6.7/10
524
18 user 17 critic

Big House, U.S.A. (1955)

Jerry Barker finds a lost boy whose rich father is extorted into paying a ransom for his return but the boy accidentally dies and Jerry goes to prison.

Director:

Writers:

, (story) (as George George) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In Montreal, a police inspector slowly discovers a plot to kidnap a nuclear physicist, American mobsters, foreign spies, and a blonde seductress, are all involved.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, George Raft, Audrey Totter
Storm Fear (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After being wounded by a bullet, bank robber Charlie Blake seeks shelter with his gang at his brother's mountain retreat. There he rekindles his romance with his brother's wife and reconnects with the boy he believes is his son.

Director: Cornel Wilde
Stars: Jean Wallace, Cornel Wilde, Dan Duryea
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.

Director: John Berry
Stars: John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Rod Steiger, Sara Montiel, Brian Keith
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young rape victim tries desperately to pick up the pieces of her life, only to find herself at the mercy of a would-be rescuer.

Director: Jack Garfein
Stars: Carroll Baker, Ralph Meeker, Mildred Dunnock
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman's sanity comes into question, after she claims to have witnessed a murder from her apartment window.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Sanders, Gary Merrill
Jeopardy (1953)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A family vacationing on the coast of Mexico have to cope with multiple threats to their safety.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Ralph Meeker
Teresa (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A reluctant soldier, Peter, serves in Italy during WWII. He marries a local girl named Teresa and brings her to the US.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Pier Angeli, John Ericson, Patricia Collinge
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
Comedy | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors: Guy Hamilton, Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier
'G' Men (1935)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak
The Scapegoat (1959)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An English schoolteacher meets his lookalike, a French count; and unwillingly swaps identities with him.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Alec Guinness, Bette Davis, Nicole Maurey
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Alamo Smith (as Lon Chaney)
...
Benny Kelly
...
Emily Euridice Evans (as Randy Farr)
...
...
Robertson Lambert (as Willis B. Bouchey)
Peter J. Votrian ...
Danny Lambert (as Peter Votrian)
...
Edit

Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We're bustin' out of this tomb... And we don't care how many of you we have to kill! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1955 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Blutgeld  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though Felicia Farr made her 'debut' in this film as Randy Farr, she would make her official 'debut' a year later in 'Jubal' as Felicia Farr. And once again co-starring Charles Bronson. In Big House USA, they did not have any scenes together but in Jubal they did. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of equipment in foreground when the 3 escapees are talking about fishing with the park ranger on horseback. See more »

Quotes

Rollo Lamar: I'm gonna kidnap a kidnapper for the money he kidnapped for.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Per the Lindbergh Law
14 April 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Big House USA sounds like a prison picture, but only in part of the film is the setting a maximum security prison. There is the part how Ralph Meeker got there and the last part about his escape with several other solid citizens, residents of Big House USA.

A young boy with one rich father is kidnapped by Meeker and dies while in his custody. Not that he killed him, but kidnapping alone as per the Lindbergh law gets him the gas chamber. Father Willis Bouchey pays the ransom, but gets no child back.

Meeker is arrested, but all he's charged with is extortion, without a body dead or alive, the authorities can do no more. But with the reputation as a child killer, Meeker's not going to be a popular guy even in the maximum security federal penitentiary he's sent.

But cell-mate Broderick Crawford has other ideas about the ransom money never recovered and buried in a national park. He and confederates Lon Chaney, Jr., William Talman, and Charles Bronson escape with Meeker. They had an escape plan in the works already, a quite ingenious one which costs another prisoner his life during a dry run.

A chance to see all these guys in a film is never to be passed up. Crawford we're told is a smart guy. Personally if he were that smart he'd have realized that the authorities would know full well he was heading for the park and go anywhere else. But greed overtakes intelligence.

There's also a nice role here for Felicia Farr as Meeker's accomplice. FBI man Reed Hadley and chief forest ranger Roy Roberts represent the law.

Big House USA spends more time in the wide open spaces than in a maximum security prison. Still it's a tight little noir film with a fine cast of players.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?