The sign of honesty upon the work is given in the men’s room of the title’s minimum-security prison, where an undercover FBI agent calls headquarters and asks to speak to the director, who walks on-camera and praises the actor’s believability.
The rehabilitation program at Club Fed is so successful that a felonious swindler not only turns straight businessman, he begins a new life as a woman (Allen Garfield in a beard). The Motown preacher (Sherman Hemsley) without a fig leaf of respectability, who answers a confession of sin with, “Haven’t we all!”, lives happily ever after with the tycoon, satirically reformed in just the hopeful way the warden (Burt Young) wins marathons in his perennial flight from justice after attempting to finagle millions out of the institution.
Even the FBI Director (Joseph Campanella) tries to get a piece of the action, only to have his mother write his memoirs when he’s behind bars. Georgia O’Keeffe and The Horse’s Mouth get a subtle send-up at an art auction of giant sculptural feet that fetch a low price at first, until the auctioneer says, “I want you to look at these feet!”
Judy Landers and Karen Black play a blonde of angelical dumbness and a brunette of hellish bitchiness, respectively.