Women-in-Prison Movies

Lindsay Lohan
David McNew / AP

On July 20, 2010, Lindsay Lohan is to enter a California correctional center for having violated the terms of her probation. If the prison library has a good DVD collection, Lohan might borrow the following 10 films to see how Hollywood has portrayed life, and sometimes death, behind bars. For 80 years, women-in-prison (or WIP) movies have been a suppurating subgenre of the usually all-male prison melodrama. Sometimes ennobling, often lurid, they depict women as fighters, lovers and schemers. Most WIP films are of interest only to cultists of certain tastes. A few gave actresses the chance for high emoting they got nowhere else. But any one of these would probably be less depressing for Lohan to watch than her own Parent Trap or Mean Girls, made back when she was Hollywood's next big star.

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