Caged - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Caged Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2016
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.
July 13, 2015
A brilliant example of film noir. One of the best prison/institution films ever made. Right up there with One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Shawkshank Redemption.
May 19, 2015
Not the exploitative "Caged Heat" type women-in-prison flick you might have been hoping for. And certainly not an inspirational/buddy Shawshank-angle either. This is a compelling, noirish, depressing, cynical view of women's prison that is sadly as relevant today in many ways as it was back in 1950. The kindly warden in this flick takes the view that the focus of prisons should be rehabilitation. Everyone else takes the view that prisons should perpetuate themselves and justify their existence by installing a revolving door. Depressing as hell, but that's obviously the way is was back then too. Worth a look - the only true black hat is the wicked Matron (fantastic perf by Emerson), the only true white hat is the warden. The only males are the corrupt, judgmental parole board and polis. There aren't any brutal Queen Bee's amongst the women prisoners, but they are all given nice shadings, from the not-quite-totally-naive to the not-quite-totally-cynical. The journey of the lead character from one to the other rings true. And makes me angry for how often it still happens today.
½ March 29, 2015
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-
April 8, 2014
A terrific, uncompromising prison movie starring Eleanor Parker and a host of great character actresses. With no saccharine ending, it was way ahead of its time.
½ December 12, 2013
I was expecting this to be more hard hitting but sadly it has not stood the test of time well.
November 26, 2013
Very well thought out story about a doe eyed girl being thrown into the slammer for a crime she was coerced to do and then really gets an eyeful about the conditions she has to endure. Eleanor Parker is really good in this. Very gutsy and risk taking.
½ August 26, 2013
Eleanor Parker is sentenced to "1 to 15" as an accessory to armed robbery -- she is 19 and na´ve and now in a women's prison. John Cromwell's flick is gripping, especially for the first hour, when Parker is introduced to the institution and socialized by the inmates and the brutal matron (of course, there is a brutal matron). The kindly warden (Agnes Moorhead) is in a political battle with the governor's office trying to maintain humane practices in the face of public pressure to come down hard on these "tramps". Since this is a "message" picture and not just a noir-ish look at the inside, Parker gets hardened by it all and her transformation is a little abrupt. But that's a minor point, this is swell flick.
citawijaya
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2013
It's actually pretty funny cause I just finished watching Orange is the new black and decided to watch this movie not because it's about women in prison (hell I didn't know the movie is about that) but just because I feel like wanting to watch this. I've been keeping this movie for 2 months and didn't have chance to see it until now. It's pretty good movie, Eleanor Parker was amazing here. I feel like it could be better but it's still a good movie never the less.
½ April 27, 2013
Eleanor Parker is a naive young woman is sent to prison where she becomes a hardened criminal. The film is less of a stereotypical women-in-prison film than it is a typical torn-from-the-headlines type of expose story about our ineffective prison system. It's pretty corny, but some sincere performances, particularly by Parker, give the film enough weight to make it a quality film versus becoming a camp-fest, which it easily could have become.
April 15, 2013
Deemed harsh in 1950, Cromwell's melodrama about women in prison has lost its edge
½ July 28, 2012
An obscure black diamond from vintage year 1950--The grandmother of the Women Behind Bars genre!!
½ December 28, 2011
old hollywood was amazing where did it go?
½ July 26, 2011
Possibly the most polished and most effective women behind bars melodramas of the era. Sharply-directed by John Cromwell, the beautiful Eleanor Parker leads a strong supporting cast of great character actresses. An underrated classic, and one of the great prison films, male or female cast aside.
July 26, 2011
Horrific, if not a little depressing, story of a not so bad woman caught up in a crime she didn't want to commit, then sentenced to a prison term. Excellent acting, good storyline, must have shocked the hell out of the society of the times when this came out! Besides, who doesn't appreciate a chick prison flick?
July 24, 2011
At times the social message gets lost in the noir melodrama, but it's a great film of it's type and time. No one plays the heavy quite like Hope Emerson, and Agnes Moorhead is marvelous.
July 8, 2011
The best of the ladies in prison films, this one is hard hitting tale of a naive girl as she goes through countless let downs and about the middle of the movie, was shown as tough as nails woman.
Powerful study, with a great cast, watch for Ellen Corby (Grandma on the Waltons) is a delight as a comedic part.
December 5, 2010
Surprisingly (perhaps shockingly) bleak for its time it is well worth seeing just fr the stab at realism. There are some major problems (many of the characters are one-dimensional, some of the descriptions of prison institutional structure make absolutely no sense, etc) but the ending sort of shocked me. Also, really brave of that actress to let her head get shaved in 1950 even if it's a really stupid reason to nominate someone for an oscar.
October 8, 2010
Early women`s prison flick demanding a re-watch very soon. Starring Eleanor Parker of "Sound of Music" fame.
½ July 24, 2010
Really hadn't anticipated the ending, even though it makes perfect sense.
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