Women's Prison (1955) Script

State's prison. All prisons look alike from the outside, but inside, each has a different character.

In this one, caged men are separated only by a thick wall from caged women.

The system is wrong, but it goes on and on and on.

Men and women behind the same wall, with only concrete and rifle bullets trying to keep them apart.

All right, Helene, this is it.

Commonly known as the sneezer, the can, the clink, the jug and stir.

Come on, girls, let's go.

You won't like it at first, but when you get used to it, you'll really hate it.

Hope there's nobody home.

Hiya, Miss Green. Hello, Frank.

Hi! Well, Brenda!

I didn't know you with the new hair you got. How about that?

She's paroled a brunette, and she comes back a blonde.

You like it? Yeah. You look sharp.

You must have been doing good on the outside.

I did too good.

That's why I'm back here. I need a rest.

Well, happy holiday. Thanks.

Well, well, well, Brenda. Hi, Sturgess. You've put on a little weight.

I'll lose some of it now that you're back on our hands.

I'll do all I can to help you, Sturgess.

Is this the Jensen girl? That's right.

Come on in. You're more than welcome.


How do you do? I'm Deputy Sheriff Green.

And I'm Miss Whittier, Reception Officer.

This is Helene Jensen and Brenda Martin.

If you'll sign for them, I'll be on my way.

I'd like to catch the afternoon train back to town.

I've got an important date tonight. Indeed.

Goodbye, Helene. Goodbye, Miss Green.

Thanks for everything. That's all right.

Try to adjust yourself.

A lot of women have gone through this and survived, and you will, too.

Listen to Brenda. She knows the ropes. Every twist.

Thank you very much, Miss Whittier.

So long, Brenda. Good luck. Same to you on that date tonight.

Be a good little cop. I'll try. Goodbye.

Bye. She's a good sport.

I beg your pardon? I was talking about sports.

Something you wouldn't know anything about.

Jensen, Helene, housewife.

Manslaughter, 1 to 10.

You killed a child.

It was an accident.

Driving your car at 50 miles an hour, trying to pass a car on the right.

A child killed. Hey, lookit, she's in here to serve her time, so don't rub it in.

Martin, Brenda, forgery, 1 to 14.

Commonly known as paper-hanging.

I've been in here before, and I may be here again.

Empty your bags on my desk, please.

All articles of value are held here until the time of your release.

I'll take that ring.

And here are the rules of the institution.

I daresay you've broken every one in the book.

Jensen, your number will be 10914, and yours, 10915.

Thanks a lot. That will be all.

Report to the infirmary for your physicals. I'm sure you know the way.

Like my own girdle.

Come on, kid.

One moment, Martin. What?

I'll trouble you for those earrings.

Yeah, wear them with green, honey. They did wonders for me.

I know them legs!

Brenda! Hi, Pol.

Bless my soul, where you been? Outside, Pol, on parole. You know that.

But I didn't make it. What happened this time?

Well, I saw a $150 dress reduced to 32.50.

You know me, I couldn't resist such a bargain.

Never you mind. Anyhow, I'm sure glad you come home.

Thanks, hon. Helene, this is Polly.

Polyclinic Jones, my mother named me after the hospital where I was born.

What you doing here, honey? You don't belong in no place like this.

What happened, did you get mixed up with some man?

It's a long story, hon...

Hold that paint detail! Hold it, men.

Men in here? Sure. This is a coeducational joint.

But the boys never get in here except on work detail. When they do, wow!

Let's check those passes. Wait right here.

All right, girls, break it up. Come on, you. Break it up.

Come on, clear the corridor. Come on.

Where did you think you were going?

Captain, this is the paint detail.

We were on our way over here to decorate one of the front offices in the women's division.

I'm one of the best painters you got in this joint.

Wait a minute. That's not your card!

How dumb can you guys get?

But, Captain, it looks okay. Take another look.

You'll find it's been doctored.

The name and the number have been changed.

That card was made out to Murphy.

And Murphy's in the cell block, sick.

That's right, Captain, but the poor guy was afraid you might think he was dogging it, so I substituted. Keep his record clean.

Don't think you can con me, you jailhouse lawyer!

Take it easy, Captain!

Take a punch at me, will you?

Come on.

All right, get these men back to their cells.

Make a note of their numbers for discipline. They knew what was going on.

All right, you guys... And you, Burton, you come with me.

You've got a date with the warden!

What now, Tierney?

Burton here altered this work card.

Got himself onto the paint detail assigned to the women's division.

I spotted him just in time. That's not his real number.

What is it?

79639. Eddie!

Yes, sir.

Did you think you could hit the wall easier from the women's side?

I wasn't trying to escape, Warden, not by that route. I know better.

When I stopped him, he tried to take a punch at me.

What have you got to say to that?


Armed robbery, finance companies' offices, one count of kidnap robbery, ten years to life.

Your wife, Joan Burton, is doing time over on the women's side.

That's why you were trying to get over there!

What kind of a deal did you have cooked up with her?

Warden, don't put the heat on Joan. This was my idea.

She knew nothing about it.

I wanted to talk to her, that's all. I've got to!

What about?

I've been asking you for months to let me see her for just a few minutes.

You know as well as I do that crime partners are not permitted to visit each other.

She wasn't my crime partner.

She was convicted because they found my guns in her possession.

Why do you want to see her?

She's my wife.

She'll be out of here within a year, and with 10 to life, I might not make it in 20.

Why, you said yourself she could never visit me.

I might die in here. I might never see her again.

I've got to tell her something.

Send your lawyer to see her. She won't listen to anybody but me.

I want to tell her this... Shut up.

What you need is a hitch on the rock pile.

Warden, don't forget, this guy tried to sock me.

That's right. Twenty days in the hole.

Get him out of here. Let's go.

Trying to smuggle himself over on a paint detail.

Leave it to a con to think of a deal like that.

When are they going to do something about a separate prison for women?

I've been beefing about that for years, but the state legislature won't come through with the dough.

Warden speaking.

It's for you, Doc.

This is the doctor.


I see.

When did it happen?

I'll be right over.

That was Sturgess.

One of the girls they brought in this afternoon seems to be in a state of shock.

One of those dames are always in a state of shock.

But Amelia knows how to handle them.

She knows my methods.

Excuse me, Warden.

I have a patient waiting.

Doctor, Jensen, Helene, 10914.

She's had her bath and her physical, and the report's in here, also, her admission papers.

Whittier in the admitting room thought you'd better see them.

You can leave this on Miss van Zandt's desk.

Thank you.

And for heaven sakes, Doctor, give her something.

We have no time to fool with hysteria cases.

I'm the doctor, Miss Jensen. Doctor...

Apparently, this is your first experience in a place of this kind.


I know how you feel.

Well, you have a clean bill of health.

And as for the trouble that brought you here...

I killed a child.

It was an accident.

Yes, I see. That's too bad.

A little girl, so little.

You're married?


I'm sure your husband's standing by you.

Yes, yes, he always will.

But 1 to 10 years?

I know. Sounds frightening, but you won't serve many of those years.

You'll see your husband often, you'll be paroled, and he'll be waiting for you.

A prison isn't a pleasant place to live.

I'm not crazy about it myself, but at least you don't have to worry about the rent.

Ask Mrs. Sturgess to come in, please.

They'll feed you and find work for you. You'll get along.

Here, take this. It's a sedative, that's all.

Thank you.

You'll find friends here. Your instinct will tell you the right ones.

Well? Is she all right now?

I think so. Just a case of nerves, that's all.

You've had them yourself. Yes, Doctor.

Come along, Miss Jensen. We'll give you your supper and tuck you in for the night.

Come on.

Doctor. Hello, Amelia.

Was that the Jensen girl you had in here, the one who was taken sick?

Yes, I just dismissed her. She's in a state of shock.

Oh, that.

Though criminally negligent, she is not a criminal.

She has a very good background. Frankly, I'm not impressed by backgrounds.

This is a prison.

I'm well aware of that.

However, in this case, I suggest you forgo the usual period of isolation.

Really? How can I do that? She has to be quarantined.

Those are the rules.

If you put this girl in a cell alone, I won't be responsible.

Well, the responsibility is all mine, Doctor.

This is quarantine. You'll be here two weeks.

Out for meals, right back in. One cigarette after each meal.

Police your cell. Keep it spotless.

Watch the ashtray, keep it clean. Make trouble, you get trouble.

Good night.

Oh, dear God! Dear God!


Helene! Take it easy!

Quiet down!

Leave her alone!

All right, open up.

No! No! Don't! Leave me alone! Don't!

Put me... No...

Please! Don't!

Leave her alone! Why don't you leave the poor kid alone?

Leave her...

Martin, be quiet, unless you want the straitjacket, too.

Bring her out.

What's she doing now?

Still crying. That jacket's so tight she can't scream.

Naturally. Good night.

Don't go, Harry. Please don't go.

Don't go, Harry. Please don't go.


Don't leave me, Harry.

Gracie! Grace.

Yeah? Was Harry here again?


Well, the next time he shows up, just tell him to bring a friend along, will you?

Okay, Mae.

Polly! All right, Polly, hit the deck.

I'm hitting it.

Them springs.

They're working their way right through my mattress.

Got me all marked up like a waffle.

How long have you been up?

I've been working on myself since 3:00 this morning, by moonlight.

Do you know what day this is?

That's right, you're getting out. Out.

Oh, baby, that guy of mine will be waiting right at the gate.

That wonderful, wonderful guy!

Look, Carol, there's something your fellow can do for me and my fellow.

You know what happened yesterday when Glen tried to get over here, I haven't heard the end of it, yet.

Your boyfriend's never done time. He can visit Glen.

Have him tell Glen not to try a crazy trick like that again.

Step on it, you two. Police that cell!

Hey, Sturgess, have you seen Jensen this morning?

No, but I don't think she's gone anyplace.

How do you expect to turn us into ladies when you make us wear cotton romance killers like these?

Fine clothes do not the lady make, nor iron bars a cage.


Well, I suppose the crummier we look, the more it helps van Zandt feel like the Queen of Sheba in her clothes.

Okay, Jensen, time to get up.

Come on, what's the matter with you?

Snap out of it.

Jenny! Jenny!

Something wrong here. This girl is out, maybe worse.

I can't even feel a pulse.

Get the cart, quick!

What was done to her?

The usual thing, I suppose. I wasn't on duty last night.

The jacket?

Well, yes, she... She had to be restrained. Even if it killed her?

Does Miss van Zandt know about this?

Not yet. Tell her!

Yes, sir.

You, call the head nurse. Have her bring blankets.

Yes, Doctor.

Miss van Zandt. Excuse me.

Yes? We've got trouble.

Well? That Jensen girl.

What, again? Well, I found her unconscious in the jacket.

I couldn't revive her, so I rushed her to the doctor's.

You should have called me first. But she was like dead, Miss van Zandt.

I don't care. You should have called me.

You can go, Sturgess. Yes, ma'am.

How is she, Doctor?

You and your system nearly finished her.

A girl in her mental condition could easily be shocked to death.

Nonsense. You think so?

Have them strap you in a straitjacket and throw you in a black hole overnight.

When they hauled you out in the morning, you'd need a lot more than medicine.

Aren't you over-dramatizing this situation?

I'll tell you something else.

If she does recover, I'm not so sure that she'll be in her right mind.

She was probably a borderline psychopath when they brought her in here.

I told you she was in shock.

She's suffering from a guilt complex that's close to madness.

If she recovers from this, she's not going back into isolation.

It's about time you got here.

This girl is in a coma. I want her kept warm.

She must have the constant attention of a nurse. Not an inmate. One of the staff.

Yes, sir.

I'll be in presently. Shall I put her back in isolation?

Of course not, nurse. Take her to the infirmary.

You see, Doctor, you're not the only one who knows the quality of mercy.

Hello. Well, we're going to get you up out of that bed today and on your feet.

Within a few more days, you'll be able to join the other girls.

When can I see my husband?

An inmate is permitted visitors 30 days from the date of her admission.

I don't understand why he hasn't written me.

But he has, every day.

Then why don't they give me his letters?

An inmate is not permitted to receive mail during the time of her quarantine.

But I'll tell you something. I stole three letters from the mailroom.

You'll find them under your pillow.

It's all right. Now, you read those letters quickly.

On my next time around, I'll sneak these back and get you three more.

Thank you, Doctor.

So how much do I owe you?


No, hon, not like that. Not like you do at home.

Like they do in the army barracks.

Or have you ever been in an army barracks?

No. My husband was in the army.

I remember he told me the top blanket should be stretched so tight you could bounce a nickel on it.

Where are you going this summer?

Universal Airlines, with their 300-mile-an-hour luxury corsairs, offers you a wide choice of vacation resorts.

Make love to her on the beach at Waikiki, woo her under the moon in the Canadian Rockies, give her a second honeymoon on the Riviera...

Is he kidding? Shut your big mouth.

Gin. What?

What have you got?

10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60.


They only give you five minutes after the morning bell to get everything shipshape.

Thanks for the lesson, Brenda.


Mae! Hi.


Gee, it's great to have you back on the campus again, Bren.

Thanks. I'm here for a post-graduate course.

Well, you'll hook up with the old sorority again, won't you?

I sure will. It's the Alpha Baka Pie.

Brenda used to learn me how to talk good English.

I'm doing much better since you seen me last, ain't I?

Yeah, you sure ain't.

The joint's full of new faces, Bren.

I think the gals have taken over all the rackets the way they're packing them in here.

Grace. Grace, come here.

Grace is a freshman.

Hi. Hi.

And she finished her prep course at Brookside Reformatory.

This is Helene Jensen.

Hello. Hello.

You're the fish that had a tough time their first night in the aquarium.

The first time's the worst, kid.

I still dream about what it did to me.

That ain't all you dream about. Grace is worried about a guy.

I'm just afraid he might ditch me, that's all.

Honey, every guy thinks he's something special, but they're all at the same assembly line. There's always a replacement around, in case the one you've got gets lost or broken.



They told me you were here. I said, "What does she want?

"What's she after?"

I know. I know, George.

Bette Davis. I know, and it's wonderful.

Hey, this kid's got brains. Dottie's from show business.

Yeah, a stripteaser, but I always wanted to do impersonations.

I wanted to take off people, not my clothes, and that's why I'm doing a stretch from 10 to life.

10 to life? For just taking off your clothes?

No, I shot my agent.

Tell me, Bren, how's everything outside?

Everything is shaping up for the worst.

Not the men? No. They're still the same old gyps.

Bless their hearts. Do you know, darlings, at this moment, I'd give my right arm for one week, one day, one hour, outside.

I'd settle for 10 minutes.

Who's that? Durante.

You're nuts.

What's the matter, am I slipping or something?

No, honey, we know who it is. Say, you know something?

I've been assigned to this cell. Yeah, you and me and this new fish, and... Joan Burton.

Hello, Brenda. Hi, old-timer. How are things breaking?

Just terrible. Van Zandt's had me up front again.

She thinks it's my fault that Glen was over here on that paint detail.

That dame wears her brains in her bustle.

Of course I want to see Glen. I'm dying to see him, but I'm not that silly.

Helene's in the same fix you are.

She's sweating it out to see her guy, too.

At least you have a chance.

Come on, honey, that's the bell for daily count.

DeHaven, Joyer, McDowell, White. Okay.

Carson, Jolley, Lipman, Cooper.

Where's Cooper? Cooper!

Here I am.

You're supposed to stay in the lineup.

But I was just... Shut up, you know the rules.

Burton, Martin, Jensen, LaRose. Okay.

Watkins, Jones, Brown, O'Shaughnessy. Okay.

Walker, Tracey, Swartz, Hammer. Okay.


Full count on the men's side.

The dames are late as usual.

There they are.

Hi, Sturgess, what's the matter? A couple of babes missing?

Okay. They got them all.

This is what we call the main line where we get the evening dish of beans.

I'm not hungry.

Don't worry, honey, you'll see your husband soon.

Fifteen days seems a lifetime.

Quiet, you! No talking.

Hiya, hon.

Gee, I'm glad to see youse, baby. I'm glad to see you.

Thanks! No, I mean, you should say "you."

Not "youse." Yeah?

Yeah. I'm learning how to speak good English.

Do you know there's dames in this joint with IQ's that stick out like sore thumbs?

No kidding. Yeah.

But I'm gonna talk like a lady when I matrigulate from this joint.


When I graduate, stupid. And youse is gonna talk like a gent.

I can learn.



Don. Honey.

You've got to get me out of here. You've just got to!

Take your hands off that screen!

It's horrible, the confinement, the work, the food!

Honey, please, please try to take it easy.

Look, I've mortgaged the house, sold the car and gotten a new lawyer.

Michaels, he's a good man, one of the best in the state.

He's petitioning the Governor for a pardon, but it may take a little time. That's what I'm afraid of, time.

A day in this place seems like a year. You don't know what it does to me.

If it goes on much longer, it may be too late.

Honey, please don't talk like that. You must get me out. Don, you must!

Time's up!

What do you mean, time's up? I haven't talked to my wife for more than a minute.

Her visit was over the second time she put her hands on that screen.

She knows the rules, or she ought to.

Get back to your cell.

No, Don. Please, Don. Get her out of here!

No, Don!


No, no, no, Don...

Take your hands off her. You don't have to do that.

Don! Please, Don!

Let me go!

I want to see someone in authority here.

You'll see the desk sergeant if you don't get out of here!

Take your hands off me.

Take him to Miss van Zandt. She'll settle him.

Come on, mister.

What have you done to my wife?

Mr. Jensen, your wife has received the same treatment as every other woman committed here.

I can't believe that. She's half out of her mind.

I hate to tell you this, but I'm afraid your wife is a borderline psychopath.

She wasn't when she came here!

No, of course, not to you perhaps.

But you see, confinement often reveals these mental deficiencies.

Your matrons treated her like a homicidal maniac.

If you think I'll stand for that you're...

Now, look, I'll tell you what.

Why don't you see Warden Brock?

I'll see the Department of Corrections.

I'm afraid they'll tell you that during the term of your wife's imprisonment, she's under our control, not yours.

You know, I'm worried, because demonstrations such as this afternoon can endanger her chances of parole.

I'm sorry, Mr. Jensen.

We'll notify you when you can see her again. Goodbye.

What happened to Helene? She's in the hole again.

What happened to your visit?

Plenty. It was Carol's boyfriend. Her man visited my guy next door.

It seems my husband has a one-track mind.

Haven't they all? He just gets out of the hole for that last try, now he sends word he's got a surefire way of getting over here.

It seems he's got something he wants to tell me.

Something he can't trust to anybody else.

He'll fix it so we'll never get out of here.

Something you want, Doctor?

You put the Jensen girl back in isolation. Yes, that's right.

This time I won't stand for any interference.

I listened to you once.

This afternoon's exhibition was the result of it.

You enjoy your power, don't you, Amelia?

I enjoy my work, if that's what you mean.

After all, I'm rebuilding human beings, the lives of women committed to my care.

You know, I'm a student of psychology, Doctor.

So am I. May I tell you what's wrong with you?

Do, by all means.

You dislike most of the women here because, deep down, you're jealous of them.

That's absurd. You're feminine, attractive.

You must have had opportunities to marry.

Maybe you even cared for somebody once in your cold way.

How dare you?

But, possibly, he turned to somebody who could give him what he really wanted, warmth, understanding, love.

There's hardly a woman inside these walls that doesn't know what love is.

Yes, and that's why most of them are here.


Even the broken wrecks have known some kind of love, and that's why you hate them.

What you call hate is complete understanding, Doctor.

Knowledge gained by years of study and hard work.

I know these women, all of them, and only a strong mind can control them, and if you had any real understanding, you'd know what I am doing to rehabilitate them.

Yes, even the psychopath.

You're the psychopath, Amelia. Believe me.

Get out of here!

One of the worst in this institution. Get out!

And you've gone past the borderline. Get out!

Get out of here!

How you doing, Sarah? Okay.

You getting out on parole soon, ain't you? Yeah, after nine years.

I'll be out in six months if I make it. You'll make it.

Look what I brung you, dolls.

Girl, not "what I brung you," "what I brought you."

Grace, look what she brung us.


Oh, that I might fill this empty vessel with the wine of life.

It must have been a little one.

But this was the noblest Roman of them all.

The elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, "This was a man!"

What goes on here? Shakespeare, honey.

Okay, Shakespeare, get those clothes folded.

The recess bell will ring in 10 minutes.

Gee, you did good this morning. Yeah.

Boy, am I bushed.

This pretty little thing is sticking to me all over.

We break for exercise pretty soon. Exercise!

That's all I need now is exercise. I can't take any more.

Well, I'll bring the rest, honey, when I finish.

All right.



Are you crazy? I had to see you.

How did you get over here? Don't ask me.

If you don't know, they can't sweat it out of you.

Glen. Glen! Glen.


Look, if you make parole, I want you to dig up that dough I stashed away.

I don't know where it is.

It's in the staircase in your mother's house. Under the carpet?

No, under the tread, third step from the bottom.

There's just one guy can help me get out of here.

Who? Steve Browder.

He couldn't help us when we were convicted.

I know, but he's got good connections now.

He came to see me, but I didn't dare tell him where I hid the money.

Now, you get it, contact him, make the deal. He'll know what to do.


Yeah, I'm sorry.

How could you be so clumsy?

The floor in there is so slippery, I nearly fell on my face.

Well, you should watch what you're doing.

Yes, Miss Enright. I'm sorry.

Look at these shirts, they're so messy. I'll have to put them all in the wash again.

All right, get it done. It's so muggy in here, I'm going to get a fresh blouse.

I'll get it for you, Miss Enright. Thanks, I'll get it myself.

Get me out!

I've warned you, girls, over and over again.

I hope it's not too badly burned. No, it'll be all right.

Gee, it hurts like blazes, though.

Go to the infirmary and get it treated.

Come on, girls, back to your jobs. Come on.

Hurry up, girls.

Exercise period. 15 minutes. Fall in, you girls.

Where were you, Joan? I didn't see you out in the yard.

Maybe you didn't, ma'am, but I was there. It was a beautiful day.

Doctor, Mrs. Sturgess tells me you took Jensen out of isolation and put her back in the infirmary.

I did. I see.

You know I can't maintain discipline here with you changing my orders.

All right, Jensen, get out of bed. No.

You're going back to isolation. No.

Take her away. No!

Don't come near me!

Knock her on her keister, Jensen.

Take your hands off her.

Doctor, I'm warning you, keep out of this, unless you want your little patient tried for assault with intent to do bodily harm to the guards?

What do you mean? lf you interfere again, according to the rules of this institution, I may prefer charges against Jensen.

That should extend her visit here for quite some time.

Do I make myself clear?

Very clear. Doctor, don't let them take me.

I'm afraid you'll have to go, Helene. There's nothing I can do about it right now.

But I'm warning you, all of you, if you lay a hand on this girl again...

Right, take her away.

Good night, Doctor.

Joan! She's fainted!

Get out of here.

Joan, are you okay? Come on. Are you all right?

What happened to you? I don't know. I guess I just fainted.

It's so hot in here. Get some water.

It's the steam. It always bothers me.

Can you walk to the doctor's office?

I don't have to go to the doctor's. I'll be all right.

Here, here, take her to her cell. She can lie down till the noon break.

What gives? It's nothing, just a dizzy spell. I'll be okay.

Now, look here, Quackenbush.

We've had difficulty with you ever since you were admitted to this institution.

It's either a case of mental psychosis, or you're just plain screwball.

A physio-chemical response to unhealthy thinking.

A manifestation of such responses of what we know as human behavior, and your behavior, Quackenbush, stinks out loud.

Very clever.

Very clever, indeed.

We mustn't waste this talent of yours.

You'll have to do a little show for me sometime.

Jeepers, a command performance.

Don't borrow no trouble, honey.

At least one of us is getting a break. Sarah here's getting out soon.


Feeling better?

I'll live. Who is that singing?

Polly and some of her friends are serenading Sarah Graham.

She's getting out pretty soon. It's about time.

You haven't eaten in a couple of days.

You can't go on like this, you know.

Maybe you need a tonic or something.

What's the score, kid?

Brenda, I've got to tell somebody, or I'll go nuts.


Well, I'm here.

Come on, honey. You can tell me.

This is driving me crazy.

Brenda, I'm pregnant.

I don't know what to do. That's what's killing me.

Sooner or later, they'll find out. Yeah.

The doc'll have to know.

It'd be better if you went to him first and told him.

It's the only thing I can do.

Everything running smoothly over on your side?

About the same.

Hello, Doc.

If you'll excuse me, Warden, I think I'll be going now.

Don't leave, Amelia. I have some news for you, both of you.

Here's my report as of this date. Congratulations, Warden.

You two are going to have a baby.

What are you talking about?

Well, it won't be exactly yours, Amelia, but it will belong 100% to this institution.

What's new about that?

Yes, lots of women are in that condition when they arrive here.

Was it the new girl who was brought in the other day?

No. This woman's been here for two years.

That's ridiculous. How could it possibly have happened?

Haven't you heard, Amelia?

It usually begins in the springtime. There's a scent of flowers in the air.

The bees are buzzing, the birds are twittering, all nature's throbbing.

Burton. Joan Burton! That's Glen Burton's wife!


Tierney! Where's Glen Burton?

Why, he's in the chow line, Warden.

Pull him out. Get him in here on the double!

Joan Burton comes up for parole soon.

Recommend it. Get her out of here as quickly as possible.

He's absolutely right. We could keep her isolated until it's time for her to leave. That's not the problem.

If Burton got over there, others can do it. Not to see women, but to crash out.

My job is to find out how he got over that wall and make sure it can never happen again.

I understand that, Warden, but what are you going to do about his wife?

I'm not worried about her. Look, Doc, this is my beef, not yours.

All right, you, come on. Now, take it easy, Tierney.

You just stick to your pills, Doc, and I'll handle this in my own way.

Okay, Tierney. Wait outside.

Sit down.

Have a cigar, Glen?


You know, you should be giving me one.

Do you know why I sent for you?

No, sir.

You don't know you're about to become a father, huh?

I don't know what you're talking about.

How did you get over on the women's side?

Look, Warden, I tried it once on the paint detail, but you were too smart for me. I didn't make it, remember?

Stop conning me, Burton.

I might be able to help your wife when she comes up for parole.


You know, Warden, if I thought Joan would get a parole, I might find out how a guy could get over on the women's side, and then, on the day she leaves here, I'd show you how it could be done.

Just like that, huh? Just like that, sir.

I could make you talk. Sure, I know.

You could kick me around, bury me in the hole, beat me up, kill me.

Why don't you?

All I care about is my wife, and if she doesn't make parole, every stir-crazy con in this joint will find how to get over on the other side.

Get out of here.

Thanks for the cigar, Warden.

Amelia, you like your job here, don't you?

Yes, of course I do.

Well, unless I get the information I want, you'll be washed up.

Washed up?

Burton got over there in broad daylight, which means you and your matrons must have been asleep.

I'll give you one week to find out how he made it.

And if you don't find out, you'll be hunting a job, and it's my hunch nobody will want you.

All visiting privileges are to be canceled until further orders.

Yes, ma'am.

Outgoing mail is to be closely censored for any reference to this Burton affair.

What about parolees?

Yes, 10 go before the board this weekend. Only one stands a chance.

Sarah Graham.

I shall ask the board to defer her hearing for six months.

Now, about Joan Burton, here's what I want you to do.

Joan Burton, up front.

Again? Get her.

Joan, Joan, you're wanted.

I can't go through that again.

Just your robe and slippers, same as before.

Why don't you leave her alone?

They know the girl's sick.

This is the third night they've dragged her out of a sound sleep.

Sorry, orders.

What's that old bat van Zandt trying to do, drive the girl crazy?

She knows Joan can't take it.

That dame isn't human.

Spit in her eye, Joan! For me, too, honey!

Joan, I hate to see this happen to you every night.

I'll bet you do.

I'm a woman, and I know what these sessions can do to a girl in your condition.

I don't like the way Miss van Zandt's handling this, but she's in a tough spot.

I can't tell her how Glen got over here, because I don't know.

You must know, and she's got to find out. It could mean her job.

Do you think I like being yanked out of bed and brought here night after night?

Don't you think if I knew, I'd tell her and I'd get it over with?

Joan, listen, you're not helping your husband.

You're doing him harm, and think of yourself, the future.

It can mean a parole, a quick one.

Mrs. Sturgess, I can't tell you what I don't know!

Well? She's just the same.

You can go, Sturgess.

I've given you every opportunity, reasoned with you for hours.

You know, there isn't a woman in this institution who wouldn't answer my questions to get herself out of here.

But you have to be different.

I suppose you think it's smart to insult my intelligence with your lies.

Well, I'll give you one more opportunity.

Are you going to tell me what I want to know?

I can't, Miss van Zandt.

I've told you over and over again, I don't know. I wish I did!

You know, I'm beginning to believe Joan.

Break her out!

Stop acting! I'm not!

You're not fooling me!

Please! Are you going to tell me the truth?

I don't know. Come on, on your feet.

I don't know! Are you going to tell me the truth?

Please, I don't know... All right, I'll get it out of you!

All right. Get up.

Get up, do you hear me? Get up! Get up! Get up.


I heard her scream. What was it?

Doris, just keep quiet and everything will be all right!

There's nothing wrong at all.

What's wrong with her? What's wrong with her?

Doctor, is she hurt bad? Is she all right? Will you please be quiet?

Answer me, Doctor! Is she all right?

It's that van Zandt woman again. I knew she'd do this.

If I could get my hands on that woman...

Doctor, you'd better come and have a look at Joan Burton.

She must have had a relapse. There seems to be no pulse at all.

Fix a hypo. Long needle. Adrenalin chloride.

There's a pulse now. Yes, but weak.

I don't think she's going to make it. Oxygen tent.

Through for the day, Grace? Yes, ma'am.

Everything normal up front? Yeah, everything's normal.

Joan Burton may die.

Dear God, help her.

Give her strength.

Don't let her die.

March to mess hall!

What's the matter with you girls?

We're not having any breakfast. Who said that?

We're not doing anything in this joint until a lot of things are changed!

Go back in your cells.

Who's their ringleader? They don't seem to have one.

Somebody must have spoken for them. They all spoke.

They just won't go to breakfast.

All right, send them to work without any.

Yes, ma'am.

Come on, girls, get on the job. We've got a lot to do today.

Martin, you seem to have more intelligence than most of these women here.

What do you think you'll gain by this?

We want the people outside to find out what goes on in here.

That's right! Quiet.

You think they'd be interested?

We want them to taste the slop we get to eat!

Yeah! The slop we get to eat.

We want them to find out what you call discipline, what you do to any girl who can't do a full day's work.

Yeah. Yeah.

What happens to a girl who won't be a stool pigeon, to any one of us that won't bow down and worship you!

Yeah! Yeah!

Anything else?

Most of all, we want them to find out what happened to Joan Burton.

Yeah! Yeah, what happened to Joan Burton.

In short, you'd like to run this institution yourselves.

Well, I'm afraid we can't have that.

Since you've all decided not to work or to eat, we'll just have to send you back to your cells until you're hungry enough to change your minds.

All right, lock them up. Fall in, girls. March.

The matrons and I searched every inch of the buildings, found nothing.

I don't know how Burton got over there.

Well, he did. There's no doubt about that.

If anything happens to that girl, it could be serious for you, Amelia.

I simply did what you ordered. I didn't order you to beat the woman.

You gave me one week to get the facts.

How is she, Doctor?

I'm glad I found the two of you together.

I haven't slept since I saw you last.

As soon as I'm through with the Burton case, I'm resigning.

We'll hate to lose you, Doc. Is she going to be all right?

A little while ago, I thought I'd lost her. She's under oxygen now.

I don't know what you did to her to cause an internal hemorrhage, but I'm glad I didn't see it.

Because if I had, it might even be worse for you.

Now, wait a minute... You wait, and listen to me!

Doesn't it mean anything to you that a pregnant girl was beaten, that two lives were endangered?

If I have to write a death certificate for Joan Burton, I'll give the cause of death as murder, and I'll name you both.

Sorry, I'm late. What's five minutes more or less?

If it had been a half hour, I might be sore. I want to catch the last show at the Bijou.

That prison movie? Yeah.

They never get things right in prison pictures.

I know, but I like to pick out the flaws. Well, good night.

Good night. Miss Saunders!

Who is it?

It's Mae in cell 54.

I feel real bad, Miss Saunders. Something terrible.

I've got to see a doctor! Go get her out.

If it's her appendix, maybe she'll need an operation.

A scar on my body? Nothing doing!

Saunders, don't move! One yelp out of you, and I'll slit her throat.

Dottie! Okay, girls, quiet, everybody.

Shave and a haircut.

Mae, throw the master switch that opens all the gates.

Quiet, girls.

Take it easy. Take it easy.

Okay. Sarah, take the keys.

The other matrons are having their coffee now.

Take five girls, go get them and bring them back here.

Polly, Grace, Josie. Wait a minute.

Remember, be quiet.

One yell out of a slaphappy dame will blow the whole works.

Now, go on, beat it.

Come on, quiet. Come on.

Helene. What happened?

We're taking over. Go on, get in there. Hurry, all of you.

All matrons inside.

They look more like cons than we do. Lock up. Come on, Dottie.

Hey, Bren.

Mike's a nice guy. I wish we could... Well, we can't. Come on.

Yes? Miss van Zandt, this is Mrs. Sturgess.

I'm very busy, Sturgess.

I hate to bother you, but we've got a little trouble.

Nothing serious, but I'd better talk to you about it.

Very well, I'll see you.

Is that you, Sturgess? Yes, Miss van Zandt.

All right, what seems to be the trouble now?

Don't you try that!

One squawk out of you, and I'll punch a hole right in your diagram.

Diaphragm, honey.

Listen, you're making a terrible mistake. I don't think we are.

Answer it.

It's the Warden.

Miss van Zandt speaking. Hello, Warden.

Are you in your office? No, I'm home.

He's home. How's the Burton girl?

She's the same, Warden. Everything quiet over there?

Everything's under control.

If there's any change in her condition, I'll... I'll call you.

Good night.

Where do you keep your gun?

All weapons are kept in the arsenal.

Don't give me that. Where is it?


How is she, Doc? What are you doing here?

Give me the low down, Doc. Will she live?

Take my advice, Glen. Get out of here. Get back on the other side.

I'm doing everything I can for her.


Joan, honey.


It's me, baby.


Everything's going to be all right.

I should have made you tell me how you got over here, and this wouldn't have happened.

Don't worry about that. Just... Just get well. You've got to.

I'll make parole.

I'll wait for you. You and the baby and I will... We'll be together.

That's why I've... I've got to live.

Don't cry, Glen. I'm not crying.

Just seeing you has made everything right. You shouldn't be over here.

I had to see you. The doctor will take care of me.

Go back, Glen.

Do your time.

Stay out of trouble.

A few years, I'll be waiting for you at the gate.


promise me?

I promise. Go back.

Glen, I love you.


She's gone, Glen.

Doc! What are you doing in this uniform?

Quiet, we've taken over this joint.

You'll get hurt.

Not any more than they've hurt Joan. What about her, Doc?

What about her, Doc?

She's dead.

That does it.

Okay, girls, bring her out.


Brenda, don't do this. You can't stop us now, Doc.

Joan Burton is dead.

Stop it! Wait! Listen to me!

Listen! You started this so people on the outside would know what she's done to Joan.

But if you kill her, you'll be murderers, too. She'll pay for what she's done.

But not enough!

You've got a chance to win, but if you do this, you'll fail.

Brenda, you should know that. I promise you she'll be punished.

We ain't waiting for no promises.

Listen to me! Listen, listen!

You know I'm on your side, but if you kill this woman, nothing will be changed, and you'll all suffer for it.

We've suffered enough.


Look what she's done to her.

Where can I find van Zandt?

The girls have got her. They've got this place sewed up.

I don't know where they took her.

We've combed this whole joint looking for that con.

I tell you, he heard about his wife and he's over on the women's side.

Don't come in here, Warden! You haven't got a chance, Burton.

We've got van Zandt and all her matrons.

If they got caught, it's their own fault.

You've got a better angle. Try to get him.

We're going in. Use your gas gun. Smoke him out, boys.

Steve, cover him with a shot.

Go to your cells! Wet towels!

Put blankets over the cell doors!

Cover the laundry, kitchen and mess hall!

Where's van Zandt? Where is she? She's in here someplace.

Left or right? Where is she? Do you know where she went? Where is she?

I don't know!

I don't know. She's not in here. Where's van Zandt?

I don't know!

All right, now. No! No!

Doc, let me get her! Let me get her...

Burton, Burton, I'll make you pay for this. I'll make you pay.

Your wife's coming up for parole.

Well, I'll see that she doesn't get it.

Yes, I'll tell the board that she was in this with you.

That's what I'll do. I'll tell the board, and she won't get it.

Doc, Joan's dead.

Don't you see? Her mind's gone.

There isn't anyone in this institution who won't answer my questions to get out of here.

There isn't anyone. But I'll get the truth out of them.

I'll get the truth out of them, that's what I'll do!

I'll get the truth out of them! Get him out of here.

I hate them! I hate them all! I hate them! I hate them all!

I hate them!

What do we do with her, Doc? Get a straitjacket.

I hate them. I hate...

Warden, what else can you do besides run a prison?

Why, I never gave it a thought.

You know, Doc, I've been in this business all my life.

I've been a deputy sheriff, a prison guard, a yard captain, an assistant warden, warden, I don't know anything else.

That's too bad. Why? What do you mean?

I mean that when the board meets tomorrow, the best you can hope for is a chance to resign.

Goodbye, Warden. Nice to have known you.