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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   1,214 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 20% 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 »
User Reviews:
Time has shrunk Big House slightly. See more (19 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)

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)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Reggie Lanning .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
David Cox .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
William Axt .... composer: title music (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
The Director, George Hill, was married, at that time, to the film's screenwriter, Frances Marion.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:
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt:[to Morgan] Say, listen. Don't let the guys know you've gone straight. They used to have a lot of respect for you.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Fade to Black (1980)See more »
Soundtrack:
Ring the Bells of HeavenSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Time has shrunk Big House slightly., 6 June 2009
Author: st-shot from United States

The archetype prison break picture may show it's age but it has some decent action scenes, good performances and an oppressive and intimidating setting that enables it to retain a creaky toughness.

Imprisoned after being convicted of a drunk driving, death resulting charge privileged Kent Marlowe (Robert Montgomery) finds himself in an inhuman environment of an overcrowded prison. There he meets the likes of hardened criminals Machine Gun Schmidt (Wally Beery) and cell mate John Morgan (Chester Morris) who attempts to teach him the ropes. Marlowe in turn sets up Morgan causing him to be denied parole. Morgan is forced to go over the wall but is recaptured and returned just in time to participate in a major break out.

Some of the Big House is downright preposterous with stilted dialog and lame brain logic but Beery and Morris come across well as pretty tough mugs and Montgomery's Marlowe is a suitably craven rat. There's a bravura prison riot at the tail end of the film that is well edited and suspenseful pitting Beery against the warden played by Lewis Stone who refuses to meet inmate demands and stoically responds to the threat of hostage sacrifice by calling in tanks. In its own way and especially in its time The Big House is as uncompromisingly tough as the warden.

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See more (19 total) »

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WHAT HAPPENED TO KARL DANE? PATRICK1962
Scene with a coal/mining car? chris-865-646539
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