Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Bad Grrrl Cinema: Vintage Poster

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | May 26, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: B movies, bad girls in movies, lesbian interest, sexploitation

I'd like to know what's going on with the two women in the upper left corner. They don't look like they're just whispering secrets, they look like they're about to share one.

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Lynn Miller | May 26, 2011 9:41 PM

Believe it or not, this movie was reviewed by the New York Times!

Here are a couple paragraphs from the 500 word essay:

Against the background of a correctional institution for girls in France, the director plays out a harsh story of human misery, of the corrupting atmosphere in which the girls pay for their offenses to society—crimes that range from murder to prostitution—and their violent rebellion against a martinet directress. Into this dark tapestry of depravity and disillusionment M. Duvivier has woven a luminous romance that burns brightly in the memory of a newly arrived inmate and kindles sympathy and respect in the hardened hearts of the others.

Although it is unsatisfactory in many ways, "The Sinners" has a lot more vitality than most French films that have arrived here in recent months. Duvivier's handling of the riot sequences throb with excitement as the girls run screaming down the corridors, break open bottles of wine they find in the storeroom and march ominously on the room in which the directress has barricaded herself. On the other hand, Duvivier has not made the most out of the sequences where a rain swollen river leaps over its banks and floods the village, trapping a church full of people on Christmas morning.
http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9E0DE5D71738E73ABC4952DFB767838B649EDE

It sounds rather exciting.

Sadly for us (and perhaps for her), the hero who rescues sweet and innocent Maria is of the male persuasion. Still, who knew that the French were producing women-in-prison exploitation films 20 years before their US heyday?