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'A Crime She Didn't Commit'

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On Thursday July 19th TCM plays an entire morning of women in prison flicks.

 

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I like the ones where the chick is innocent and has been railroaded:

 

*THE HOUSE ON 56TH STREET* (1933)...Warner Brothers...Kay Francis has been falsely convicted of a crime and loses her family in the process.

 

*WITHIN THE LAW* (1939)...MGM...After being unjustly sent to the hoosegow, a woman (Ruth Hussey) studies law and seeks her revenge. Previously filmed in 1930 with Joan Crawford. It was called PAID. She paid. And she made sure the others paid, too.

 

*CAGED* (1950)...Warner Brothers...Oscar nominee Eleanor Parker heads to the slammer and becomes a hardened criminal. You know, the kind of stuff that happens everyday.

 

*HOUSE OF WOMEN* (1962)...Warner Brothers...A remake of CAGED. Shirley Knight takes over the Eleanor Parker role.

 

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There was a TV-movie about Martha (played by Cybill). But in her case, she was found guilty of committing those crimes. I don't think many people feel she was imprisoned for an act she did not commit...though the punishment did not seem to fit and was a bit harsh in my opinion.

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h4. But innocent, my eye!

I wonder if any of those women are on match.com nowadays? Talk about being a kept woman!

 

Do guys ever think about that? We women are looking the local stats up immediately.

 

Looking at some of them, you think they having nothin' to do but look pretty and plot all day. I know some women now like that; only difference is the gals I see are free to warm a bar stool at night. and they do..

 

Edited by: casablancalover on Jul 14, 2012 4:50 PM

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:

> }{quote}On Thursday July 19th TCM plays an entire morning of women in prison flicks.

>

> *WITHIN THE LAW* (1939)...MGM...After being unjustly sent to the hoosegow, a woman (Ruth Hussey) studies law and seeks her revenge. Previously filmed in 1930 with Joan Crawford. It was called PAID.

>

 

There was also a silent version in 1923 starring Norma Talmadge, called WITHIN THE LAW. It's available on KINO DVD in a double-feature set with KIKI (1926) also starring Norma T.

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>There was also a silent version starring Norma Talmadge, called WITHIN THE LAW. It's available on KINO DVD in a double-feature set with KIKI (1926) also starring Norma T.

 

Thanks for the info. I like the Crawford version very much (I think it's my favorite talkie of hers). It had been intended for Norma Shearer who bowed out due to pregnancy. I am sure Miss Shearer would've done a sensational job with it, too.

 

Interesting that MGM made it three times, and that is what they did with MRS. CHEYNEY, in which Shearer and Crawford both did versions. I guess if they had a property that worked with audiences, they kept reusing it for their powerhouse lead actresses.

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I, for one, would LOVE to see some of the ones mentioned. I'm afraid most of the "women in prison" movies I've seen WEREN'T the kind that can be shown on TCM!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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That 1930 Crawford version of Within the Law ( Paid ) is one terrific movie, right up there with Rain among the best of her early talkies. It'd be great one morning to see all three versions shown consecutively.

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>That 1930 Crawford version of Within the Law ( Paid ) is one terrific movie, right up there with Rain among the best of her early talkies. It'd be great one morning to see all three versions shown consecutively.

 

Interesting that you mention those titles together. I just made a DVD for a friend interested in Joan Crawford's early sound films, and I chose PAID and RAIN. I am going to add UNTAMED, which TCM will be showing in two days, before I finalize the disc.

 

I could go on and on discussing RAIN. That is a very good version of Maugham's story about the infamous Sadie Thompson. Crawford is pitch-perfect, and Walter Huston is magnificent as her foil. Plus, we get Beulah Bondi and Guy Kibbee near the beginning of their motion picture careers. Lewis Milestone's direction is flawless, with so many excellent atmospheric touches. It shows how exceptional an independent film could be at the beginning of the sound era. It was released through United Artists (and with Joan on loan-out from MGM).

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Glad to see that someone else shares my love for Rain , even if Crawford herself disowned the movie.

 

In looking at the ending of that film, we should all consider ourselves lucky that it was released in 1932, before Joe Breen's boys began terrorizing the entire motion picture industry with that godawful Production Code of his. Breen would've cut Rain to the point where it would have resembled the aerialist Cleopatra's fate in the final scene of Freaks. ;)

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Yes, we are lucky that RAIN survives at all. It easily could've become another LETTY LYNTON, or a CONVENTION CITY.

 

By the way, I like Hayworth's interpretation of this role in the 1953 version, but I think Joan is perfect for the part and imbues it with the right amount of vampish-ness and desperation that is required. I have not seen Gloria Swanson's turn as Sadie.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}

> > There was also a silent version in 1923 starring Norma Talmadge, called WITHIN THE LAW. It's available on KINO DVD in a double-feature set with KIKI (1926) also starring Norma T.

> Interesting that MGM made it three times,.... I guess if they had a property that worked with audiences, they kept reusing it for their powerhouse lead actresses.

Actually the 1923 silent WITHIN THE LAW starring Norma Talmadge was a First National Picture, not MGM.

 

Something funny about the KINO DVD box: they goofed on the cover art. They used a picture of Norma's co-star Eileen Percy, not star Norma. Percy played the role that Marie Prevost played in the Joan Crawford version PAID. Imagine PAID coming out on video or DVD and the cover picture being one of Marie Prevost instead of Joan Crawford!

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Obviously someone at Kino did not do their homework.

 

Thanks for the correction about the Talmadge version. So apparently, MGM bought the rights from First National (Warners?).

 

I am anxious to see the Ruth Hussey version of the story, though my guess is that it will be typical B-film fare, lacking some of the punch found in Crawford's PAID.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:

> }{quote}Obviously someone at Kino did not do their homework.

>

 

Yes, that surprised me, as I've always found KINO to be a quality and class act all the way.

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It all gets underway with LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT. Barbara Stanwyck is far-from-innocent in this precode classic. Her costar is Preston Foster.

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If anyone watches House of Women, please report back on how it was. I'd never heard of this film........Wondering how it compares to the original. Isnt that Constance Ford! She DID make a prison movie! LOL. Go, Connie!

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Wonder how the term hoosegow came into being? Always thought it was a funny term/word....

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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}Wonder how the term hoosegow came into being? Always thought it was a funny term/word....

Word Origin & History

hoosegow

"jail," 1911, western U.S., from mispronunciation of Mex.Sp. *juzgao* "tribunal, court," from juzgar "to judge," used as a noun, from L. judicare "to judge," which is related to judicem (see [judge|http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/judge]).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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LOL. I knew I could count on you! I was wondering if it came from a foreign word......

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This 1939 version of WITHIN THE LAW has two real life jailbirds in the cast. Paul Kelly had already done time for manslaughter and in the early 60s, Tom Neal would be imprisoned on a conviction for involuntary manslaughter after killing his wife.

 

I've always thought there was a bit of a resemblance between the two:

 

Paul Kelly

 

Paul+Kelly.jpg

 

Tom Neal

 

tom-neal-3-sized.jpg

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