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The film's working titles were Locked In and The Cage. Actress Sheila Stephens' surname is misspelled "Stevens" in the opening credits. According to contemporary sources, screenwriter Virginia Kellogg, a former newspaper reporter, spent several weeks in four of the country's worst women's penitentiaries in order to gather material for the screenplay. In three, she observed from the matron's quarters, but in the fourth, she was smuggled into a cell where she lived for two weeks, according to a May 14, 1950 Los Angeles Times article. The Variety review commented that the film's story was "based on actual prison life incidents." Eleanor Parker won an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for her portrayal of "Marie Allen;" Hope Emerson was nominated as Best Supporting Actress; and Kellogg and Bernard C. Schoenfeld's screenplay was also nominated for an Oscar.