IMDb > Hell's House (1932)

Hell's House (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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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

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6.4/10   550 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Howard Higgin (story)
Paul Gangelin (adaptation) ...
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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:
Worthwhile Material Helps Make Up for Weaknesses Elsewhere 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)

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

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

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Worthwhile Material Helps Make Up for Weaknesses Elsewhere, 16 December 2005
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

The worthwhile story material in this crime drama helps to make up for its weaknesses in other areas. In approaching the subject of juvenile crime, it doesn't present anything revolutionary or ground-breaking, but it does call attention to a few issues that are worth considering, such as the ways that young persons become involved in crime, and the priorities of the justice system in dealing with young offenders. The movie is also of some interest in having Bette Davis in one of her earliest screen roles.

Junior Durkin plays a young man who in all innocence becomes involved with a charismatic bootlegger during the days of prohibition. Jimmy (Durkin's character) is arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is sent to reform school, where things get worse. Some of the plot developments are not all that logical or plausible, but the story works in calling attention to the way that the young offenders are often treated simply as annoyances to be minimized, with insufficient attention given to constructive development.

Pat O'Brien is effective as the bootlegger, and Davis, though cast as a stock character, has a few good moments as his tough-minded girlfriend. The rest of the supporting cast, which features Charley Grapewin and Junior Coghlan, is solid, and the story moves at a good pace. Overall, it's a little above average for its time and genre, and it contains some ideas worth thinking about.

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