Kate Soffel is the wife of a Pittsburgh prison warden in 1901. They have four children. After several months of being sick in bed for no discernible reason that doctors can figure out, she suddenly regains her strength. She visits inmates to read Bible scripture to them and meets Ed Biddle and his brother Jack, both of whom may be innocent of the crimes that brought them here.
Mrs. Soffel falls in love with Ed and enables him and Jack to escape, smuggling bar-cutting blades to him at the prison. They go on the run together, with tragic results.
Mrs. Soffel is a 1984 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong, starring Diane Keaton and Mel Gibson and based on the story of condemned brothers Jack and Ed Biddle, who escaped prison with the aid of the warden’s wife, Kate Soffel.
It was filmed on location in and around the Serez family farm in Mulmer, Ontario, as well as Wisconsin (train sequences) and establishing shots in Pittsburgh. The jail sequences were filmed in both the Allegheny County Courthouse and old Allegheny County Jail. The film was entered in the 35th Berlin International Film Festival.
Mrs. Soffel (1984)
Directed by: Gillian Armstrong
Starring: Diane Keaton, Mel Gibson, Matthew Modine, Edward Herrmann, Trini Alvarado, Jennifer Dundas, Harley Cross, Maury Chaykin, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
Screenplay by: Ron Nyswaner
Production Design by: Luciana Arrighi
Cinematography by: Russell Boyd
Film Editing by: Nicholas Beauman
Costume Design by: Shay Cunliffe
Set Decoration by: Dan Conley, Hilton Rosemarin
Art Direction by: Roy Forge Smith
Music by: Mark Isham
Distributed by: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, United Artists
Release Date: December 26, 1984