7.2/10
1,353
22 user 22 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 »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Disraeli (1929)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Prime Minister of Great Britain Benjamin Disraeli outwits the subterfuge of the Russians and chicanery at home in order to secure the purchase of the Suez Canal.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: George Arliss, Doris Lloyd, David Torrence
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane
Min and Bill (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Min, the owner of a dockside hotel, is forced to make difficult decisions about the future of Nancy, the young woman she took in as an infant.

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Jordan
The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
The Racket (1928)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost
Union Depot (1932)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Travelers of different and varied backgrounds meet and interact on one night in a metropolitan train station and its environs.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee
Midnight Mary (1933)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez
East Lynne (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The refined Lady Isabel Carlisle, after leaving her family and enduring nearly a decade of hardships, learns that her son has fallen ill. Despite being nearly blinded as the result of an explosion, she returns home to see her son again.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Ann Harding, Clive Brook, Conrad Nagel
Bordertown (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Margaret Lindsay
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Arthur Byron
Edit

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
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!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Montgomery and Chester Morris also appeared in The Divorcee (1930), another of that year's Best Film nominees. See more »

Goofs

The position of Wallace Beery'd head in relation to the wall in the letter sequence with Morris. See more »

Quotes

John Morgan: What happens when you get through the inner gate?
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: We crash that outer gate and there's a car waitin' outside.
John Morgan: When does it come off?
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: Thanksgiving day. Noon. Most of the screws go to turkey dinner. We'll give 'em a belly full.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fade to Black (1980) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?