for Caged had it not been for a powerhouse 1950 nominee lineup including Bette Davis, Judy Holliday and Gloria Swanson.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Drama , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast

Eleanor Parker
as Marie Allen
Hope Emerson
as Evelyn Harper
Agnes Moorehead
as Ruth Benton
Betty Garde
as Kitty Stark
Jan Sterling
as Smoochie
Lee Patrick
as Elvira Powell
Jane Darwell
as Isolation Matron
Joan Miller
as Claire
Queenie Smith
as Mrs. Warren
Naomi Robison
as Hattie
Marlo Dwyer
as Julie
Peggy Wynne
as Lottie
Frances Morris
as Mrs. Foley
Edith Evanson
as Miss Barker
Yvonne Rob
as Elaine
Eileen Stevens
as Infirmary Nurse
Grace Hayes
as Mugging Matton
Taylor Holmes
as Sen. Donnolly
Don Beddoe
as Commissioner Walker
Charles Meredith
as Chairman
George Baxter
as Jeffries
Guy Beach
as Mr. Cooper
Harlan Warde
as Dr. Ashton
Bill Hunter
as Guard
Marjorie Wood
as Matron
Hazel Keener
as Matron
Jane Crowley
as Matron
Gail Bonney
as Inmate
Doris Kemper
as Inmate
Ezelle Poule
as Inmate
Eva Nelson
as Inmate
Jean Calhoun
as Inmate
Nita Talbot
as Inmate
Marie Melesch
as Inmate
Joyce Newhard
as Inmate
Sheila Stuart
as Inmate
Tina Menard
as Inmate
Gladys Roach
as Inmate
William Haade
as Laundryman
Ruth Warren
as Miss Lyons
Davison Clark
as Doctor
Pauline Drake
as Doctor's Wife
Gracille LaVinder
as Visiting Room Matron
Billy Wayne
as Ada's Father
Doris Whitney
as Woman Visitor
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Critic Reviews for Caged

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 27, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Deemed harsh in 1950, Cromwell's melodrama about women in prison has lost its edge but the acting of Agnes Moorehead and Hope Emerson, as a monstrously facist matron, is good; the film still offers valuable lesson about how life in prison makes criminals

Full Review… | April 20, 2007
EmanuelLevy.Com

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | November 6, 2004
Film4

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | November 6, 2004
Movieline

Audience Reviews for Caged

½

Good stuff as we are taken to a tour of the real hard time, the cooler, the slammer, the joint, behind bars with ... well, a pretty okay collection of ladies considering. Even the repeat offenders seem tame in this offering. Only the head matron in this is bad news, her sadistic ways making your girls-next-door tougher than hydraulic jackhammers. A depiction of what's it like inside that'll seem dated, though still good to watch and that without the expected shower rape scenes.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

Do you hear that train? People are going home on that train. A recently widowed nineteen year old gets caught up in a burglary and takes the fall. She is sentenced to ten months in prison. She is quickly identified as fresh meat but she stands up for herself and puts several ladies down. Her ten months in prison are very eventful , especially when a shift of power occurs within the inmates. "He kept on hitting me so I kept on slapping back." John Cromwell, director of Made for Each Other, Since You Went Away, The Prisoner of Zenda, Dead Reckoning, Algiers, and This Man is Mine, delivers Caged. The storyline for this picture is very intricate and well executed. The characters are well developed and the widows story unfolds amazingly and concludes climatically. The acting is great and includes Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Jan Sterling, Jane Darwell, and Sheila MacRae. "You're lucky your man is dead." I came across this film on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR it. It surprised me this grindhouse genre movie would hit TCM and it quickly became apparent why. The acting and execution was very well done. I strongly recommend catching this underrated gem. "Lay your hands on me and I'll put your lights out." Grade: A-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

If The Big House is the grandpa of prison movies, then Caged is the grandma... or maybe the wicked stepmother. One of the best prison movies I've seen. Supposedly based on true incidents taken from a diary written in prison, albeit by an author who was in prison for research rather than a rap. Eleanor Parker deserved her Best Actress nom as the naive 19 year old girl who gets hard lessons about life while in jail as an accessory to armed robbery. Her transformation from innocent kid to hardened criminal was astounding. Hope Emerson's 6'2" prison matron, who believed prisoners should be treated like animals in cages, was brutal and hateful, leading directly to Parker's downfall. The downer ending I believe added to the film rather than dragged it down. Movies with such a large female cast (only two men that I can recall) don't normally have this dark a tone. No matter how you feel about prisons and prisoners, you need to see this. A first-class job from all involved.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

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