Girls in Chains - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Girls in Chains Reviews

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½ March 21, 2012
Of the five Edgar G. Ulmer films that I have seen so far, this is by far is least interesting film. Girls in Chains revolves around a woman who takes up a position at a girls reformatory after losing her job because of her brother-in-law, Johnny Moon, being a major racketeer in the city. One of the problems I had with the film was how it deals with the character of Johnny Moon. The entire film centers around bringing Johnny Moon to justice and early on we are shown that is clearly guilty of murder and other crimes yet, you never really feel like he is large and in charge. The script reminds us that the city is essentially under siege by moon but it spends more time just telling us instead of showing us and creating this dark atmosphere. Barring a few exceptions, the film is just bland, from it's visuals to it's depecition of the conditions in the reformatory and the teacher's struggle to bring justice to Moon without worrying about her sister. I wish they went a more dramatic route as there is a lot of nice natural conflicting emotion and drama when you have two sisters with quite different mindsets, but its never really exploited in a way that's anything beyond a banal story-arch.
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