7.1/10
1,628
24 user 24 critic

The Big House (1930)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 14 June 1930 (USA)
A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors:

George W. Hill (as George Hill), Ward Wing (uncredited)

Writers:

Frances Marion (story and dialogue), Joseph Farnham (additional dialogue) (as Joe Farnham) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a failed attempt at running for governor, D.A. Mark Brady is appointed warden of the state prison where many of the criminals he prosecuted are incarcerated.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Walter Huston, Phillips Holmes, Constance Cummings
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Disraeli (1929)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Prime Minister of Great Britain Benjamin Disraeli outwits the subterfuge of the Russians and chicanery at home in order to secure the purchase of the Suez Canal.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: George Arliss, Doris Lloyd, David Torrence
Min and Bill (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Min, the owner of a dockside hotel, is forced to make difficult decisions about the future of Nancy, the young woman she took in as an infant.

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Jordan
Anna Christie I (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Trader Horn (1931)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two white traders in the darkest Africa of the 1870s find a missionary's daughter, who was captured as a child by a savage tribe and now worshiped as a goddess.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Harry Carey, Edwina Booth, Duncan Renaldo
Certificate: Passed War | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

World War I ace Dick Courtney derides the leadership of his superior officer, but Courtney is soon promoted to squadron commander and learns harsh lessons about sending subordinates to their deaths.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Neil Hamilton
Bad Girl (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a rich but cantankerous dowager on an isolated estates hires an engaging handyman, her niece/companion becomes suspicious of his motives.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Merle Tottenham, Kathleen Harrison, May Whitty
These Three (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chester Morris ... John Morgan
Wallace Beery ... Machine Gun 'Butch' Schmidt
Lewis Stone ... Warden James Adams
Robert Montgomery ... Kent Marlowe
Leila Hyams ... Anne Marlowe
George F. Marion ... Pop
J.C. Nugent J.C. Nugent ... Mr. Marlowe
Karl Dane ... Olsen
DeWitt Jennings ... Wallace
Matthew Betz ... Gopher (as Mathew Betz)
Claire McDowell ... Mrs. Marlowe
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Donlin (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Tom Kennedy ... Uncle Jed (scenes deleted)
Tom Wilson Tom Wilson ... Sandy
Eddie Foyer Eddie Foyer ... Dopey
Edit

Storyline

After a manslaughter conviction from drunk driving, nice but foolish Kent is sent to a prison over-crowded and unable to properly deal with it's inmates. There he meets veteran criminals like Morgan and his hardened pal Butch. And the system punishes them all, turning them against each other and bringing out the worst. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See 3,000 desperate convicts in their break for freedom! (Print Ad- Edmonton Journal, ((Edmonton Alta.)) 5 August 1930) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

14 June 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big House See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$414,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Frances Marion's Academy Award for Best Screenplay made her the first woman to win an Oscar in a non-acting capacity. See more »

Goofs

When Anne comes to visit Kent at the prison, and he walks up and says 'Hi sis,' the shadow of the microphone falls across her. See more »

Quotes

'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: [Looking at a picture of Kent's sister] Gee... it reminds me of Sadie. Gee, Sadie was a good skirt. I shouldn't have slipped her that ant poison. I should have just battered her in the jaw a few times.
See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of El presidio (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(1862) (uncredited)
Music by Daniel Butterfield
Played offscreen by a bugler
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good prison film
15 December 2010 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

Kent (Robert Montgomery) arrives in prison and is put in a cell with Butch (Wallace Beery) and Morgan (Chester Morris), a couple of hardened criminals who run the place. Kent is warned by them to choose his friends wisely. He doesn't.

This is a strange film in that it starts out as Kent's story but gradually turns into Morgan's story. The film moves at a good pace climaxing in the attempted escape where old pals Butch and Morgan have a final confrontation. Robert Montgomery is a wimp/coward/creep in this film while Wallace Beery is the thug.

It's an enjoyable film with a touch of romance thrown in by the storyline involving Anne (Leila Hyams) and Morgan. Morgan escapes and hangs out with Anne and her family. She is Kent's sister. There are tense moments involving him and the policeman that finally re-arrests him. Morgan maintains a smart outlook throughout the film and goes out of his way to protect Kent even though Morgan knows what a traitor Kent has been. Shagging his sister must only increase his inner torment as to what he should do. It all works out nicely in the end!


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed