Jailed Birds: Women in Prison Films

by mike_sean | created - 10 Apr 2011 | updated - 06 Dec 2016 | Public

An exploitation sub-genre that erupted in the late sixties and continues to this day. While female prison pictures have been around since the 1930s, earlier efforts were usually cautionary melodramas that bore little resemblance to the blatantly sexualized fare of the seventies.

Related lists: Blaxploitation: Seventies Soul Cinema Nazisploitation: Sex and the Swastika

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords

IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »


Release year or range to »

1. 99 Women (1969)

Unrated | 86 min | Crime, Drama

New inmate Marie arrives at an island prison in the women's sector and receives the number 99. The inmates are controlled by the sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz and Governor Santos and ... See full summary »

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Maria Schell, Luciana Paluzzi, Mercedes McCambridge, Herbert Lom

Votes: 1,175

2. The Detention Girls (1969)

X | 77 min | Drama, Thriller

A pretty young college student is arrested during a demonstration. She is taken to a notorious detention center, where she is subjected to sexual harassment by lesbian inmates and guards, ... See full summary »

Director: John Rappoport | Stars: Dolly Abrams, Jennifer Early, Larry Hunter, Mary Lamay

Votes: 11

4. Caged Woman (1970)

60 min | Drama

New inmates arriving at a brutal womens prison are shown exactly what's expected of them by a succession of mean, and horny, male and female guards and other inmates.

Stars: Bill Jones, Tess Drake, Nan Beal, Mary Steige

Votes: 21

5. The Big Doll House (1971)

R | 95 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Beautiful women prisoners are abused in a Philippine prison, until 5 of them plot an escape by taking the evil female warden hostage with the reluctant help of 2 male fruit vendors.

Director: Jack Hill | Stars: Roberta Collins, Pam Grier, Judith Brown, Brooke Mills

Votes: 2,151 | Gross: $10.00M

6. Women in Cages (1971)

R | 81 min | Action, Crime, Drama

American women prisoners in a foreign country. Sex and action.

Director: Gerardo de Leon | Stars: Judith Brown, Roberta Collins, Jennifer Gan, Pam Grier

Votes: 1,255

7. The Big Bird Cage (1972)

R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Grier and Haig are thieving mercenaries who engineer a prison break from the outside.

Director: Jack Hill | Stars: Pam Grier, Anitra Ford, Candice Roman, Teda Bracci

Votes: 2,078

8. The Hot Box (1972)

R | 85 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Hot action and lust in the steamy tropical jungle, as heroines break out of a women's prison and start a local revolution.

Director: Joe Viola | Stars: Carmen Argenziano, Andrea Cagan, Margaret Markov, Rickey Richardson

Votes: 202

9. The Big Bust-Out (1972)

75 min | Action, Thriller

Seven beautiful women in a high security prison set the stage for a big bust out.

Director: Ernst Ritter von Theumer | Stars: Tony Kendall, Monica Teuber, William Berger, Gordon Mitchell

Votes: 137

10. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

After being used and betrayed by the detective she had fallen in love with, young Matsu is sent to a female prison full of sadistic guards and disobedient prisoners.

Director: Shun'ya Itô | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Rie Yokoyama, Yayoi Watanabe, Yôko Mihara

Votes: 3,063

11. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (1972)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

After spending a year in solitary confinement, Matsu escapes from prison with six more convicts, followed by the guards led by the vengeful warden who wants her dead at all costs.

Director: Shun'ya Itô | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Fumio Watanabe, Yukie Kagawa, Kayoko Shiraishi

Votes: 2,270

12. Sweet Sugar (1972)

R | 90 min | Action, Drama

Prostitute Sugar is set up by a corrupt politician. She is convinced of the futility of appealing her case in the courts and signs on to a chain gang run by the notorious Dr. John who ... See full summary »

Director: Michel Levesque | Stars: Phyllis Davis, Ellaraino, Timothy Brown, Pamela Collins

Votes: 493

13. Women in Chains (1972 TV Movie)

74 min | Drama

Female parole officer poses as an inmate in a women's prison in order to investigate murder, abuse and living conditions.

Director: Bernard L. Kowalski | Stars: Ida Lupino, Lois Nettleton, Jessica Walter, Belinda Montgomery

Votes: 132

14. Black Mama White Mama (1973)

R | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A black prostitute and a white revolutionary must form an uneasy alliance when they are busted out of prison and are pursued by guerrillas, bounty hunters and the army.

Director: Eddie Romero | Stars: Pam Grier, Margaret Markov, Sid Haig, Lynn Borden

Votes: 2,538

15. Women in Cell Block 7 (1973)

R | 81 min | Crime, Drama

A woman goes behind bars in order to save her father's life.

Director: Rino Di Silvestro | Stars: Anita Strindberg, Eva Czemerys, Jenny Tamburi, Cristina Gaioni

Votes: 198

16. The Bamboo House of Dolls (1973)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A nurse in a Japanese women's POW camp during World War II masterminds an escapee.

Director: Chih-Hung Kuei | Stars: Birte Tove, Lieh Lo, Hsieh Wang, Terry Liu

Votes: 434

17. Caged Heat (1974)

R | 83 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

In a women's prison, a group of inmates band together to combat the repressive and abusive policies of the warden.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Juanita Brown, Erica Gavin, Roberta Collins, Ella Reid

Votes: 2,019

18. Riot in a Women's Prison (1974)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama

Gorgeous young French tourist Martine gets arrested while on vacation in Italy. After being found guilty of a trumped-up drug possession charge, Martine finds herself incarcerated at a ... See full summary »

Director: Brunello Rondi | Stars: Martine Brochard, Marilù Tolo, Erna Schurer, Katia Christine

Votes: 124

19. Women Behind Bars (1975)

Not Rated | 75 min | Crime, Thriller

A small-time hood brings the attention of the law with an insurance scam and diamond theft, but things become even more interesting when his moll murders him and is slammed behind bars ... See full summary »

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Lina Romay, Martine Stedil, Nathalie Chape, Roger Darton

Votes: 509

20. True Story of a Woman in Jail: Sex Hell (1975)

Not Rated | 72 min | Drama

A group of beautiful young girls winds up in a juvenile hall because of their constantly getting in trouble with the law. The facility turns out to be a horrible place, where inmates are ... See full summary »

Director: Kôyû Ohara | Stars: Hitomi Kozue, Meika Seri, Maya Hiromi, Rie Ozawa

Votes: 72

22. Barbed Wire Dolls (1976)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

Women's prison tale, with Lina Romay as Maria who is jailed after killing her father, played by director Jess Franco, who tries to rape her. Lesbian wardens, torture, nudity, sex, insanity and conspiracy round out the formula.

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Lina Romay, Paul Muller, Monica Swinn, Roger Darton

Votes: 1,046

23. The Muthers (1976)

R | 83 min | Action, Drama

A band of female pirates go undercover at a prison camp on a coffee plantation to rescue their leader's sister.

Director: Cirio H. Santiago | Stars: Jeannie Bell, Rosanne Katon, Trina Parks, Jayne Kennedy

Votes: 404

24. Nightmare in Badham County (1976 TV Movie)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

During a road trip, two UCLA coeds end up in a Southern prison farm on trumped-up charges brought on by a small town sex-crazed corrupt sheriff.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Deborah Raffin, Lynne Moody, Chuck Connors, Fionnula Flanagan

Votes: 400

25. New True Story of Woman Condemned to Hell (1976)

67 min | Adult, Crime

After Mayumi kills her cheating man and his mistress she is on her way to prison. The hard time starts with a complimentary cavity search.

Director: Kôyû Ohara | Stars: Hitomi Kozue, Yuri Yamashina, Hiroshi Chô, Hisashi Kawamura

Votes: 26

26. Shin joshû Sasori: 701-gô (1976)

88 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Nami Matsushima's sister goes missing and after getting too caught up in doing something about it, Nami is given a fifteen year sentence for a murder she didn't commit. She's sent to an all women prison where she's not exactly welcome.

Director: Yutaka Kohira | Stars: Yumi Takigawa, Yûsuke Natsu, Yoko Konno, Ichirô Nakatani

Votes: 115

28. Tropical Inferno (1978)

Not Rated | 75 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Somewhere in the jungles of South America mercenaries stop a truck which has allegedly loaded fruit. The cargo turns out to be six young women. Apprehended and handed over to the custody of the local women's prison.

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Karine Gambier, Howard Vernon, Susan Hemingway, Aida Gouveia

Votes: 659

30. Jailhouse Wardress (1979)

75 min | Drama

After the fall of the Third Reich, all Nazi SS officers ran away in Latin American countries. There they created special laboratories to crate beautiful women for satisfaction of their ... See full summary »

Directors: Alain Deruelle, Jesús Franco | Stars: Didier Aubriot, Eugénie Laborde, Michael Bates, Monica Swinn

Votes: 113

31. Bare Behind Bars (1980)

X | 87 min | Crime, Drama

In a prison, women rebel against the guards' sadism and sexual abuse and decide to run away. Some manage to escape and are chased by the Police.

Director: Oswaldo de Oliveira | Stars: Maria Stella Splendore, Neide Ribeiro, Márcia Fraga, Danielle Ferrite

Votes: 801

32. Escape from Hell (1980)

93 min | Adventure, Crime, Thriller

A women's prison camp is located deep in the tropical rain forest. Sadistic guards and a warden from hell make life almost unbearable for the inmates, and any infraction of the rules is ... See full summary »

Director: Edoardo Mulargia | Stars: Anthony Steffen, Ajita Wilson, Cristina Lay, Cintia Lodetti

Votes: 430

33. Caged Women (1980)

Not Rated | 80 min | Adventure, Action

A bunch of delinquent women are shipped to an island prison run by the sadistic warden Carla. Forced into situations of sexual perversion and violence and torture, the prisoners band ... See full summary »

Director: Erwin C. Dietrich | Stars: Karine Gambier, Brigitte Lahaie, Nadine Pascal, France Lomay

Votes: 335

34. Human Experiments (1979)

R | 82 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

A demented prison doctor performs gruesome shock therapy experiments on inmates.

Director: Gregory Goodell | Stars: Linda Haynes, Geoffrey Lewis, Ellen Travolta, Lurene Tuttle

Votes: 415

35. Hotel Paradise (1980)

101 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Girls kept prisoner under appalling conditions to dig emeralds for an evil tyrant are rescued by revolutionaries disguised as soldiers.

Director: Edoardo Mulargia | Stars: Anthony Steffen, Ajita Wilson, Cristina Lay, Stelio Candelli

Votes: 221

36. Hellhole Women (1981)

Unrated | 67 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A newly-wed couple in love finds a seemingly desolate place to park the car and make love. Soon, they will face the fearsome warden Magda Urtado's cruel reality.

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Ajita Wilson, Andrea Guzon, Ursula Buchfellner, Antonio Mayans

Votes: 868

37. The Concrete Jungle (1982)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

When her slimy boyfriend Danny (Peter Brown) uses his unsuspecting girlfriend Elizabeth (Tracy Bregman) to carry a stash of cocaine in her skis, she is nabbed by airport security. After a ... See full summary »

Director: Tom DeSimone | Stars: Jill St. John, Tracey E. Bregman, BarBara Luna, June Barrett

Votes: 513

38. Amazon Jail (1982)

Not Rated | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Women have been lured to Edgar's white slave market somewhere in the Amazon jungle of Brazil with promises of work. Edgar and his bisexual partner keep the girls in a corral and bring them ... See full summary »

Director: Oswaldo de Oliveira | Stars: Elizabeth Hartmann, Maurício do Valle, Sandra Graffi, Lígia de Paula

Votes: 571

39. Ten Violent Women (1982)

R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A group of women miners get fed up with their lifestyle and decide to try crime. After successfully pulling off a jewelry store robbery, they fail to sell the jewelry and are forced to ... See full summary »

Director: Ted V. Mikels | Stars: Sherri Vernon, Dixie Lauren, Sally Alice Gamble, Georgia Morgan

Votes: 356

40. Violence in a Women's Prison (1982)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A human rights activist goes undercover in a prison to expose the corrupt officials who are mistreating the inmates. She discovers the abuse, torture and humiliation the prisoners are subjected to, which she also personally receives.

Director: Bruno Mattei | Stars: Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Maria Romano, Ursula Flores

Votes: 619

41. Caged Fury (1983)

R | 89 min | Crime, Drama

North American and Asian women are brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers in an evil Filipino POW camp

Director: Cirio H. Santiago | Stars: Bernadette Williams, Jennifer Lane, Taaffe O'Connell, Catherine March

Votes: 117

42. Chained Heat (1983)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Young Carol Henderson ends up in prison where she must learn how to survive in an environment plagued by violence, murder, rape, racism, drugs and staff corruption and brutality.

Director: Paul Nicholas | Stars: Linda Blair, John Vernon, Sybil Danning, Tamara Dobson

Votes: 1,985 | Gross: $6.15M

43. Women's Prison Massacre (1983)

Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Emanuelle, a reporter, comes just a little too close to exposing a corrupt official, and is sent to prison on trumped-up charges. In the prison, the inmates are constantly humiliated and ... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Mattei | Stars: Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Ursula Flores, Maria Romano

Votes: 793

44. Escape from Hellhole (1983)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Thriller

A Punjabi girl getting tricked into living with a big time pimp who abducts virgins and forces them to submit to his hymen busting ways.

Director: Maman Firmansyah | Stars: Gudi Sintara, Dicky Zulkarnaen, Siska Widowati, Ramli Ivar

Votes: 91

45. Randale (1983)

Not Rated | 100 min | Crime, Drama

Girls in a reform school are tormented violently by the headmistress . . . until they can take no more

Director: Manfred Purzer | Stars: Angelica Domröse, Jocelyne Boisseau, Konrad Georg, Michaela Feldmeier

Votes: 21