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The Big House (1930)

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

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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:

Timely! Tremendous! Thrilling! Drama of Love and a Jail-Break! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

14 June 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big House See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ward Wing concurrently directed a Spanish-language version of this film. Pál Fejös directed separate German- and French-language versions. 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: What's your name?
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: [after getting no response] I said what's your name?
Kent: Kent Marlowe.
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: Mine's Schmidt. I'm known the world over as "Machine Gun Butch." You heard of me, naturally.
'Machine Gun' Butch Schmidt: [after Kent shakes his head 'no.'] Never heard of the Delancey Gang bein' wiped out? Well, I done the wipin'.
See more »


Soundtracks

Goin' Home
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
from Second Movement (Largo) in Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World", Op.95, B.178 (1893)
Lyrics by William Arms Fisher (1922)
Sung offscreen by an unidentified prisoner in solitary
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant acting.
30 May 1999 | by mark-293See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this film. It was a refreshing change from the films of today which all seem to have to rely on special effects for the film to be a success. The story of 'The big house' is very good and I would venture an opinion that it was far and above the norm for films of that era. The acting was great from Robert Montgomary as Kent Marlowe and Wallace Beery as Butch Schmidt. Leila Hyams as Anne Marlowe was both a stunning looking, and brilliant actress and stole the film with her looks.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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