Ladies of the Big House (1931)

 |  Drama  |  26 December 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 52 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 4 critic

On their Wedding day, Kathleen and Standish McNeil are followed home by Kid Athens, (a wanted murderer), and Policeman Martin French (sent to get Kathleen as a witness). Athens shoots ... See full summary »



(play), (additional dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Raymond ...
Standish McNeil
Wynne Gibson ...
Susie Thompson
Earle Foxe ...
Kid Athens
Rockliffe Fellowes ...
Martin Doremus
Purnell Pratt ...
John Hartman
Frank Sheridan ...
Warden Hecker
Louise Beavers ...
Miriam Goldina ...
Maria - The Mexican
Hilda Vaughn ...
Fritzi Ridgeway ...
Reno Maggie
Esther Howard ...
Clara Newman
Edna Bennett ...
The Countess
Ruth Lyons ...
Mrs. Turner


On their Wedding day, Kathleen and Standish McNeil are followed home by Kid Athens, (a wanted murderer), and Policeman Martin French (sent to get Kathleen as a witness). Athens shoots French and tosses a gun, engraved with "with love" next to French's body. This sets up Kathleen (once a moll for Athen's) and Standish as the murderers. Eager Assistant Attorney John Hartman, who works for Athens, manipulates the jury to a guilty verdict. Standish (Mac) is sent to death row and Kathleen to a violent Woman's Prison. She's befriended by Ivory and Maria, but is viciously treated by inmate, Susie Thompson, a former moll of Athens before Kathleen. Kathleen discovers that her appeal has been denied and decides to escape with pregnant inmate, Maria. Kathleen is allowed a visit with Mac (Standish) and tells him of her plan to escape and tell the world of their innocence. Maria is shot while trying to cut the fence. Kathleen's getaway boat is smashed and she's recaptured... Written by Kelly

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Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Almas Cativas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Remade as Women Without Names (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

30 May 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Flower shop girl Sidney has the bad luck to have a vicious hoodlum fall for her in a big way. When she prefers Raymond, the hood has them both framed for murder. Some powerful moments when they're allowed to see each other for a few brief moments in the penitentiary not long before he's to be executed, and it turns out that the meeting been arranged merely to give a tabloid a photo op. The conventions of "the big house" story seem to have been already firmly established by 1931: the snitch with the facial tic, the girl with phony society airs, the tough gal, the big break, the heavy-set matron (Jane Darwell, unbilled), Beavers as a friendly "hot music" loving mama. The story, the characterizations, the writing, all have the familiarity of the mid-thirties; solid entertainment, but not with the freshness found in so many pre-Code films.

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