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Sadistic warden trope
Related: Ilsa - lesbian - nunsploitation - prison - sadism - trope - women in prison films
Maggie Kirkpatrick as "The Freak" in Prisoner
image sourced here.
Maggie Kirkpatrick, born 29 January 1941 is an Australian actress best known for her portrayal of Joan Ferguson, a sadistic and corrupt lesbian prison officer known to the prisoners as "The Freak" in the popular Australian television soap opera, Prisoner. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Kirkpatrick [Jul 2005]
The sadistic warden stock character
- Having studied at the Marquis De Sade School of Prison Management, most warden's ideas of prisoner rehabilitation involves tight restraints, a variety-fun assortment of whips, and maybe a nice dry sherry afterwards. And yet somehow these people still get hired to manage large penal institutions where they promptly go mad (if they weren't crazy to begin with) and start running the place like their own private sadist theme park.
Now and then the Warden will be of the reform minded do-gooder type; a well meaning but clueless person newly arrived at the prison. This is skating periously close to the WIP pic's prehistoric ancestor, the Prison Drama. But on those rare occasions where the Warden is a goodie-goodie, sadism duty can easily be handed off to the Sadistic Guard; a venial, corrupt snake who gleefully torments the prisoners behind the clueless warden's back.
The Sadistic Warden/Guard can be either male or female, but most of them are women. If female, she's invariably a lesbian. If male, he's usually Vic Diaz. In The Big Doll House we get both a Sadistic Warden of the "Jeckyl & Hyde" stripe, played by zaftig Swiss bombshell Christiane Schmidtmer, and a Sadistic Guard, played with venomous glee by Katheryn Loder.
Aside from tormenting their charges for fun and profit, the greedy Sadistic Warden/Guard is usually running some kind of nefarious criminal racket. This can include selling the prisoner's drugs, forcing them into prostitution (a favorite), hiring them out as mimes, making them vote Republican, and other horrors. When this is the case, you can be sure that the Innocent Newbie will soon be slathered in white face and doing bimbo-walking-against-the-wind by the end of the third reel. --http://alansmithee.5u.com/intro/bars/bars.html [Jul 2005]
The set up of prison hero as rebellious Cowboy isreinforced by another trope of prison film: the abusive corrections officer. The sadistic warden personifies the oppressive nature of the carceral institution, often taking the prisonsí assault on freedom, individuality and humanity to another level.Incarcerations officers try to break prisonersí spirits. They interfere in prison life, arecorrupt and often prey on weaker inmates. At times, the entire plot of a prison film catalogues the protagonistís fight against a sadistic warden (The Last Castle (dir. Rod Lurie, 2001) and Murder in the First, (dir. Marc Rocco, 1995). --Terrie Schauer, Journal for Crime, Conflict and the Media 1 (3) 28-42ISSN 1741 1580 http://www.jc2m.co.uk/Issue3/Schauer.pdf [Jul 2005]
Unidentified photography of Monica Swinn.
Photography sourced here.
http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0842737/ [Dec 2005]
See also: actress - sadistic warden trope
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