Eleanor Parker is Maria Allen, thrust into the prison system run by a well meaning warden Ruth Benton played by the inimitable Agnes Moorehead. As in any good women in prison flick, it requires the sadistic matron to roil the exploitation brew with lots of de-humanizing antics like a good head shaving, or dare I mention it, a kitten killing. So here’s to Hope Emerson’smean spirited Evelyn Harper, kitten killing, bon bon eating, Midnight Romance reading, prison caboose with a mean on, that makes Ida Lupino look like Saint Joan. Also starring one of my new favorites and a staple to these great gritty noirs the sprite Jan Sterling, Betty Garde, Ellen Corby, and Jane Darwell.
The immortal Joan Crawford is Lynn Markham, a widow who longs to be left alone at her beach house, where previous tenant, Eloise Crandall (Judith Evelyn) had fallen to her death.Lynn’s neighbor turns out to be the gorgeous male specimen in the form of Jeff Chandler, playing Drummond Hall (Drummy), who might have had something to do with Eloise’s fatal fall off the porch.Of course Drummy starts to move in on Lynn. Along for the ride are the marvelous duo of Natalie Schafer and Cecil Kellaway who play Drummy’s crafty aunt and uncle, Osbert and Queenie Sorenson. And then there is the frequent visitations by realtor Amy Rawlinson played by the always effervescent Jan Sterling who is of course gaga over Drummy, the slick and sleazy gigolo with a rough past.Directed by Joseph Pevney (prolific in great television series’ spanning the 1960s-80s, not to mention THE STRANGE DOOR 1951,andPLAYGIRL 1956 starring Shelley Winters.)
The film is filled with the right amount of 50s kitch and camp and delicious vulgarity under the sensationalized surface. An obscure Crawford goodie that enthusiasts of the actress and genre should add to their ‘must see’ list!
Lynn: “You must go with the house — like plumbing.”
There are thousands of films in my collection. this is just one of them!-See it for yourself!-MonsterGirl