IMDb > Hell's House (1932)

Hell's House (1932) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Hell's House -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
6.4/10   544 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Howard Higgin (story)
Paul Gangelin (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Hell's House on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 January 1932 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A Young Davis and O'Brien See more (13 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bette Davis ... Peggy Gardner

Pat O'Brien ... Matt Kelly
Junior Durkin ... Jimmy Mason (as Junior Dirkin)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Shorty (as Junior Coughlin)
Emma Dunn ... Emma Clark

Charley Grapewin ... 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)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Mary Alden ... Lucy Mason (uncredited)
Sherwood Bailey ... Boy at Trial (uncredited)
James P. Burtis ... Detective (uncredited)
Dick Curtis ... Cop on the Beat (uncredited)
Lew Hicks ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Earle Hodgins ... Joe - Street Cop (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ... Detective (uncredited)
Everett Sullivan ... Doctor (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Howard Higgin 
 
Writing credits
Howard Higgin (story)

Paul Gangelin (adaptation and screenplay) &
B. Harrison Orkow (adaptation and screenplay)

Produced by
B.F. Zeidman .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Allen G. Siegler  (as Allan G. Siegler)
 
Film Editing by
Edward Schroeder 
 
Art Direction by
Edward C. Jewell  (as Edward Jewell)
 
Production Management
Harvey C. Leavitt .... production manager
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Juvenile Court" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
Runtime:
72 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Certification:

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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in All About Bette (1994) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A Young Davis and O'Brien, 29 August 2009
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY

Hell's House (1932)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Low-budget crime/melodrama is best remembered for the early views of Pat O'Brien and Bette Davis. In the film, a young boy (Junior Durkin) moves to New York after the death of his mother where he quickly looks up to Matt (O'Brien). What the boy doesn't know is that Matt is a bootlegger and he ends up taking the rap for a crime and sent to an abusive reform school. The boy is trapped there unless Matt can grow some guts and admit that he is the one who should be behind bars. This film beat the Warner/James Cagney drama THE MAYOR OF HELL into theaters by nearly a year so I'm curious if this is one of those small studios hearing about a major studios work and then trying to race a finished product into theaters. The film certainly comes off that way because it has the structure of a decent drama but everything seems so rushed that they forgot to add any heart or soul. The movie is pretty flat, especially compared to the Cagney film and its several remakes, because we really don't see too much here. This reform school is suppose to be "hell's house" yet we hardly ever see any of the abuse or torments that the boys are going through. O'Brien's character is underwritten pretty badly as is his girlfriend played by Davis. The two actors are the main reason to see the film because they both come off very likable. O'Brien gets to shine in the role of the bad guy with a heart and it's easy to see why Warner signed him up. Davis doesn't come off as good but it's fun seeing a legend pay her dues. Durkin also does pretty good in his role but I thought he was a lot more believable in his "country boy" state early in the film rather than the hero at the end.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (13 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Hell's House (1932)

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
School for Girls The Kite Runner Angela's Ashes The Little Red Schoolhouse Crime School
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.