MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 10,994 this week

The Big House (1930)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance | Thriller  -  14 June 1930 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 993 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 17 critic

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors:

(as George Hill) , (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 512 titles
created 07 Dec 2011
 
a list of 7096 titles
created 03 Jan 2012
 
a list of 512 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 38 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big House (1930)

The Big House (1930) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big House.
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Morgan
...
Butch
Lewis Stone ...
Warden
...
Kent
...
Anne
George F. Marion ...
Pop
J.C. Nugent ...
Mr. Marlowe
Karl Dane ...
Olsen
DeWitt Jennings ...
Wallace
Matthew Betz ...
Gopher (as Mathew Betz)
Claire McDowell ...
Mrs. Marlowe
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Donlin (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Tom Kennedy ...
Uncle Jed (scenes deleted)
Tom Wilson ...
Sandy
Eddie Foyer ...
Dopey
Edit

Storyline

After a manslaughter conviction from drunk driving, nice but foolish Kent is sent to a prison over-crowded and unable to properly deal with it's inmates. There he meets veteran criminals like Morgan and his hardened pal Butch. And the system punishes them all, turning them against each other and bringing out the worst. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Timely! Tremendous! Thrilling! Drama of Love and a Jail-Break!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 June 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big House  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Frances Marion toured prison facilities and interviewed prisoners and prison personnel to research her screenplay. See more »

Goofs

When Anne comes to visit Kent at the prison, and he walks up and says 'Hi sis,' the shadow of the microphone falls across her. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: Who, me?
See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Menschen hinter Gittern (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Goin' Home
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
from Second Movement (Largo) in Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World", Op.95, B.178 (1893)
Lyrics by William Arms Fisher (1922)
Sung offscreen by an unidentified prisoner in solitary
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Crashing Out
5 October 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Even after 77 years, The Big House is still the grand daddy of all prison films. Though films like Shawshank Redemption and a personal favorite of mine, Brubaker, with no Code restrictions can be a lot more graphic, still The Big House will shock as well as entertain.

Wallace Beery got a Best Actor nomination for being hardened killer Butch Schmidt who's a lifer in the state penitentiary. He and cell mate Chester Morris have a new man in their little abode in the person of a young Robert Montgomery.

Montgomery's only a kid, but he's done a man size crime of manslaughter in a vehicular homicide where he was no doubt good and sloshed on prohibition rotgut. Montgomery is a weakling in a place where that's not a good thing.

All the clichés about prison films really do start here, culminating in the final crash-out where a whole lot of people get themselves killed. It's a scene well staged, very similar to the breakout in Brute Force.

As the story progresses you'll see plot elements from Brute Force and from Warner Brothers Each Dawn I Die. The cast does a marvelous job and that also includes Lewis Stone as a Judge Hardy like warden.

If you like prison films, this one's the grand daddy of them all.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
WHAT HAPPENED TO KARL DANE? PATRICK1962
Urgent need for DVD release rndicenso
Warner now selling this DVD exclusively on their webpage simonhowson
Lon Chaney gilbert1926
Scene with a coal/mining car? chris-865-646539
Discuss The Big House (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?