Caged | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Probably the most ferociously effective and polemically potent women's prison film ever made, John Cromwell's 1950 melodrama charts the gradual hardening of an innocent 19-year-old (Eleanor Parker) in relation to the brutality of her surroundings. Parker and Hope Emerson (as a sadistic prison guard) both received Oscar nominations for their roles here; others in the cast include Agnes Moorehead as the warden, Ellen Corby, Jan Sterling, Jane Darwell, and Gertrude Michael, all of them impressive. In many respects, this Warner Brothers film resembles the best and toughest socially conscious movies turned out by that studio during the 30s; a rare 35-millimeter archive print will be shown. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Tuesday, January 12, 8:00, and Wednesday, January 13, 6:00, 443-3737)

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