|Directed by||Nick Grinde|
|Written by||Martin Mooney
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|January 31, 1940 (USA)|
Betty Andrews (Rochelle Hudson) is without work and one day she is arrested on false grounds when she is in a department store. She is accused of theft and gets representation from attorney Mary Ellis (Frieda Inescort). In spite of this and the fact that the evidence against her is circumstantial she is wrongfully sentenced to one year in prison, and she is to serve her sentence in the Curtiss Home of Correction for women.
At the correctional facility, Betty soon experiences the tough rule of chief matron Miss Bracket (Esther Dale), who has a few of the inmates as her pawns: Frankie "The Duchess" Mason (Lorna Gray), Nita Lavore (Iris Meredith) and a few other goons. These inmates gets special treatment as reward for their help to Miss Bracket.
Miss Bracket's horrible treatment of the inmates soon result in one of them, Gracie Dunn (Mary Field), committing suicide. Betty is the one who finds Gracie's body, and she is forced to swear her secrecy to pritect Miss Bracket and the others, otherwise they will kill her. The Superintrndent then writes "pneumonia" as the cause of death for the girl.
Betty starts planning her escape and to sell the horrible story of the suicide incident to a newspaper reporter, Jim Brent (Glenn Ford). She will use the money to get Frankie to smuggle her out of the facility. Jim poses as Betty's attorney to get inside the facility and get the story from Betty. The story goes to print and there is a huge scandal with lots of media coverage.
Unfortunately for Betty, she is tricked by Frankie, who doesn't help her, but instead tells Miss Bracket. Betty is severely punished by the matron and put into solitary confinement. The scandal also means there is a change of administration at the facility, and fortunately for Betty, Mary Ellis is appointed the new chief matron.
Mary starts a series of reforms in the prison, improving the conditionsfor the inmates. Among other things, the girls are able to go outside the prison onparole on special holidays. The former matron pets are upset with the loss of all their privileges, and so they kidnap Betty when they are out to celebrate Thanksgiving. The plan is to stop her from returnibg to the facility in time, thus vreaking the rules and getting her punished.
Jim hears about the plans and manages to rescue Betty. In doing so he also saves the new reforms made by Mary Ellis. Betty is soon pardoned and gets out of prison. Then she continues her romance with Jim and they eventually marriy.
|Rochelle Hudson||Betty Andrews|
|Frieda Inescort||Attorney Mary Ellis|
|June Lang||Georgia Mason|
|Lola Lane||Hazel Wren|
|Glenn Ford||Jim Brent (Reporter)|
|Iris Meredith||Nita Lavore|
|Lorna Gray||Frankie Mason|
|Esther Dale||Chief Matron Brackett|
|William Farnum||Commissioner McNeill|
|Mary Field||Gracie Dunn|
|Beatrice Blinn||May Sorenson|
- A guide to American crime films of the forties and fifties by Larry Langman, Daniel Finn