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prisons The Best Women In Prison Movies  

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List Rules Vote for your personal favorite Women in prison films films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

A list of all the best women in prison movies ever made. The movies on this list of women in prison films have two things in common: they have scenes taken place in prison and there happen to be women in those prisons. This list contains the best women in prison movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films This women in prison films movie list can be sorted alphabetically, by director, by year and more, but is currently ordered from best to worst. Make this one count by downvoting the worst movies on this list.

These are the top films that take place primarily in a women's prison. The genre may not be as large as other, but there are still plenty of great movies about women and girls going to jail. While the setting and the characters may be different than typical movies that take place in prison, female prison movies still share many of the same motiffs and themes of the genre in general. 

What's better, Escape from Hell or Women in Cellblock 9? The films on this list cover the most famous female prison movies.  If we missed any movies that feature women how are incarcerated on this list, please add them to the list yourself. 

Whether you're at home and want to watch these women in prison movies on DVD, streaming Blu-ray or streaming, or if you're seeing them in theaters for the first time, this is a list of good women in prison movies that can be helpful in either situation to see where they all stack up. So from the latest, to the greatest women in prison movies, here is the full women in prison movies list, ordered from best to worst.
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The Big Doll House


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An American woman (Pam Grier) is convicted of murder in the Philippines and sentenced to a grim women’s prison in the jungle, where she and the other prisoners rise up against an abusive and sadistic warden. ...more

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Actors: Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Christiane Schmidtmer, Jack Davis Roberta Collins, + more

Initial Release: 1971

Directed by: Jack Hill

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Women in Cellblock 9


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Women in Cellblock 9 is a 1977 Swiss film directed by Spanish director Jesus Franco, starring Howard Vernon and Karine Gambier. Its main theme is women in prison. Unlike most of Franco's work this remains banned in the United Kingdom due to large amounts of sexual violence, and as one of the lead ...more

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Actors: Howard Vernon

Initial Release: 1977

Directed by: Jesús Franco

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Caged Fury


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Caged Fury is a 1989 women in prison film about a group of prisoners who decide to escape from an all-female prison. The film was directed by Bill Milling, and stars Erik Estrada and James Hong. ...more

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Actors: Janine Lindemulder, Ron Jeremy, Erik Estrada, Jack Carter James Hong, + more

Initial Release: 1989

Directed by: Bill Milling

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The Big Bird Cage


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The Big Bird Cage is a 1972 exploitation film of the "women in prison" subgenre. It serves as a non-sequel follow-up to the 1971 film The Big Doll House. The film was written and directed by Jack Hill, and stars Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Anitra Ford, and Carol Speed. ...more

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Actors: Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Anitra Ford, Marissa Delgado Vic Díaz, + more

Initial Release: 1972

Directed by: Jack Hill

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Ladies They Talk About is a 1933 Pre-Code American crime drama directed by Howard Bretherton and William Keighley, and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, and Lyle Talbot. Based on the play Women in Prison by Dorothy Mackaye and Carlton Miles, the film is about an attractive woman who is a ...more

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Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Lillian Roth, Preston Foster, Maude Eburne Lyle Talbot, + more

Initial Release: 1933

Directed by: Howard Bretherton, William Keighley

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#29 on The Best Movies With Talk in the Title

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Affinity


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This delicious period piece, based on Sarah Waters’ 1999 novel of the same name, is a women-in-prison movie with a gothic Victorian twist. Upper-class Margaret (Anna Madeley), mourning her father’s recent death and looking for diversion, goes to Millbank Prison as a “Lady Visitor” — presumably to ...more

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Actors: Anna Massey, Amanda Plummer, Nickolas Grace, Anne Reid Sarah Crowden, + more

Initial Release: 2008

Directed by: Tim Fywell

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Prison-A-Go-Go!


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Prison-A-Go-Go! is an American film first released in October 2003 by WorldWide International Picture Studios, known for producing low budget B-movies with campy concepts. The film premiered at the Deep Ellum Film Festival in 2003 and went on to win several awards. The film was directed by Barak ...more

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Actors: Lauren Graham, Rhonda Shear, Mary Woronov, Laura Bailey Lloyd Kaufman, + more

Initial Release: 2003

Directed by: Barak Epstein

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Escape from Hell


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Escape from Hell is a 1980 thriller film distributed by Troma Entertainment. ...more

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Actors: Ajita Wilson, Anthony Steffen, Luciano Pigozzi, Robert Spafford Serafino Profumo, + more

Initial Release: 1980

Directed by: Edward G. Muller

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