7.0/10
36
2 user 2 critic

Behind the High Wall (1956)

A group of convicts break out of prison, killing a guard, kidnapping the warden and forcing a reluctant inmate to accompany them. However, when a car accident kills everyone except the ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In New York, the murder of a Bellvue Hospital intern prompts the police to send an undercover detective to investigate.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: Richard Conte, Coleen Gray, Richard Taber
Massacre (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Joe Thunderhorse, a Sioux Indian who has become the wealthy star of a Wild West show, returns home to his reservation after years away and finds that his father is dying and his people are being abused by corrupt white officials.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Ann Dvorak, Dudley Digges
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A factory worker's family is thrown into an uproar when his teenage daughter starts to date his boss' son.

Director: Irving Brecher
Stars: William Bendix, Rosemary DeCamp, James Gleason
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Which one of an international quartette of beauties will replace Universal's glamour star in an upcoming Biblical epic?

Director: Jack Sher
Stars: George Nader, Julie Adams, Sydney Chaplin
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

You'll Find Yourself in a Whirlpool of Wine, Women and Wonderful Fun!

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Sophia Loren, Maurice Chevalier, John Gavin
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When top lawyer James Blane gets an acquittal for a man who killed another man for sexually roughing up his trophy wife, the murderous town sheriff frames him for bribing a juror in the case.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Jeanne Crain, Jack Carson
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

On the Russian front in 1944 German Private Ernst Graeber receives a leave and visits his family in Germany but Germany isn't the same country he left behind.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: John Gavin, Liselotte Pulver, Jock Mahoney
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A poor but beautiful woman sets her sights on rising to the top, and lets nothing stand in her way - including murder.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Arlene Dahl, Philip Carey, Herbert Marshall
City Streets (1931)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Man joins a gang to free his girlfriend from prison.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas
Escape (1948)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A convict sentenced to three years for killing a detective escapes from a prison and goes on the run aided by a local girl.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Rex Harrison, Peggy Cummins, William Hartnell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A mentally unstable man, who has been kept in isolation for years, escapes and causes trouble for his identical twin brother.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Albert Dekker, Susan Hayward, Frances Farmer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Warden Frank Carmichael
...
Hilda Carmichael
...
Anne MacGregor
...
Johnny Hutchins (as John Golenor)
...
Todd 'Mac' MacGregor
...
William Kiley
...
Tom Reynolds
Ed Kemmer ...
Charlie Rains
...
Carl Burkhardt
Rayford Barnes ...
George Miller
Nicky Blair ...
Roy Burkhardt
David Garcia ...
Morgan
Peter Leeds ...
Detective
Edit

Storyline

A group of convicts break out of prison, killing a guard, kidnapping the warden and forcing a reluctant inmate to accompany them. However, when a car accident kills everyone except the warden and the inmate hostage, the warden steals $100,000 of the gang's money, then when police arrive he accuses the inmate of the guard's murder in order to cover up his own crime. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | remake | See All (2) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Verdammte hinter Gittern  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of The Big Guy (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Terrific Tom Tully, but Sylvia stinks
8 May 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Tom Tully is one of the best examples - possibly *the* best example - of a Hollywood character actor who played prominent supporting roles in many films yet who remains unknown to audiences (even movie-trivia buffs) because he consistently gave understated and subtle performances, refusing to throw a film's storyline off-centre by calling attention to himself. In 'Behind the High Wall', Tully gets a rare chance in a leading role, and he proves himself an actor of great talent and range. Unfortunately, his leading lady here is one of my least favourite actresses: Sylvia Sidney (snaggled of tooth, bulbous of lips, coarse of accent).

Tully plays Frank Carmichael, a prison governor with money problems and a crippled wife (Sidney, not crippled enough to suit me). Some inmates, who have accomplices and money waiting for them on the out, organise an escape... killing a cellblock warder in the process. They take along two hostages: Carmichael and Hutchins, an inmate who wants to go straight. Once they're on the out, the escapees join up with accomplices who have $100,000 in hot swag. A convenient road accident kills everyone except Carmichael and Hutchins. As the loot can't be traced to Carmichael, he decides to keep it, pinning the warder's murder on Hutchins to get him out of the way. But then of course there are complications...

Sylvia Sidney's role here is too similar to her role in 'Fury', a much better movie than this one. In both films, she forces the protagonist to stay honest when I wanted him to benefit from a circumstance of chance that worked illegally in his favour. I have a lot of problems with Sylvia Sidney: I've never liked her in any performance of hers I've ever seen. Yet my all-time favourite director (Fritz Lang) cast her in the lead roles in his first three American films, so he must have seen some merit in her. Damned if I can find it, though.

Shortly after Sylvia Sidney's death, a tribute for her was held at the Players Club in Gramercy Park, New York City (she had lived there on the club's charity, with her yapping little pug dogs). I covered this event as a reporter. One after another, dozens of celebrities related anecdotes about Sidney, but each of those stories boiled down to one of three punchlines: Sylvia wanted some booze, Sylvia said a dirty word, or Sylvia was rude to somebody who didn't deserve it. If you changed the booze to drugs, any of those stories could have been told about John Belushi. The difference was, all the blue-haired dowagers in the Players Club - who laughed merrily at these stories of Sylvia Sidney boozing, cursing and insulting people - would have been profoundly offended by these exact same stories if they had been attributed to John Belushi.

In the key role as Carmichael's fall guy, John Gavin gives a good performance but is miscast. Gavin is so superhumanly handsome, he isn't believable as a small-time criminal. There are fine performances here (in small roles) by Don Beddoe, Ed Kemmer, John Larch, Peter Leeds and satchel-mouthed Barney Phillips. Tom Tully is a revelation, and deserves to be better known. I was annoyed that all the actors kept using the American pronunciation of the name 'Carmichael', with the accent on the wrong syllable, but that's to be expected in a Yank movie. I'll rate 'Behind the High Wall' 7 out of 10. I might have rated it higher if Sylvia Sidney's lips didn't enter the room five seconds ahead of the rest of her body.


4 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?