Caged

Caged

5.0 1
Director: John Cromwell

Cast: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby

     
 

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Caged, considered the best woman's prison film ever made, represents a union between realistic socially conscious drama and the more stylized world of film noir. Marie, (Eleanor Parker), is sentenced to prison for helping her husband in a small robbery. The prison is run by the sadistic matron Evelyn (

Overview

Caged, considered the best woman's prison film ever made, represents a union between realistic socially conscious drama and the more stylized world of film noir. Marie, (Eleanor Parker), is sentenced to prison for helping her husband in a small robbery. The prison is run by the sadistic matron Evelyn (Hope Emerson) who is secure in her position due to corrupt political influence. The film shows Marie's slow disillusionment with society and her eventual decision to become a prostitute in order to gain parole after observing her friend and fellow inmate Kitty (Betty Garde) lose her sanity and murder their oppressor Evelyn. With this uncompromisingly pessimistic statement on human nature, John Cromwell reaches his peak as a director. Under his expert direction, Eleanor Parker gives the best performance of her career and creates a convincing metamorphosis from a innocent young girl to a hardened criminal. Her performance is nuanced, low-keyed and emotionally charged. Equally impressive is Cromwell's visual realization of the claustrophobia of prison life, aided by the high-contrast photography of Carl Guthrie. This excellent, grim drama is uncompromising in its refusal to sentimentalize the plight of Marie as a victim or to absolve her of her role in her fate, nor does it absolve society as it shows the results of desperation and brutalization on human dignity.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Caged is so beloved by camp aficionados that it's easy to forget that it's actually a hard-hitting and very well-done drama. Years of trashy women's prison films have made the mere mention of one seem laughable, a hoot. And to be sure, there are plenty of moments during Caged when one does find oneself chuckling, perhaps even giggling. Yet these moments are relatively few, and they somehow do not dampen the incredible impact of this noir-dripped "problem film." Much of the credit must go to Virginia Kellogg and Bernard Schoenfeld's screenplay, which is marvelously constructed and filled with memorable dialogue -- and with memorable characters to deliver it. John Cromwell also deserves kudos for his sterling direction, which navigates some very tricky paths without making any false moves. He also manages the all-important trick of conveying the maddening claustrophobia of life in the clink without oppressing the viewer to the point of distraction. He's aided in this by Carl Guthrie, whose camera finds the stark and painful beauty in this ruthless environment. But what most viewers will remember about Caged are the bravura performances. The entire cast is excellent, but Eleanor Parker's harrowing portrayal is unforgettable and the cornerstone upon which the film is built. She gets excellent support from Hope Emerson, Agnes Moorehead, and others, but the picture succeeds because of Parker.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/08/2014
UPC:
0888574012144
Original Release:
1950
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
26,237

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eleanor Parker Marie Allen
Agnes Moorehead Ruth Benton
Ellen Corby Emma
Hope Emerson Evelyn Harper
Betty Garde Kitty Stark
Jan Sterling Smoochie
Jane Darwell Isolation Matron
Lee Patrick Elvira Powell
Olive Deering June
Gertrude Michael Georgia
Sheila Stevens Helen
Joan Miller Claire
Marjorie Crossland Cossie
Taylor Holmes Senator Donnolly
Frances Morris Mrs. Foley
Don Beddoe Commissioner Walker
William Haade Laundryman
Grayce Hampton Actor
Ann Tyrrell Edna
Marie Melesch Actor
Gracille LaVinder Visiting Room Matron
Olive Carey June
Queenie Smith Mrs. Warren
Esther Howard Grace
Marlo Dwyer Julie
Peggy Wynne Lottie
Edith Evanson Miss Barker
Eileen Stevens Infirmary Nurse
Sandra Gould Skip
Grace Hayes Mugging Matron
Guy Beach Mr. Cooper
Charles Meredith Chairman
George Baxter Jeffries
Harlan Warde Dr. Ashton
William Hunter Guard
Marjorie Wood Matron
Evelyn Dockson Matron
Hazel Keener Matron
Jane Crowley Matron
Gail Bonney Inmate
Doris Kemper Inmate
Lovyss Bradley Inmate
Ezelle Poule Inmate
Jean Calhoun Inmate
Nita Talbot Inmate
Helen Eby-Rock Inmate
Tina Menard Inmate
Virginia Engels Inmate
Ruth Warren Miss Lyons
Davison Clark Doctor
Pauline Drake Doctor's Wife
Billy Wayne Ada's Father
Helen Mowery Woman
Helen Spring Woman

Technical Credits
John Cromwell Director
G.W. Berntsen Set Decoration/Design
Charles H. Clarke Art Director
Carl Guthrie Cinematographer
Stan Jones Sound/Sound Designer
Virginia Kellogg Screenwriter
Owen Marks Editor
Bernard Schoenfeld Screenwriter
Max Steiner Score Composer
Ed Voight Makeup
Jerry Wald Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup

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Caged 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Ejoyed THIS MOVIE,IT'S SO HEART pieceing ,and keep's you rooting for the girl's freedom.this is one of the best movie's I ve seen in a long time.very deep and moving.make's you thankful for the life you have and youre precious family you have.