Drama about a young woman, Erica, who is wrongly implicated in a crime and sent to prison for five years, where she faces deplorable conditions. With the aid of the warden, she sets out to prove her innocence.
Sentenced to 5 years in prison, Erica Hayden is most worried about her unborn child's future. At this prison, they allow the women to keep their children until age 3 but at that point they must be given to a friend or relative outside the prison or surrendered to State authorities who will arrange an adoption. She tries desperately to find someone and the prison doctor even tries to help her out. One person who isn't keen on the arrangement is the new prison warden, Frank Cole, who thinks prison is no place for young children. Her only hope is that she will get parole after three years but when it's refused and her child is taken away without even giving her the chance to say goodbye, the women stage a riot.Written by
Although a running subplot involves two inmates arguing over the heartthrob merits of Troy Donahue (then a Warners contract player), during an outdoor scene in the prison yard Donahue's name has clearly been dubbed over the women saying a different name, suggesting the exterior was shot first and the decision to use Donahue's name a later idea integrated during interior shooting. See more »
Shirley Knight plays a wrongfully convicted woman named "Erica Hayden" who is 5 months pregnant when she is sent to prison. Not long after she is sent there a new warden, "Frank Cole" (Andrew Duggan) arrives as well. Because his wife had run off with a paroled convict prior to his new assignment, he harbors a great deal of animosity toward all convicts. This leads him to make several bad decisions which lowers the morale of the inmates. Erica has her child but she is taken away right before her 3-year birthday party. Because of the tactless way it was handled the female inmates stage a riot. Attracted by her good looks, the warden requests Erica to be his housemaid. Willing to do anything for a parole which will reunite her with her child, she takes this opportunity for all it is worth. At any rate, rather than give away the entire plot I will just say that there are several unexpected events that occur afterward. Although I was a little bit disappointed with the quality of the action, overall I thought that the acting was pretty decent. Shirley Knight, Andrew Duggan and Jeanne Cooper (as a prison matron named "Helen Jennings") all performed quite well. And while this film may seem tame by today's standards, it's still somewhat enjoyable and worth a look.
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