Rage in the Cage: CAGED (Warner Brothers 1950)


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“In this cage, you get tough or you get killed” – Kitty Stark (played by Betty Garde) in CAGED

 

The Grandmother of all “Women in Prison” films, CAGED still packs a wallop, nearly seventy years after it’s release. This stark, brutal look at life inside a women’s penitentiary was pretty bold for its time, with its savage sadism and heavy lesbian overtones, and matches up well with BRUTE FORCE as an example of film noir prison flicks. Everything about this film clicks, from its taut direction by John Cromwell to the use of sound to create mood by Stanley Jones, plus a powerhouse mostly female cast led by Eleanor Parker .

The 28-year-old Parker convincingly plays 19-year-old Marie Allen, given a one-to-fifteen year sentence for accessory to an armed robbery during which her husband was killed. The mousey Marie is indoctrinated, given a number (Prisoner #93850), and poked and…

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Horror on TV: The Twilight Zone 2.18 “The Odyssey of Flight 33”


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Remember how this morning’s movie — Robot Monster — featured dinosaurs?

Well so does tonight’s episode of The Twilight Zone!  In The Odyssey of Flight 33, a commercial airline flight somehow flies straight into the past, where they see …. dinosaurs!  Now, I’ll be honest here.  These are not dinosaurs like the dinosaurs in Jurassic World.  But I imagine for 1961, those dinosaurs were pretty impressive!

And this episode holds up as well.  I especially love the ambiguous ending.

The Odyssey of Flight 33 originally aired on February 24th, 1961.

Horror on TV: Twilight Zone 3.10 “The Midnight Sun”


 

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In this episode of The Twilight Zone, the Earth has somehow gotten off of orbit is now being drawn closer and closer to the sun. With humanity on the verge of extinction, two women (Lois Nettleton and Betty Garde) struggle to survive as the heat keeps rising.

Full of haunting images of a deserted and sun-baked city, The Midnight Sun is one of the few episodes of The Twilight Zone that has ever given me nightmares. For some reason, the melting painting always gets to me.

This episode was written by Rod Serling and directed by Anton Leader. It was originally broadcast on November 17th, 1961.