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Hell's House (1932)

 |  Drama  |  30 January 1932 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 611 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 15 critic

Jimmy idolizes bootlegger Matt, and when he refuses to implicate his friend, he is sent to reform school. He befriends Shorty, a boy with a heart condition, and escapes to let the world know about the brutal conditions.

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Title: Hell's House (1932)

Hell's House (1932) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Matt Kelly
Junior Durkin ...
Jimmy Mason (as Junior Dirkin)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ...
Shorty (as Junior Coughlin)
Emma Dunn ...
Emma Clark
...
Henry Clark (as Charles Grapewin)
Morgan Wallace ...
Frank Gebhardt
Hooper Atchley ...
Captain of the Guard
Wallis Clark ...
Judge Robinson (as Wallace Clark)
James A. Marcus ...
Superintendant Charles Thompson (as James Marcus)
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Storyline

Jimmy Mason idolizes bootlegger Matt Kelly who is dating Peggy. Unwilling to squeal on his idol, Jimmy winds up in a cruel reformatory where a new- found friend is dying from abuse. Jimmy escapes to report the abuse. Matt and Peggy help him once he has escaped. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

30 January 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juvenile Court  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Peggy Gardner: If you'd give the kid a chance, Kelly, he might amount to something, instead of always thinking about yourself.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in All About Bette (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fresh Off the Farm
28 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Stars Pat O'Brien and Bette Davis have not near as much time as juvenile actor Junior Durkin in this one. It's another sociological drama from Warner Brothers about juvenile crime.

Junior Durkin is fresh off the farm in every sense of the word. The film opens up with Junior's Mom killed by a hit and run driver. Junior goes off to the big city to live with uncle and aunt Charley Grapewin and Emma Dunn.

They have conman boarder in Pat O'Brien and Junior falls for his spiel, hook, line, and sinker. O'Brien's a bootlegger and when his warehouse is raided, Junior takes the fall because he won't rat out his pal.

Junior goes to reform school where the conditions kind of open up his naive young eyes a crack. I think you can figure the rest of the plot.

Granted that things were more innocent back then even in Hollywood before the Code. But I have to believe that even audiences in 1932 had trouble believing this kid could be that naive. Also the beginning scene was totally unnecessary with Mom being killed. That storyline was left hanging. I was waiting for the driver to be caught and dealt with and he never was. Bad editing to say the least.

Warner Brothers got things a whole lot better with James Cagney in The Mayor of Hell the following year and then in a whole series of films with The Dead End Kids. Bette Davis is totally wasted on a thankless role.


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