IMDb > The Big House (1930)
The Big House
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The Big House (1930) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   1,021 votes »
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Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Frances Marion (story)
Joseph Farnham (additional dialogue) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Big House on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 June 1930 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Timely! Tremendous! Thrilling! Drama of Love and a Jail-Break!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(35 articles)
User Reviews:
Crashing Out See more (18 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Chester Morris ... Morgan

Wallace Beery ... Butch
Lewis Stone ... Warden

Robert Montgomery ... Kent

Leila Hyams ... 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
Roscoe Ates ... Putnam (as Rosco Ates)
Fletcher Norton ... Oliver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Noah Beery Jr. ... Convict in Yard (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Inmate (uncredited)
Ethan Laidlaw ... Trustee (uncredited)
Eddie Lambert ... Inmate (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Convict in Yard (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin ... Inmate (uncredited)
Louis Natheaux ... Morgan's Lawyer (uncredited)
Charles O'Malley ... Inmate (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto ... Inmate (uncredited)
Adolph Seidel ... Prison Barber (uncredited)
Michael Vavitch ... Inmate (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Inmate #46375 (uncredited)
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Directed by
George W. Hill  (as George Hill)
Ward Wing (additional director) (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Frances Marion (story and dialogue)

Joseph Farnham (additional dialogue) (as Joe Farnham) and
Martin Flavin (additional dialogue)

Produced by
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Harold Wenstrom (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Blanche Sewell (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harry Sharrock .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Robert Shirley .... recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
David Cox .... wardrobe by
 
Music Department
William Axt .... composer: title music (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:87 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Finland:(Banned) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Writer Frances Marion toured prison facilities and interviewed prisoners and prison personnel to research her screenplay.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The position of Wallace Beery'd head in relation to the wall in the letter sequence with Morris.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Chicago (2002)See more »
Soundtrack:
Goin' HomeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Crashing Out, 5 October 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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.

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See more (18 total) »

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Scene with a coal/mining car? chris-865-646539
Warner now selling this DVD exclusively on their webpage simonhowson
Urgent need for DVD release rndicenso
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Just saw it (spoilers) profprimbud
Lon Chaney gilbert1926
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