On Saturday, February 27, your classmates held the second Saturday Night at the Movies using the Watch Party function of Amazon Prime.  Ten of us, plus partners, attended.  The film was The Set-Up (1949), starring Dartmouth heavyweight boxing champion Robert Ryan, Class of 1932.  Attendees had such a good time that we are doing a third Saturday Night at the Movies on March 20 at 8 pm Eastern.

The movie will be Caged (1950), starring Eleanor Parker, known best today as the Baroness in The Sound of Music, but an amazingly prolific and talented actress dubbed the “Woman of a Thousand Faces.”  She was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for her role inCaged, but lost to Judy Holliday for her work in Born Yesterday.

Women in Prison films became a sub-genre and most of them were terrible.  Caged stands out as a high-quality movie that happens to be set in prison with women as the actors instead of the usual complement of men who made prison movies from 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932) to The Big House (1930) to Stalag 17 (1953) to The Great Escape (1963).  The best of the all-male prison films is Brute Force, released the year most of were born, 1947.

Caged is right there with Brute Force, as good and with an almost all-female cast, appropriate for March as Women’s History Month.  (And a nice change from the almost all-male The Set-Up, our last movie.) And what a cast: in addition to Eleanor Parker, the film features Hope Emerson as a corrupt and vicious prison matron, Jan Sterling, Lee Patrick, Betty Garde, Ellen Corby, all inmates, and Agnes Moorehead as the warden who actually wants to reform the system.  Parker, who was the female lead opposite John Garfield in Pride of the Marines (1945), was nominated two other times for an Academy Award for her acting inDetective Story (1951) and Interrupted Melody (1956). 

This is one tough film, filled with outstanding work, from the acting to the screenplay by Virginia Kellogg and the direction by John Cromwell.  Parker starts the film as a naïve and scared woman sent to prison by virtue of loving the wrong man, and leaves as a hardened ex-con embarked on a life of crime.   Come join us for her journey, if you are game enough.  Rest assured that this is, despite the poresence of Eleanor Parker, this is as far from Sound of Music as a film can travel. 

Usual Watch Party rules apply: Must be an Amazon Prime member; only U.S. members; can’t use Safari as browser (Chrome is best); no smart phones or TVs, just desktops and laptops .  See the FAQs at Amazon Prime for Watch Party.  Guests are welcome.  It will cost you $2.99 on Amazon Prime to rent the movie.  The film is 96 minutes long.

During the showing of the film, there is a chat function for everyone to use to comment.  At the suggestion of Dick Glovsky, I will sponsor a Zoom meeting after the film is over so we can share our opinions “in person.”

If you want to be part of this, please let me know atarthur.fergenson@ansalaw.com .  I will send you a link about half an hour before the film starts, as well as a Zoom link so we can convene after the movie ends.  You will need to log in to your Amazon Prime account, and rent the movie.  BYOP (bring your own popcorn).

Arthur Fergenson


Please let me know.





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