Nightmare in Badham County

Nightmare in Badham County is a 1976 ABC TV women-in-prison film directed by John Llewellyn Moxey and starring Chuck Connors, Deborah Raffin and Lynne Moody.[2] The film was so popular in China that it was released in cinemas and Raffin became the first Western actress to make a promotional tour of the country, after which she became an unofficial ambassador helping China make deals with Hollywood.[3]

Nightmare in Badham County
Written byJo Heims
Directed byJohn Llewellyn Moxey[1]
StarringChuck Connors
Deborah Raffin
Robert Reed
Fionnula Flanagan
Tina Louise
Theme music composerCharles Bernstein
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Douglas S. Cramer
Producer(s)Wilford Lloyd Baumes
Herb Wallerstein (associate producer)
Production location(s)Carrolton, Mississippi
Greenwood, Mississippi
CinematographyFrank Stanley
Editor(s)Carroll Sax
Running time100 min
Production company(s)ABC Circle Films
Original networkABC
Original releaseNovember 5, 1976 (1976-11-05)

Plot summary

Two young women, Cathy Phillips (Deborah Raffin) and Diane Emery (Lynne Moody) get engine car trouble in a small town.[4] When they spurn the sheriff Slim Danen's (Chuck Connors) advances, they are thrown in prison on false accusations, where they endure atrocities at the hands of the administrators and prison guards.[2] All hope seems lost unless the women find a way to escape.[1]


While driving, Cathy and Diane's car get a flat tire, forcing them to get it replaced; however, they get into a confrontation with prison sheriff Slim Danen and are arrested after refusing to give in to him.[1][2] After being found guilty on false charges in a kangaroo court, the two are taken to a local women's farm labor prison, where they learn from an inmate named Sara that the prisoners' lives there are completely and exceedingly harsh; they are not only treated like labored slaves, but also exposed to cruel and sexual torture and mistreatment daily.[1][2]

They soon realize that the only way to set themselves and all the other prisoners free is to escape undetected and unharmed.[2]


Chuck ConnorsSheriff Slim Danen
Deborah RaffinCathy Phillips
Fionnula FlanaganDulcie
Robert ReedSupt. Dancer
Lana WoodSmitty
Tina LouiseGreer
Lynne MoodyDiane Emery
Ralph BellamyJudge
Leslie AlbersWaitress
Della ReeseSara


  • Nightmare in Badham County on IMDb
  • McKee, Mike (2008-10-23). "Two Young Girls In A Women's Prison". Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot (Blog). - Review/Discussion of the film and its place in the 1970s 'Women in Prison' fad.
  • "Review: Nightmare in Badham County". Video Boom (YouTube). 2014-11-11. - Video review of the film.

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