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Barbed Wire Dolls.jpg
US theatrical release poster
Directed by Jesus Franco
Produced by Erwin C. Dietrich
Written by Jesus Franco
Connie Grau
Christine Lembach
Starring Lina Romay
Monica Swinn
Paul Müller
Ramon Ardid
Jesus Franco
Music by Walter Baumgartner
Daniel White
Cinematography Jesus Franco
Edited by Peter Baumgartner
Marie-Luise Buschke
Distributed by Aquarius Releasing
Release date
  • 23 April 1976 (1976-04-23) (West Germany)
Running time
81 minutes
Country Switzerland
West Germany
Language French

Frauengefängnis (released in the US as Barbed Wire Dolls and in the UK as Caged Women) is a 1975 Swiss horror film directed by Jesus Franco. It is part of the women in prison cycle of violent sexploitation films that flourished in the 1970s and early 1980s.[1]

When originally submitted for release in 1976, the British Board of Film Classification rejected it. It was only passed the following year after extensive cuts.


Cult director Jesus Franco's Swiss-West German production is a women's prison tale, with Lina Romay as Maria who is jailed after killing her father, played by director Jesus Franco,[2] who tries to rape her. Lesbian wardens, torture, nudity, sex, insanity, conspiracy and a downbeat twist ending round out the formula.


  • Lina Romay ... Maria da Guerra
  • Monica Swinn ... The Wardress (as Monika Swinn)
  • Paul Muller ... Carlos Costa (as Paul Müller)
  • Ramon Ardid (Raymond Hardy) ... José (as Ray Hardy)
  • Roger Darton ... Milton Warren
  • Ronald Weiss ... The Warden
  • Martine Stedil ... Bertha Contrini
  • Eric Falk ... Nestor
  • Peggy Markoff ... Pompadour (as Peggy Markhoff)
  • Nathalie Mann
  • Denis Torre
  • Jesús Franco ... Maria's Father (uncredited)
  • Beni Cardoso ... Rosaria Cortina


  1. ^ Judith Mayne (2000). Framed: lesbians, feminists, and media culture. University of Minnesota Press. p. 131. ISBN 0-8166-3456-4. 
  2. ^ Tatjana Pavlović (2003). Despotic bodies and transgressive bodies: Spanish culture from Francisco Franco to Jesús Franco. SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian thought and culture. SUNY Press. p. 117. ISBN 0-7914-5569-6. 

External links[edit]