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The Best Movies About Women In Prison

Updated January 15, 2021 703 votes 514 voters 235.7k views54 items

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

Women in prison films or WiP movies are an explotation genre that has been around since the beginning of film as medium.  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 motifs 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.

  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    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 Epstein and starred Mary Woronov and Rhonda Shear. The film is an homage/parody of women in prison films....  more
    • Actors: Lauren Graham, Rhonda Shear, Mary Woronov, Laura Bailey, Lloyd Kaufman
    • Released: 2003
    • Directed by: Barak Epstein
  • Chained Heat is a 1983 exploitation film in the women-in-prison genre. It was co-written and directed by Paul Nicholas for Jensen Farley Pictures....  more
    • Actors: Stella Stevens, Linda Blair, Sybil Danning, Robert Miano, Tamara Dobson
    • Released: 1983
    • Directed by: Paul Nicholas
  • Caged Heat is an exploitation film from 1974 of the "women-in-prison" film genre. It was written and directed by Jonathan Demme for New World Pictures, headed by Roger Corman. The film stars Juanita Brown, Roberta Collins, Erica Gavin, Ella Reid, Rainbeaux Smith, and Barbara Steele. John Cale wrote and performed its soundtrack music, which features the guitar playing of Mike Bloomfield. Two later features, Caged Heat II: Stripped of Freedom and Caged Heat 3000, made use of the Caged Heat name and the women-in-prison situation, but are unrelated films....  more
    • Actors: Barbara Steele, Desireé Cousteau, Gary Goetzman, Roberta Collins, Rainbeaux Smith
    • Released: 1974
    • Directed by: Jonathan Demme
  • Black Mama White Mama is a 1973 women in prison film with elements of blaxploitation, starring Pam Grier and Margaret Markov, and directed by Eddie Romero. The film is also known as Women in Chains, Chained Women and Hot, Hard and Mean....  more
    • Actors: Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Eddie Garcia, Margaret Markov, Lotis Key
    • Released: 1972
    • Directed by: Eddie Romero

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