7.2/10
1,293
20 user 21 critic

The Big House (1930)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 14 June 1930 (USA)
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 and dialogue), (additional dialogue) (as Joe Farnham) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Machine Gun 'Butch' Schmidt
...
Warden James Adams
...
Kent Marlowe
...
Anne Marlowe
...
Pop
J.C. Nugent ...
Mr. Marlowe
...
Olsen
...
Wallace
Matthew Betz ...
Gopher (as Mathew Betz)
...
Mrs. Marlowe
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Donlin (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
...
Uncle Jed (scenes deleted)
Tom Wilson ...
Sandy
Eddie Foyer ...
Dopey
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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!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 June 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big House  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tanks used in the film were WWI-era M1917 or French Renault FT light tanks of the 40th Tank Company of the California National Guard from Salinas, California - part of the U.S. Army's 40th Infantry Division. 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

Warden: [to Kent] And remember, this prison does not give a man a yellow streak, but if he has one, it brings it out.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Holes (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ring the Bells of Heaven
(1866) (uncredited)
Music by George Frederick Root
Words by William O. Cushing
Sung by the Prisoners in Chapel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Film Classic
23 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It was hard for me to believe that this film story was written by a female named Francis Marion who had studied prison life at San Quentin. Chester Morris plays the role as a con named John Morgan and is good friends with Butch Schmidt, (Wallace Berry) who is a hard nose prisoner with lots of power and connections among the other prison mates. Robert Montgomery, (Kent Marlowe) is a man who comes from a rich family, however, Kent is a weak minded guy or you could also call him a stool pigeon. There is a big prison break scene with all kinds of bullets flying all over the place and machine guns blasting away. Even the National Guard is call to action in one of the worst prison breaks I have ever seen. This is a great film with great actors and an outstanding Classic Film from 1930.


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