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Saturday, August 13, 2011

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies

CAGED (1950)

Emotions run riot as Eleanor Parker and a superb cast of actresses fight for their rights and freedom in John Cromwell's tale of women behind bars, CAGED (1950). Parker, earning the first of three Oscar nominations, plays Mary, a pregnant girl of nineteen, tried, convicted and "sent up the river" for one to five years on a first offense. Despite the kindness and guidance of Agnes Moorehead as the kindly warden, Parker learns how to survive in a cage filled with ruthless women who'll stop at nothing and have nothing to lose. She's joined by talented array of some of the best character actresses in the business, including; Jan Sterling, Betty Garde, Ellen Corby, Lee Patrick, and fellow Oscar nominee Hope Emerson as Harper, the unforgettably evil and gargantuan prison matron. It's a riveting drama, filled with superb performances, raw emotions and heartbreaking moments that will stay with you long after "lights out."