6.2/10
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5 user 4 critic

Prison Farm (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 17 June 1938 (USA)
A young woman falls in love with with an armed robber. She gets arrested while visiting him in prison, and winds up in prison herself.

Director:

Louis King

Writers:

Edwin V. Westrate (based on an idea by), Eddie Welch (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shirley Ross ... Jean Forest
Lloyd Nolan ... Larry Harrison
John Howard ... Dr. Roi Conrad
J. Carrol Naish ... Noel Haskins
Porter Hall ... Chiston R. Bradby
Esther Dale ... Cora Waxley
May Boley ... 'Shifty' Sue
Marjorie Main ... Matron Brand
Anna Q. Nilsson ... Matron Ames
John Hart ... 'Texas' Jack
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Storyline

Disregarding the advice if her friends and against her own better judgment, working girl Jean Forest keeps company with Larry Harrison, a small-time hoodlum, helps him out of jams he gets in and even shares her money with him. When he suggests they elope to Canada, she gives up her job, not knowing that he has just committed a holdup in which a man has been killed. On the way, they are arrested for a minor offense and Harrison, hoping to hide out on the local prison farm, pleads guilty and both are sent there. The local prison farm turns out to be a backward and brutal penal colony, and the only person in the camp that Jean can turn to for help is Roi Conrad, the camp doctor who is crusading for reforms at the farm-camp. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GIRLS CRAZED BY NIGHT TERRORS! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Penas de Amor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden's first film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sort of like "I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" set on a work farm.
13 January 2020 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Larry (Lloyd Nolan) is a complete jerk...and a crook. But his girlfriend, Jean, is convinced he's on the level and her faith in him leads to disaster. After he is involved with a robbery in which someone is killed, she believes Larry that they must leave town asap in order for him to begin a new job in Canada....even though he's picking up in the middle of the night to head there. He claims he wants to marry her and live in Winnipeg with her...whether or not this is true is uncertain because they both walk into a problem neither did anything to cause. A perverted sheriff attacks Jean and tries to rape her...and Larry stops him. The sheriff lies about what happened and both Jean and Larry are sent to a work farm for six months. Larry is able to handle it (after all, he deserves much more punishment than this) but Jean is starting to crumble apart due to the awful working conditions. What's next?

In some ways, "Prison Farm" reminds me of the classic reform film "I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang", though the work farm isn't quite as awful. Still, you can easily see that the folks making the film were also working to reform the system.

Overall, this is an entertaining story that keeps your attention throughout, though the film seemed a bit uncertain about the work farms. At times, it seemed to say they were cruel and evil...and at others they seemed less sure of this.


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