Jonathan Demme, USA, 1974, Shout! Factory, Cult

Easily one of the best-made examples of its kind, this women-in-prison tale is the debut feature from future cinema legend Jonathan Demme (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, SOMETHING WILD, MARRIED TO THE MOB.)

Thrown into the penal hell of Connorville, petty criminal Jacqueline (Erica Gavin) fights against the ruthless inmates, a cruel warden (Barbara Steele) and her depraved staff. She forms an uneasy friendship with two hardened inmates; when these three unite, they seek escape, money and revenge.

By this time, Demme had already teamed with cinematographer / future collaborator Tak Fujimoto, who would later revolutionize the look of horror with SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Composer John Cale (formerly of the Velvet Underground!) also offers a stark, experimental blues-inflected score that sounds at times like Ry Cooder — and the story takes a number of odd turns including several strikingly surreal fantasy sequences, with Steele getting the best moment in a stylish cabaret number.

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  • 83 min.
  • Color
  • 1.85:1


  • DCP