When young Danny Lambert runs away from camp in south-central Colorado, he becomes the object of a park-wide-search by his wealthy father Robertson Lambert. He is found by Jerry Barker and ... See full summary »
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Kenneth G. Crane
A Rebel vet, O'Meara has refused to surrender when Lee does at Appomatox. O'Meara travels west and after escaping from, he joins the Sioux and takes a wife. After denouncing himself as an ... See full summary »
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A Los Angeles high-school teacher's problems begin when he happens to witness a gangland killing and agrees to identify the murderers. Not realizing this will cause the underworld to retaliate "big time".
Gene Fowler Jr.
When young Danny Lambert runs away from camp in south-central Colorado, he becomes the object of a park-wide-search by his wealthy father Robertson Lambert. He is found by Jerry Barker and told to wait at an abandoned look-out tower while he goes for help. Instead, Barker calls the father and demands $200,000 ransom. The money is delivered and Barker buries most of it. Meanwhile, the panicky boy has fallen from the tower to his death, and Barker drops the body off a cliff. The FBI, led by James Madden, capture Barker but can't convict him of kidnapping and he is given only five years for extortion and sent to Casabel Island Prison. There he is assigned a cell with Rollo Lambar, Alamo Smith, Benny Kelly and Machine Gun Mason. The FBI have now traced an affiliation between Barker and Emily Evans, a nurse at Danny's camp. The five cell-mates, led by Rollo, who plans to kill Benny and dress him in Barker's clothes to throw off the police, execute an underwater prison escape, and head ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The early 1950's witnessed a number of high profile kidnappings of wealthy offspring, the most notorious being the Greenlease grab in Kansas City for which the perpetrators were executed and the arresting detectives jailed for stealing the ransom money! It's not surprising that these headlines eventually worked their way into the movies. And a good little kidnapping and prison film this is.
Big House USA benefits greatly from on-location photography in the scenic foothills of south-central Colorado, near the state penitentiary in Canon City where the prison scenes were filmed. The producers had the good sense to make the most of this unusual backdrop to a story line that is in many ways exciting but unexceptional. ( The only real drawback-- the underwater scenes of the prison escape, which appear to have been shot in a neighbor's backyard pool. The phony plants even bounce off the bottom as swimmers go by! Where was quality control on this one.)
The producers also hired an outstanding cast of has-beens (Crawford and Chaney), up & comers (Bronson, Meeker, and Farr), along with the stentorian voiced Reed Hadley as the long arm of the law, and Peter Votrian, an appropriately sickly looking kid whose whiney demeanor could make you think twice about becoming a parent. The result, all in all, is a very watchable 90 minutes of cops vs. robbers and cons vs. screws. Then too, no movie from this period that features the bug-eyed William Talman should be passed up.
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