6.4/10
93
2 user

Murder in the Big House (1942)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 11 April 1942 (USA)
When a prisoner on Death Row is "accidentally" killed just before his execution, a reporter smells something fishy. His investigation reveals that the condemned man was about to reveal some... See full summary »

Director:

B. Reeves Eason

Writers:

Raymond L. Schrock (original screenplay), Jerome Chodorov (based on an idea by) (as Jerry Chodorov)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Larceny, Inc. (1942)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three ex-cons buy a luggage shop to tunnel into the bank vault next door. But despite all they can do, the shop prospers...

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, Broderick Crawford
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In 1958 London a young photographer seeks media stardom to keep the love of a beautiful, aspiring fashion designer.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Patsy Kensit, Eddie O'Connell, David Bowie
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A British lady entomologist travels to a Balkan country to look into germ warfare trials using various bugs as carriers.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Dane Clark, Marius Goring
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

During the Klondike Gold Rush, a traveler purchases a dog to lead the way toward the treasure, but reconsiders his journey when he finds a jilted married woman.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Jack Oakie
Prison Break (1938)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Joaquin Shannon arrives home from a cruise on his fishing boat. His first mate, Charles Nelson, is to marry Shannon's sister the next day. Nelson gets drunk and Shannon finds him near the ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Barton MacLane, Glenda Farrell, Paul Hurst
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Leonard Borland loves his monied wife, but with his wrecking business looking shaky he treasures her all the more. So when she decides to try again to become an opera singer he indulges her... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Paul Douglas, Linda Darnell, Celeste Holm
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Van Johnson, Arlene Dahl, Gloria DeHaven
The Player (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected, but which one?

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman tricks a playboy into marrying her and then tries to make him legitimately fall in love with her.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Ann Harding, William Powell, Lucile Browne
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Bert Bell
Faye Emerson ... Gladys Wayne
George Meeker ... 'Scoop' Conner
Frank Wilcox ... Randall
Tod Andrews ... 'Dapper Dan' Malloy (as Michael Ames)
Roland Drew ... 'Mile-Away' Gordon
Ruth Ford Ruth Ford ... Irene Gordon
Joseph Crehan ... Jim F. Ainslee
William Gould ... Warden John Bevins
Douglas Wood Douglas Wood ... Bill Burgen
John Maxwell ... Prison Doctor
Patrick McVey Patrick McVey ... Chief Electrician (as Pat McVeigh)
Dick Rich Dick Rich ... Death House Guard
Fred Kelsey ... Death House Keeper
William 'Bill' Phillips William 'Bill' Phillips ... Mike - Henchman (as Bill Phillips)
Edit

Storyline

When a prisoner on Death Row is "accidentally" killed just before his execution, a reporter smells something fishy. His investigation reveals that the condemned man was about to reveal some damaging information about the connection between the city's corrupt political machine and its major organized crime ring. The reporter hatches a plan, with the help of the paper's alcoholic political columnist, to get himself thrown in prison to get the information the murdered prisoner was going to reveal and expose both the crooked politicians and the gangsters they're in cahoots with. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Born for Trouble See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Following Van Johnson's rise to become the 1945 top box-office leading man, the film was re-released to theaters in late 1945 and early 1946 under the title BORN FOR TROUBLE. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Player (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Be Glad When You're Dead (You Rascal You)
(1931)
Music and Lyrics by Spo-De-Odee
Title spoken by Ray Montgomery
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Van a man with a plan
26 March 2008 | by eddie-83See all my reviews

I watched this smart little B film on TCM in Australia and was agreeably impressed. I was reminded somewhat of "His Girl Friday" with the newspaper setting, the theme of corruption and the hard-boiled dialogue though needless to say "Murder in the Big House" is not in the same league as the Howard Hawks classic. Incidentally, the version I watched was called "Born for Trouble", a title which makes no sense at all.

If you ignore the occasional plot hole in a movie lasting only an hour this is good entertainment with some very black humour concerning the electric chair. A street newspaper seller calls out "Mile-Away Gordon gets the hot squat tonight" and a potential execution witness declares "I like to see 'em sizzle" I've always found Van Johnson a little insipid for serious roles but perhaps that's just a personal prejudice; Faye Emerson, who I was unaware of, is a Rosalind Russell type ("His Girl Friday" again!) and the rest of the cast of mainly older unknowns perform competently.

"Murder in the Big House" was made and set in the era when hats for men were compulsory wear; a room full of reporters all sport felt hats and Van's fedora remains firmly in place after a fast and furious fist fight with much wrestling on the floor! I couldn't find a mention of this film in any of my reference books but I assure you they cover plenty that are worse. Have a look if you get a chance, you won't be sorry.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed