Caged (1950) Movie Script

Pile out, you tramps.
It's the end of the line.
Grab your last look at free side, kid.
- Hi, Emma.
- Hi.
Shut up!
Line up by twos.
Take them to the receiving room, Cassie.
You know the way blindfolded.
Heard you was falling back in.
Still got you scrubbing, Meta?
Give me some skin!
No guy's given me a tumble in months.
Shut up!
The lists are alphabetical. Marie Allen.
Court says you're married. Legitimate?
All valuables must be turned over to us
until you hit free side.
Wedding ring, too.
Some county-jail gum heels
must have been here first.
Do they still soak you a fiver
for a phone call or a visitor?
Sign this. I'll fill it in later.
Mother living? Father?
Any brothers? Sisters?
Well, there's just my mother.
She got married again.
Nothing like this has ever happened
to anybody in the family.
No previous criminal record.
In case of death, who do we notify?
Death? Oh, Mom, I guess.
Belong to any church?
We used to go.
It's a church on State Street.
I forget its name. I think...
Armed robbery, huh? For one to 15 years.
The judge called me an accessory.
I've got to get to your version
of the crime, so shoot.
Well, we'd only been married
a couple of months.
We tried to find a place to live,
but everything costs so much,
so Mom let us move in
with her and my stepfather.
Well, Tom was always fighting with Gus.
That's my stepfather.
He tried to find a better job,
and then he got fired.
Get to the crime.
When Tom drove into that gas station,
I stayed in the car while he...
Then the attendant hit Tom over the head,
and I went out to help him.
I guess
that's why they called me an accessory.
They took back the $40.
Five bucks less,
and it wouldn't be a felony.
Don't try to kid me.
How old are you really?
Sign this. I'll skip the mental test.
You look normal enough.
Lots of them haven't all their marbles.
You can take your physical.
- Where?
- The infirmary. Your number's 93850.
No, 93850. Remember it.
The infirmary's at the end of the corridor.
Follow your nose.
Next, Emma Barber. Snap into it.
Say, you got real skinny, didn't you?
I hope your batch is cleaner
than the last lot.
I had to scrub them with brooms.
Eyes okay.
No drugs in the ears.
Open your mouth wide.
I said, wide.
No drugs in the mouth. Teeth sound.
Lung tap sound.
Heart excited but strong enough.
What's the matter?
I feel a little sick.
Get that way often?
Yes, the last week or so.
Say, you expecting company?
I don't know.
Another pregnant one. Get up.
You know who the father is?
My husband.
Well, ain't we getting respectable?
Could he help with the expenses?
He's dead.
Another bill for the State. Get dressed.
Shall I put down "pregnant"?
No, better wait. See what the doc says.
That trained seal sure can ask
a lot of questions.
Who's this Pearl Harbor, anyway?
Is she an inmate?
- Shut up, Emma, and strip.
- Oh, goodie.
Never mind the glamour, puss.
Couldn't I have a comb?
What's the difference?
There's no men in here.
Can I write a letter to my mother?
No, not while you're in isolation.
You gotta stay here
until your blood test comes back,
so for two weeks,
there'll be no mail, no visitors, no nothing.
Welcome to Lysol Lane.
Did you just get in today?
I'm on the last lap.
Ten to 20. They had to put me in here.
No beds in the infirmary.
I'm sick.
I got it bad.
Oh, I'm sorry.
You better not stay
too close to the bed, sister.
It's just the break you get.
Sometimes you get a matron
who's a louse.
Sometimes you get a good egg.
I'd walk a mile for a cigarette
if they'd let me.
I was just thinking.
Quit bragging!
It's all the judge's fault I'm here.
When Joe first beats me up, I grab his gun
and just wing him in the shoulder.
Do they arrest me? No!
Then a year later,
I fires at Joe again and miss.
Do they give me a rap
for attempted assault? No!
Then last year,
I defends myself again with a gun,
and the police still treats me
like I was poison ivy.
And then finally I finish Joe off for good.
Well, it's that judge. If he had nabbed me
the first three times
while I was just practicing,
I wouldn't be here now for murder.
It's all the judge's fault.
Read it and weep.
Rubbing it in
because we're behind the iron.
Heads or tails, you lose.
You girls are moving along today.
Marie Allen, I've got news for you
from the infirmary.
Your blood came back okay. No treatment.
Now, the Superintendent will see you first,
and Doc says
you're two months on the way.
That's swell, honey.
I got a grownup son older than you.
It's funny. You get a baby from a guy,
and then 20 years later, you finish him off.
Hello, Ann. Well, it's good to see you.
How are things up front?
Busy. Who's first?
Marie Allen.
Good luck, kid. Be seeing you.
It's tough at first. I know.
I've been through the mill.
Been here eight years.
Kept my nose clean, and Mrs. Benton
let me help her in the office.
Having a regular job like that
certainly makes you feel good
after working in the bakery for five years.
What are you in for?
Come in. Sit down here, please.
Don't be frightened.
I want you to know
that we're all here to help you.
I want you to believe that
I'd like to be your friend if you'll let me.
What is it? What's troubling you, Marie?
I have been so Ionely the last two weeks.
Those other women, the way they talked
and the awful things they said
and those matrons,
always watching, never leaving you alone.
You'll find all kinds of women in here,
just as you would outside,
but every large institution
must have rules,
and the matrons are here to see
that the rules are obeyed.
You weren't sent here to be punished.
Just being here is the punishment.
That's all.
You know, first offenders like you, Marie,
are our greatest concern.
Unfortunately, they have to be crowded in
with more experienced women
simply because we haven't more space,
and you'll be with such women.
Of course, I want you to have friends.
All of us need an outlet for affection,
but no prison is a normal place.
How soon can I go home?
If your record is good,
you can come up for parole in 10 months.
But I'm going to have a baby.
Do I have to have it in here?
I know how you feel, Marie,
but the inmates aren't allowed to go home
to have their babies.
Don't worry.
Any blood relative can take care
of your child until you get out.
Then my mother will take care of it.
But they wouldn't let me write her.
Can I write her now?
Of course, now that we're sure
that your relatives actually exist.
That's because some of the inmates
change their criminal contacts
into kindhearted uncles and cousins
and sometimes even sick grandmothers.
I know how strange all this is to you,
but you were sent here
because you were involved
in a serious crime.
We want to help you
so that when you go home,
you can start a new life.
I want to do the right thing.
You're an intelligent girl.
You know good from bad.
Try to keep busy. It's important.
Now, as to your work,
I'll bet you helped your mother
with your father's shirts, didn't you?
Well, we'll put you in the laundry
as a checker.
It will be easier for you
because of the baby.
You can see me anytime.
Hi, Ann.
Hello, Harper.
Since you went fancy working upstairs
for Benton, I kind of missed you.
This is Marie Allen.
Mrs. Benton says to put her in laundry.
Marie's gonna have a baby.
A baby, huh?
Why, you're just a kid yourself.
- So long, Marie.
- Goodbye, Ann. Thank you.
Let's you and me get acquainted, honey.
You may be a number to the others
but not to me.
Sit down in this chair. It's kind of roomy.
You like the stuff in here, huh?
Just little presents from my girls
for taking good care of them.
- Caramel?
- No, thank you.
You know, you're gonna find out
that a lot of things are tough to get
in here.
This is just a little personal service
of my own.
On the side, sort of. Understand?
I like to do a good turn for my girls.
Why, sometimes, on my night off,
I drop in on their relatives.
I could get real news to your husband.
He's dead.
What about your people?
What do they do?
My stepfather's a mechanic,
but he's not working.
Well, I bet they saved up for a rainy day,
like me investing in real estate
for my old age.
Why, you think how much easier
I could make it for you,
you being in a delicate condition,
so to speak.
The little comforts.
Maybe you got a habit
that's hard to break,
cigarettes or something.
I know how it is.
I could get you whatever you wanted.
Time's money to me.
I can't favor every one of 60 girls.
Mom would be glad to help if she could.
No dough, eh?
Follow me.
Home, sweet home.
Just like the big cage in the zoo,
only you clean it up instead of the keeper.
Bucket and brush is in the corner closet.
Mrs. Benton said
I was going to work in the laundry.
I'm the boss here. Start scrubbing.
But Mrs. Benton told me...
Where do I begin, Miss Harper?
Now you're getting hip.
Use this lye. Soap's low.
Okay, get going.
Didn't you ever scrub a floor before?
Put your shoulder in it.
You're doing okay.
Keep that up, and you and me
are gonna get along just fine.
Pipe the new fish.
Millie, the old dame in the bed
says you loud-talked to Harper.
That took guts.
How much time are you pulling?
One to 15 years,
but I come up for parole in 10 months.
Just a hot minute. What's your rap?
Society. Larcenists don't talk to CPs.
- Are you kidding?
- CP, common prostitute.
Where you been living, the moon?
Her name's Smoochie.
Glad to meet you.
Got news for you. She's all right.
I'm Kitty Stark, and that's Claire.
What's your name?
Marie Allen.
Stop scrubbing. Chew the fat.
Hey, Lottie, check her.
Maybe you need bifocals.
The dish is poison, Harper's pet nose.
- I'll tell Evelyn!
- Evelyn! Don't kid me.
Harper's first name is Filth.
Kitty! Kitty! Oh, Kitty.
What's the beef?
The matron said if I broke another dish,
she'd report me.
She refuses to believe
I've never worked in a kitchen.
Yeah, I know, but ain't I told you
not to go shooting your mouth off
about yourself,
all about the servants you had
and your governesses
and the yachts your old man bought?
Oh, why won't anyone understand?
It's always been like that.
Even as a child, I had no one to go to
when I was in trouble.
My parents were always away.
Even after I was married, I...
You're new here, aren't you?
I'm Georgia Harrison.
I'm not supposed to be here.
I didn't forge those checks.
It was all a mistake,
but wait until my appeal comes through.
Then I'll get out of here.
My father's waiting for me,
and he knows I'm not guilty.
We have a rose garden out in back,
and in the summer, it's beautiful.
All day, I'll sit and watch the roses,
and in the evening...
She's a real lady, Georgia,
only she married some guy
who likes spending other people's dough,
so he got her to write out
a bunch of bouncers.
I got news for you.
Georgia gives this place class.
She ain't the only one.
I had two real mink coats
and a closet full of black lace nighties
and a shelf full of real French perfumes
that my girls lifted right out
of one of the swankiest stores in town.
Don't rub it in.
All I ever had was a different pair of shoes
for every night.
Chow line!
Lottie! Millie! Dottie! Look at...
Did you read all about me in the papers?
They even had my picture.
Get those things out of here.
Next time, I'll get somebody
to show you how to scrub a floor.
In line!
Get back to the bullpen!
How did you get word to Benton?
I didn't.
You're a liar.
You're riding a phony, Harper.
It was me got word to Benton.
I'm a tall weed in the grass,
and the grapevine's blooming.
You old buzzard.
Lay a hand on me,
and I'll put your lights out.
I'm in for life.
One more like you is just so much velvet.
I ain't got no time to argue.
Line up for count!
- Lewis, Millie.
- Christiansen, Velma.
- Kopsky, Gita.
- O'Connor, Mary.
- Devlin, Claire.
- Wagner, Rita.
- Roberts, June.
- Menard, Tina.
- Barber, Emma.
- Minnelli, Nina.
- Cassidy, Katie.
- Bates, Naomi.
- Stark, Kitty.
- Klein, Julie.
- Marie Allen.
- Allen, Marie!
- Allen, Marie.
- Mullen, Elaine.
- Cardnum, Ruth.
- Branigan, Lottie.
- Hoffman, Ilsa.
- Stone, Louise.
- Vogel, Dottie.
- Elkins, Peggy.
- Laverne, Frankie.
- Orangeman, Hope.
- O'Shaughnessy, Mitzi.
- Carter, Mamie.
- Hansen, Alison.
- Jacobs, Hattie.
- Yosta, Violet.
- Twitchell, May.
- Smith, Peggy.
- Harrison, Georgia.
- Taylor, Alice.
- Fuller, Mimi.
- Danzig, Lulu.
- West, Minnie.
You're stir-simple
if you think you made more dough
playing the con game
than I did in my racket.
Who are you calling stir-simple,
you cheap crook?
Oh, quit bragging
about how much dough you used to make.
Both of you are giving me a pain.
I made double what any of you made,
and I'm not bragging.
There wasn't a crooked jeweler in town
who didn't come to me.
Once, I stashed a load
of hot ice worth 50,000 bucks.
What a sweet racket we had!
Six suckers a day bit the hook,
and we'd lam out of town
before the coppers caught up.
Joe and me lived high.
Gee, you girls are lucky.
I always fall in love with a guy
that won't work.
Last one beat me up,
then beat out of town.
But I got news for you. Men are important.
Personally, I'd hate to see them abolished.
If it wasn't for men,
we wouldn't be in here.
You said it. I've been married five times.
What's wrong with that?
Nothing, if you're not married to them all
at the same time, like I was.
I bet you got some story, too, huh, Kitty?
Your husband in the stir?
He was killed in a holdup.
If he was alive, he'd have another dame
when you get out anyway.
- Good night.
- Good night.
How many jobs did you pull
before they nabbed you?
I don't want to talk about it, please.
You will.
I want to go home.
I want to get out of here.
Do you hear that train?
People are going home on that train.
Conductor, wait for me.
Let me on that train!
Let me out of here.
I don't belong in here.
I'm Georgia Harrison.
Father! Father!
Oh, Father!
- No.
- Grab her.
- No! No!
- She's bleeding like a stuck pig.
A cold hose will quiet her down.
No, Harper, the infirmary.
She's cut an artery.
File out, you tramps!
- Christiansen, Velma.
- Kopsky, Gita.
- O'Connor, Mary.
- Allen, Marie.
That old lady of mine,
the things she writes.
"And I know you'll be a good girl
and keep out of trouble."
How much more trouble can I get into?
Get lost.
You ain't deep.
I've been watching you.
You're no squealer,
so I'm gonna give you a break.
What are you gonna do
when you flop out of stir?
Ever figure on boosting?
This kid wouldn't know
a booster from a hustler.
Boosting, shoplifting,
the department store circuit,
none of your five-and-dime stuff
like your first rap.
We operate on a big scale.
The boys will protect you
just like your own mother.
If they protect you, why are you in here?
I knocked a guy off.
The syndicate pays me for recruiting,
so I can take care of Harper.
Live easy.
You just leave it to me,
and I'll see that you get your parole quick.
You see, these guys I'm working with,
they got drag.
Time to flop out,
and they'll fake a legit job for you.
With the soft dough
you can make shoplifting,
you can get the things a girl likes.
I know what's going through her head.
She's been listening to Benton.
Rehabilitation, taking cold showers,
working for good behavior.
When I get out, I'm not coming back.
- After I'm paroled...
- Parole? Didn't the parole board okay me?
I've been packed a solid year
pulling dead time.
You're a repeater.
They don't let any con out of stir
until the parole officer gets her a job
and a place to live.
We think we're flopping out, then wham,
they can't find us a job,
and we're packed in here
pulling dead time.
You see, kid, in this cage,
you get tough or you get killed.
Better wise up before it's too late.
Now, how about it?
Don't think I'm not grateful,
but I don't want to get mixed up
in anything.
I don't think
boosting is the only way to get along
when I get out of here.
I've got to do it my own way.
You was a nurse in the free side.
What's the matter with her?
Nothing that vitamins
and calcium wouldn't help.
You got them pills in the pogey?
They never heard of anything but aspirin.
Tell the nurse I said she should go out
and get you whatever stuff you need.
That slob will do it. She owes me plenty.
I'm all right now.
Marie knows where taking favors from you
will land her.
- Ain't you learned nothing?
- Quit needling her.
The only thing important is my baby.
If you're old enough to have a kid,
you don't need this big sister
sticking her nose where it don't belong.
Tomorrow's parole-board day.
Would you find out
if my name's on the list?
- Mrs. Benton promised that the moment...
- You're on the list.
3:30 tomorrow, Benton's office. Be there.
Nice work, kid.
I got a new bra you can have.
I got some slick, new perfume
you can have.
Let me iron your dress.
Want me to put your hair up
in curlers for you?
Do they fit?
They pinch a little,
but they look better than mine.
Well, how do I look?
Oh, fine.
3:00. Three hours away.
I'd have gone crazy
if I had to pull another year.
I'll be 30 soon.
After you got out the first time,
what made you fall back in?
The same thing that got me in
the first time,
a guy.
When I met him,
I was wet behind the ears,
sex and love and marriage all mixed up.
When I got out of school, he hired me.
I didn't know until it was too late
what kind of a dirty racket he was in.
I loved him too much to walk out on him.
You're lucky your man's dead.
- Don't say that!
- Your man's dead.
He can't turn you into a two-time loser
like mine did.
Even after I got out the first time,
there he was, waiting for me,
but that's all over with.
I'm starting from scratch.
They flopped me back.
They flopped me back.
Quit cheating, you dirty crook.
Who you calling a dirty crook?
Shut up, the both of you, and play cards.
- She called me a dirty crook.
- Well, it's true, ain't it?
Yeah, but I got a right to be sensitive
about it, ain't I?
I'll call you and up two.
You're loaded with nothing.
There's your two and three more.
You in this pot, June?
The twister and the slammer.
Three hundred and sixty-five more nights
and days, and I wake up.
Get a load of the new look.
By the time we get out of here,
it'll be the old look.
I got news for you.
If that's what dames are wearing now,
I'm glad I'm in here.
The guy outside likes the way I look.
Just bought himself a brand-new car.
Must be a truck.
He's taking me to a show.
Tough they flopped you back in.
We could have double-dated
with his friend.
After the show,
he's taking me to his place.
He's got a room up over the bar
where he works.
Real comfortable,
if you know what I mean.
Every time he kisses me good night,
I just want to keep on leaving him.
- He's got...
- Keep your snoot out of our business.
Good night, girls. Pleasant dreams.
At least we got honest matrons in here.
When I bribe one, she stays bribed.
Anything you want?
Harper! Harper!
Before you go, you better tell Benton.
June's acting stir-bugs.
All repeaters act queer
when they're flopped back.
Pete don't like me to keep him waiting.
See you in the morning, girls.
June. June.
I'd like to speak to Dr. Saunders.
What? I can't hear you.
Yes, I know.
He's not here. He went out on a case.
Dr. Ashton? This is Ruth Benton.
I'm sorry to call you at such an hour,
but I remember your offer
to be a free consultant.
An emergency. A premature birth.
Eight months.
Yes, thank you, Doctor.
What's everybody blowing their fuse for?
I've delivered kids in here by the dozen.
It's a miracle he didn't die.
Get a clean blanket.
When my dog had distemper,
I took him to a cleaner infirmary
than this one.
Yes, I know, Doctor.
Twice I've put in requisitions
to have this place
modernized and repainted.
Why not use $1,000 of your budget
for the purpose?
Maybe if the medical board
were to take it up.
Five inmates have told me
June was acutely depressed last night.
They swear they asked you to advise me.
You believe any bull
these inmates hand you?
I've asked you time and time again
to watch changes in a girl's behavior.
You mean to tell me you couldn't see
that she was acting strangely?
With 60 girls in my bullpen,
my only job is to see that nobody escapes.
You helped to kill June just as surely
as if you'd hanged her yourself!
Will they investigate?
I wish somebody cared enough
to make an investigation.
So what are you going to do?
Suspend me?
I'm going to do everything I can
to have you fired.
You gave me three suspensions,
and you couldn't make
one of them stick, remember?
This time, I will.
So you call the Commissioner. So what?
I call my friend, Thornton Goodrich.
He gets the Commissioner on the phone,
and, bingo, I'm back on the job again.
You sit there on your bustle, the big boss,
and think you know how to run this place.
Do you know how it ought to be run?
With a piece of rubber hose.
Break them in two if they talk out of turn.
Anyone who doesn't toe the mark
sits in solitary for one month.
Bread and water.
One funny move from a girl,
and I clip every hair off of her head.
That's the way it used to be run,
and that's the way it ought to be run.
Just like they're a bunch of animals
in a cage.
Get out of here.
Is she alone?
- She is, but...
- I'll go right in.
If you'd just let me ask her, sir...
Mr. Donnolly.
Blame the Lieutenant Governor
for this visit.
He asked me to drop in.
I'm always glad to see you, Mr. Donnolly.
Too bad about what happened last night.
- Please, sit down, Mr. Donnolly.
- Thank you.
Someone on the state medical board
got in touch with the Lieutenant Governor
early this morning and raised a big howl.
A zealous young doctor. I've...
I forget his name. He called the board.
He was shocked about the infirmary.
I warned you
that something like this would happen
when the board voted us
$8,000 instead of $80,000.
Can't you understand that in the long run,
$80,000 would have saved
the State millions?
What do you want for your girls now?
A swimming pool? Television sets?
A beauty parlor?
No, merely the things I worked to get
in other prisons and did get.
Teachers, a full-time psychiatrist...
Now, don't tell me
that your inmates fell in love
with their grandfather's bicycles
when they were little.
I'm afraid I'm too tired
to appreciate your wit, Mr. Donnolly.
I only know what we need.
I wish we could drag the public in here
to watch the inmates decaying.
I have a great respect for you.
You're a fighter.
I used to be a Golden Gloves boy myself
in the old days.
They taught me that, when the odds
were against a good fighter,
to cover up if you wanted
to keep on your feet
because even though
you lose the decision,
it's better than a knockout.
Good morning, Mrs. Benton.
Good morning.
- Does it say on his birth certificate...
- You got a break.
Mrs. Benton insisted
we just put the name of the town.
Your mother's downstairs
in the visiting room.
Can she come up and see the baby?
It's against orders.
Marie, baby, you feeling all right now?
I'm okay. How are you?
Oh, ailing a bit.
I hope you understood
about me not writing.
I mean, I ain't much on writing.
Isn't it wonderful about your grandson?
Yeah, wonderful.
I'm gonna call him Tommy.
Oh, Mom, you're gonna love him.
Already he's got hair,
the same color as Tom's,
but he's got your eyes.
I can't take the baby. Oh, I want to.
What woman my age
don't want a grandchild?
But your stepfather won't have it
in the house.
We argued and argued
till I was blue in the face.
So help me, if I had a dime to my name,
I'd walk out on him.
I keep figuring how I could take the baby.
I can't leave Gus.
There'd be no one to take care of me
till you get out,
and I ain't getting any younger.
I don't know what to do.
I don't know what to do.
Mom, stop crying. Tom's folks are dead.
If you won't take him,
they'll put him up for adoption.
What do you want me to do?
You've got to leave Gus.
I'll be out of here in three months.
I'll get a job and support you.
We'll have a real home,
you and the baby and me.
Mom, find something until I get out!
Well, I'm not as young as I was. I tire easy.
The doc says my feet...
Can't you think of anyone but yourself?
Maybe it would be better
if someone else took him,
some nice family with money.
They could bring him up real nice.
I don't want anyone else to have him!
Oh, my God! Oh, my God!
You're his only flesh and blood.
You've got to take him!
Don't keep saying that!
Don't keep saying that!
Mother! Mother, come back here!
You gotta take him! You gotta take him!
Mother, come back! Mother! Mother!
Don't let it throw you, honey.
You're still a kid.
If you get paroled soon enough,
there'll be a lot of guys
that will tumble for you.
You can even get hitched
and have another kid
if you're dope enough to want to.
The trick's to flop out as quick as you can.
Like I've told you,
the boys can get your parole moving fast.
How about it? Don't it make sense, honey?
Think it over, sweetie,
but get this through your head.
If you stay in here too long,
you don't think of guys at all.
You just get out of the habit.
Line up, you tramps!
This ain't no upstairs delicatessen.
Time for count.
- Lewis, Millie.
- Christianson, Velma.
- Stark, Kitty.
- Taylor, Alice.
Allen, Marie.
3:00 tomorrow, Benton's office.
Parole hearing.
- Mullen, Elaine.
- Cardnum, Ruth.
- Branigan, Lottie.
- Hoffman, Ilsa.
- Elkins, Peggy.
- Vogel, Dottie.
When you get in there,
say anything you got on your chest.
It's the one chance you got
to spill the works.
Benton will be pulling for you.
And when you get out of this cage,
go take yourself a bubble bath for me
and park in it for a week.
Have your breakfast, dinner,
everything in it.
You know, honey, you're gonna find out
that most people in free side
wouldn't hand you a job
cleaning out a hog pen.
- Lf you'd listen to me...
- You're wasting your time, Kitty.
Your funeral.
Hey, Foley, wait till Kitty Stark sees this.
- Are they friends?
- Friends? They hate each other's guts.
What's so funny?
We've got a new fish coming in.
Maybe if you're real nice,
you might get her for a roommate.
And old friend of yours, Elvira Powell.
It's going to be a rich haul.
None of your penny-ante stuff.
You'll still do what I pay you to do.
Them days are over.
Hey, girls, take a look at your queen bee.
She's buzzing off the throne.
She never was nothing
but a dime-a-dozen booster
with so little influence
she couldn't even get off
on self-defense for a murder rap.
I ain't got nothing against you.
It's just a matter of dollars and cents.
Elvira Powell's an institution
with a big bankroll stashed away,
and I always wanted
to meet an institution.
Someday I'm going to get my hands
in her hair,
and I'm gonna pull it out by the roots.
I made it! I made it! I made my parole!
This is Marie Allen.
Marie, we have to decide
whether nine months has taught you
that robbing people at the point of a gun...
I never wanted to,
but my husband wouldn't listen to reason.
I couldn't leave him. I loved him.
Now, what type of work can you do?
Speak up.
I could be a salesgirl or wait tables,
work in a laundry
after all the experience I've had here.
Please try to make your answers brief.
This report states your stepfather
refuses to have you in his home.
Where would you live if paroled?
Well, where would you live?
With relatives?
With my Aunt Rose and Uncle Harry.
They're very respectable.
Uncle Harry's a gateman
for one of the biggest factories.
They're very fond of me.
If they're so fond of you,
why didn't they take your child?
Well, a baby would have been
a lot of trouble.
I wouldn't be.
We'll investigate them.
Maybe it would be better if I lived alone,
anyplace the parole officer found.
Out of the question.
We must make certain
that you have beneficial surroundings
and guidance.
You're hardly more than a child, only 19.
A girl grows old here before her time.
Marie's been married.
She's seen her husband killed.
She's borne a baby here in prison.
She's had the baby taken away from her
by law.
How can anyone be called young
who has lived through such experiences?
I've lived a lifetime in a year in this cage!
If I have to fall back in,
I'll be like the others.
And I'm not like them!
Oh, please.
Please, give me a chance to prove it.
I've paid my debt. Let me out, please.
You'll never regret it. I promise I'II...
What? What?
Wait till I fix this thing.
I haven't gotten the hang of it yet.
At your age,
with no favorable home conditions
and no beneficent influences
on the outside,
we feel that nine months
is too short a time
to prepare you
for your responsibilities outside.
Parole is not granted.
We'll review your case in a few months,
and you'll hear from us.
Got flopped back. Tried to do a mope.
Hanging on a bush, eh?
Benton says no solitary.
Oh, Benton's a fool. If I had her job, I'd...
Benton's okay with me.
So I go on this picnic, see?
Skinny takes me out in a rowboat,
begins criticizing my family, though,
and to make it worse, he slaps me,
so I slap him back.
You just slapped him?
Well, I did have an oar in my hand.
He kept on hitting me,
so I kept on slapping him.
Still with your oar in your hand?
What did you keep on slapping him for?
Well, he kept on coming up.
Pipe the new fish.
Get a load of Elvira Powell.
Hello, girls.
So help me, I never saw
such an old-Iooking bunch of bags.
I've checked in here for maybe six months.
Grand jury's having itself a little fun,
so in order to save
some of my friends embarrassment,
I got myself a phony rap
so they can't subpoena me as a witness.
It'll all blow over by spring.
I'm used to comfort, and I'll expect it.
Pick up your check at my lawyer's,
Big Davis.
There's $100 waiting for you every week
for value received.
Hello, Kitty.
Read about you and Ed.
Divorcing him would have been easier.
Gimpy Sullivan says you're drumming up
shoplifters from the inside.
I got a concession.
No more.
While I'm in, I want no kibitzing from you.
What's your name?
How'd you hurt your hand?
I'm a big girl, and this isn't my first year
away from home.
My name is Marie Allen.
If I said no to Kitty,
I'm sure not gonna say yes to you.
She's a cute trick.
Oh, wake up, Lottie.
You're playing a game.
Sure, you could sit down
in a department store some places.
That could be a gold egg
you got in your hand.
Okay, now try it again, and make out
like that cake of soap's a diamond pin.
- How much?
- $150.
Okay, wrap it up.
Spotters would have nabbed you.
I'm too dumb to be a booster.
Some dames got more talent than others.
But I got to have some trade
if I ever get out of here.
You any good at it, Marie?
Anybody with half a brain could figure out
how to fool a spotter.
Pigeon like you would get
her wings clipped first trip out.
Now, let's see.
If this is the jewelry counter,
what counter would be over there?
I guess perfume, gloves.
Then the elevators would be over there?
- That's showing her.
- Guess she showed her!
A bull's eye, baby!
By the time you're sprung,
I can have you connected
with one of the biggest outfits...
Come on, you tramps.
Line up for Christmas.
Nina Minnelli.
Emma Barber. Emma Barber.
Mary O'Connor.
Santa Claus couldn't get in here.
He's a man!
Marie Allen.
Sadie Fillmore.
Naomi Bates.
Mary Brown.
What do you know? Jungle red.
It's funny how lipstick
can make you feel all prettied up.
Who sent them?
Powell slipped Harper
a check to buy them for us.
That bloated buzzard!
Who does she think she's kidding?
Lipstick. She knows we can't keep them.
She only did it to get Benton sore.
She'll drool when she sees the Super
coming and taking them away from us.
Well, until Benton finds out,
I sure feel like a new woman.
Rhinestones are phony.
You can have real ones
anytime you change your type.
There's $100 extra in it for you
if you get word to Benton
that Kitty's recruiting.
- Merry Christmas, girls.
- Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas.
- Oh, how pretty.
I hope
you'll all have a pleasant day tomorrow.
Let's hope that many of you
will be home this time next year.
Now, tomorrow morning,
there will be Christmas services held here
for any of you who might like to attend.
Oh, Ann,
where did the lipsticks come from?
Elvira Powell.
Oh, of course, by way of Harper.
Girls? Girls, could I have
your attention a minute, please?
I didn't know what else to do for you
for Christmas,
but evidently,
someone thought of it for me,
so from now on,
all of you will be allowed to use lipstick.
Merry Christmas, Marie.
Why aren't you singing?
Give me one good reason why I should.
I know this is a frame,
and I got a rough idea who's back of it.
I've been stretching muscles
that haven't been stretched in 30 years.
Even that soft job
in the mailroom poops me.
I've been a lady of leisure too long.
What's new in the social set?
Kitty Stark is still in solitary.
I think she'll listen to reason now.
Meaning what?
She tried to play rough with me
when I was taking her down to the hole.
I didn't tell you to get tough with her.
By the time I got through with her,
she knew I meant business.
Look what she's got.
I found it outside the laundry.
I'm gonna keep it.
Sure must be a dopey cat to crawl in here.
Boy or girl?
I'm not taking any chances.
I'm gonna call it Fluff.
Harper will pitch a doozy if she finds it.
I'll bring my milk from supper.
Line up for count!
Line up for count!
- Lewis, Millie.
- Christiansen, Velma.
- Kopsky, Gita.
- O'Connor, Mary.
- O'Brian, Julie.
- Wagner, Rita.
- Devlin, Claire.
- Minnelli, Nina.
- Barber, Emma.
- Menard, Tina.
- Cassidy, Katie.
- Bates, Naomi.
Okay, where is it?
You don't get no breakfast
till you hand over that cat.
You know
it's against the rules to have any pets.
Hand it over.
Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
All of you know
this is one of the most serious offenses
that can happen here.
I'm taking away all privileges
until further notice.
Now, I want to know who started all this.
It's dead.
She attacked me
when I tried to take away the cat.
Then she tried to escape.
Is this true?
The first time you tried to escape,
I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
This time, you have to be disciplined.
I'm going to put you in solitary
for three days.
All I wanted was the kitten.
Three days?
Those are my orders.
My room.
No, Evy. No!
Do like I said.
If Benton ever finds out...
Shut up.
- Marie Allen, three days.
- I'm taking Kitty Stark back.
You better have the doctor see her
before Benton does.
She looks stir-bugs to me.
I'll take her over to the infirmary.
Nothing to be scared about.
Being alone isn't so tough,
and bread and water never killed anyone.
Maybe I'll sleep for three days.
Stop thinking about it. It'll grow back.
Let me out of here!
I'll do anything you want!
Oh, God! Let me out. Let me out.
Please, please, please!
That's what you think!
Don't leave. I want you to hear this.
Send a wire to the Commissioner.
Demand that you immediately dismiss
Matron Evelyn Harper.
Inmate in serious condition of shock
due to clipping of hair.
Harper repeatedly ordered
to discontinue these barbarous practices.
Insubordination reflects on my position
and the health and well-being
of the inmates.
I'd count 10 before you sent that.
Benton sure means business.
Medford, 5342.
I can't afford to lose my job, Evy.
I got debts.
Shut up.
I want to speak
to Thornton Goodrich, please.
Tell him Evelyn Harper.
Yes, ma 'am.
We're sort of distant cousins, you know,
Thornton and me.
Good morning.
Happy New Year, Thornton. How are you?
Oh, just fine, thanks.
I got something you ought to know.
Oh, I couldn't tell you over the phone,
but it's dynamite.
Those filthy lies!
But at least it's nice to know
we have the support of so many people.
Three welfare leagues,
a half a dozen women's clubs
from all over the country.
If they'd only get together
and stick together,
then maybe situations like this
wouldn't arise.
You can just bet
the others have organization.
And they won't stop there.
What are you going to do?
I'll know better
after I talk to the Commissioner.
They're sitting outside looking so smug.
Send them in.
Good morning.
Good morning, Commissioner.
Won't you sit down?
I think there are ashtrays handy.
The Governor's madder
than a turkey gobbler.
Everyone's on my neck
because of what you've done.
Aren't you confused, Commissioner?
It wasn't I who gave
those ridiculous stories to the papers.
What's the idea getting Harper sore
over nothing at all?
I suppose a man would call
the clipping of a girl's hair nothing at all.
Well, you could have talked it over
with her instead of flying off the handle.
The Commissioner means,
your predecessor
never quarreled with the staff.
My predecessor refused
to regard criminals as human beings.
I've tried to change that attitude.
I intend to keep on trying.
There is no place on my staff
for matrons like Evelyn Harper.
It's too bad all this had to happen
before she was fired.
Who said anything about firing her?
Why fire a political appointee
just because of a minor difference
between you and her?
Besides, firing her won't do us any good.
It's this stink we've got to squelch.
How do you intend doing that?
I can get Harper to take back
what she said.
She can call it a mistake,
admit that she was hot-headed.
The directives, Sam.
Well, I'm coming to that.
At the same time, we'll announce
that these directives are to be put
into effect immediately.
The Commissioner has put it
in the form of a memo to you.
"Inmates who have been honor women
will no longer be put
"in subordinate positions on the staff.
"The proposed plan to allow
occasional work outside the prison
"when merited by selected girls is denied
"as well as the proposed plan
for educational..."
You don't honestly think
I'd consent to that?
Why, I'd be betraying
every man and woman
working to free prisons
from methods like yours,
to insulate them from the abuses
of politicians, cheap politicians.
Have respect for my position, Mrs. Benton.
I wouldn't allow the Governor
to speak to me like that!
Oh, Fred, Mrs. Benton,
let's not lose our tempers.
Look, we came here
with the best intentions in the world,
hoping to get together with you,
to let this thing all blow over,
but you leave me with no alternative,
except to ask for your resignation.
If he asks for my resignation,
I'll demand a public hearing.
Now, just see here. We can get together.
We can if you tear up those directives
and fire Evelyn Harper.
That will clear my name
and allow me to do the work
that must be done around here.
He'll do nothing of the kind.
Then I'll announce
you've asked for my resignation,
and I'll demand a public hearing.
The State allows me such a hearing,
and you know it.
Let the public learn how this prison is run.
Fire me, Commissioner. I insist on it.
I want that public hearing.
Marie Allen, back from the hospital.
Stop it! Stop it!
Stop it!
Peggy Elkins.
Naomi Bates.
Honest, sometimes
I wish that old lady of mine
- would stop writing me.
- Julie Klein.
- "I sure wish you could be out by Easter...
- Tammy Slovo.
" you could see your kid brother...
- "...graduate from high school."
- Thelma Graham.
She must think I'm in a country club,
- taking a rest cure.
- Ruth Cardnum.
- I got news for her.
- Nina Christiansen.
My kid brother's gonna get graduated
without me.
Mimi Fuller.
Judas Priest!
Mary O'Connor.
Arlene Sidney.
Evelyn Mason.
Alma Jones.
Mary Adams.
Luana Cohen.
Gee, look how she looks.
- Guess you'd look that way, too...
- Tracy Swanson.
...if you had a week in solitary.
- Yeah, and almost a month in pogey.
- Helga Jorgensen.
I didn't know what kind of a heel Harper is.
She's like a cop I was sweet on once.
He used to work guys over
for no reason at all,
just because it made him feel important.
If I'd known,
I wouldn't have started on you.
Quit shaking the tambourine.
I'll be sprung soon.
You'll run the cage again.
If I can do anything for you,
try to get your rap shortened...
What did you say?
- Wagner, Rita.
- Devlin, Claire.
- Minnelli, Nina.
- Barber, Emma.
- Menard, Tina.
- Cassidy, Katie.
Bates, Naomi.
Don't be smart. Let's have the name.
Stark, Kitty.
Taylor, Alice.
- Allen, Marie.
- Mullen, Elaine.
Okay, dummy, if you can't hold that cup,
get back to the bullpen.
Feed your faces and keep your traps shut
if you don't want to get...
Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!
Kindly omit flowers.
Sunday. Nothing for me to do
except think about the next 10 years.
Here today, here tomorrow.
What's your itch?
Oh, I keep thinking of Kitty
sitting in the death house, and I get...
Take it easy before you blow a tube.
You got to hand it to Benton.
Even with all her trouble,
she tried to keep Kitty off the hot seat.
Yeah, she kept telling them
Kitty was off her trolley.
Boy, what's going on in Benton's office!
There's six matrons spilling over
and a bunch of girls
from the other bullpens.
- What did you tell Benton?
- I shot the works.
Helen wrote down every word,
all about Harper chiseling the liquor
and soap and things,
what she did to Kitty.
I sure gave them a earful.
You know something? I think Benton
might use me as a witness at the hearing.
Maybe there are a few things
I can tell her tomorrow, too.
I've got news for you.
She talked to me like I was anybody else.
Bet you a pack a week
you'll still be pulling
dead time next Christmas.
Keep your big flapper shut.
Claire's giving it to you straight.
Ain't you played the honest John too long?
You could have made a swell booster.
You still can get out of here.
You ain't got much time.
She's being sprung tomorrow.
What do you want Powell to do,
send you an engraved invitation?
These birdbrains giving you spiel
what to do out in free side!
Hand me a laugh.
I got a file long as your arm.
I was queen of the con women
when Claire was wearing diapers.
There's nothing I ain't done,
including murder.
Stop tooting your horn.
But that makes me the crookedest crook
of any of you, don't it? Okay.
Before you get any bright ideas,
listen to me.
I had a first time like you,
but I can't remember how long ago.
Then the second rap, then the third.
Now I'm a lifer.
I'll be 71 soon. Been a con 40 years,
and you know what I think?
Nobody got cheated but me.
Forty years taken away.
So I'm giving it to you straight.
Wait a year on dead time,
but get a legit job slinging hash.
Then, get a good guy, have a kid.
What I'd give for a sink full of dirty dishes.
No, that's all right.
Ain't they cute?
Amateurs coming for lessons.
Bullpen B, 60 inmates,
all types of offenders.
This place smells like a zoo.
What's she in for?
And men call us the weaker sex.
- Look at those faces.
- Environment, my dear. Environment.
They say the Superintendent
has a murderess working for her.
- Did you make it?
- Yeah.
Gee, she's getting out.
Mamie will press them for you.
Marie Allen, checking out. 93850.
That's six cents a day for laundry work.
Deduct 10 days for having a baby,
three days solitary,
that's 502 days times six cents.
You can cash this on your way out.
Oh, wait a minute.
Guess you want your wedding ring,
don't you?
Thanks for the haircut.
Sit down, Marie.
Now that you're leaving,
let's not lie to each other.
- What do you mean?
- This cashier's job is just a blind.
The parole officer okayed it, didn't she?
Elvira Powell has a lot of friends.
In a couple of more months,
the parole officer
could have found you work.
You'd have made some honest money,
have self-respect and decency.
Where did those things ever get me?
Why do you give up
now that you don't need to?
When you're free?
Free for what? Go to my baby?
To sit down to a turkey dinner
with a family?
To kiss my husband?
I know
it's difficult to start over again, but...
From now on,
what's in it for me is all that matters.
You did your best
and where did it land you?
You can't lick the system.
Well, if you've got nothing more to say...
Well, if you ever need any help...
Thanks, but I won't.
Well, I hope you win.
For that $40 Tom and I heisted,
I certainly got myself an education.
Here's the address
of the parole officer, Marie.
- Goodbye.
- So long.
Front gate, 93850 coming out.
That's right.
What shall I do with her file?
Keep it active. She'll be back.