Jail tales from movies, real life -- maybe one begets the other

Celebrity News

May 16, 2007|By Liz Smith | Liz Smith,Tribune Media Services

KEEP HER file open. She'll be back."

So said Agnes Moorehead as the warden in Caged, the 1950 women's prison melodrama. She was watching Eleanor Parker swaggering out to freedom and a life of prostitution.

Folks, when this movie comes around again on TCM, don't fail to catch it. It's sordid and realistic even by today's standards. Lee Patrick as the incarcerated but pampered "vice queen" and Hope Emerson as the sadistic matron who shaves Parker's head are only part of the fun.

Today you can pick up Susanna Moore's The Big Girls, a new novel about women behind bars. Even though the author never indicates who is speaking in this fiction, you finally figure it out. It's quite a story.

Jail time

The low gossip hum surrounding Paris Hilton continues, though it is Lindsay Lohan's rumored fall off the wagon that has most tongues wagging.

Miss Hilton was puffy-eyed and "fragile" at the recent Brent Shapiro Foundation for Drug Awareness benefit in Hollywood. Hilton did not walk the red carpet, and appeared uncharacteristically subdued. Though she clutched a Chanel handbag, her ever-present BlackBerry was not glued to its usual place on her ear.

Infamous Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss has reportedly offered Paris some tricks on surviving behind bars.

Oh, all Paris needs to do is watch the above-mentioned Caged. Hey, the times are ripe for a new women's prison movie. Paris might emerge with a hit concept on her hands. I see John Waters directing.

We forgive you

Can we wait for the coming TV movie version of the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith?

Willa Ford plays Anna and Patrick Ryan Anderson appears as her son, Daniel. You might know Patrick from the series Hannah Montana. Patrick says, "I really didn't want Daniel to come off as a drug addict. I don't think that was the case, even though his mom was a mess. I tried not to copy and paste from media circus reports. He was shy and introverted, mature beyond his years on some levels. It was a challenge to portray him responsibly, but I think I did."

Listen, Patrick, we're not going to hold this against you. Or you either, Willa.

Stand against genocide

Producer Jerry Weintraub and the stellar cast of his coming Ocean's Thirteen are using their clout to do good deeds in a naughty world. Weintraub and George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle have formed a charity, Not On Our Watch, whose mission is to end genocide in Darfur. The group will host a grand fete in Cannes for the film's premiere. Openings in Las Vegas and Chicago will also benefit the organization.

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