7.0/10
44
2 user 2 critic

Behind the High Wall (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | July 1956 (USA)
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

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Raw Edge (1956)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1842 lawless Oregon, a gunfighter seeks vengeance when his innocent brother is lynched and his beautiful Indian wife is claimed by the local tyrant.

Director: John Sherwood
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Yvonne De Carlo, Mara Corday
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
Quantez (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Gang of robbers heads for Mexican border, meets unexpected opposition along the way.

Director: Harry Keller
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Malone, James Barton
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
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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A "Romeo and Juliet"-inspired Cold War satire starring, written and directed by Peter Ustinov. A tiny but otherwise inconsequential and powerless European country called Concordia holds the... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Sandra Dee, John Gavin
Certificate: GP Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Agent OSS 117 infiltrates an organization that specializes in political assassinations, by assuming the identity of one of its top assassins.

Directors: Renzo Cerrato, Jean-Pierre Desagnat, and 1 more credit »
Stars: John Gavin, Margaret Lee, Curd Jürgens
Pedro Páramo (1967)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Highly symbolic and allegorical, this drama takes the search of a son for his father in the chaotic times of the Mexican Revolution and the early 1900s as its basis. Stereotypical (or ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Velo
Stars: John Gavin, Ignacio López Tarso, Pilar Pellicer
Convoy (TV Series 1965)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Civilian Captain Foster (the freighter "Flagship") and Commander Talbot (US Navy destroyer Escort "DD 181") are responsible for convoying ships across the Atlantic during World War II.

Stars: John Gavin, Horst Ebersberg, Michael Stanwood
Back Street (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Lincoln, the ambitious aspirant-designer Rae Smith has an incident with a wolf department store businessman and is rescued by the Marine Paul Saxon. They immediately fall in love with ... See full summary »

Director: David Miller
Stars: Susan Hayward, John Gavin, Vera Miles
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Tammy leaves the river in Mississippi to attend college, developing a relationship with Tom Freeman (John Gavin). Sandra Dee replaces Debbie Reynolds in this and the third Tammy movie. This... See full summary »

Director: Harry Keller
Stars: Sandra Dee, John Gavin, Charles Drake
Jennifer (1978)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Ostracized at a snooty private school because of her rural, poor background, a scholarship student is tormented to the point where her only remaining recourse is revenge, using the only ... See full summary »

Director: Brice Mack
Stars: Lisa Pelikan, Bert Convy, Nina Foch
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) »

Taglines:

The Untold Story of the Big-House Prison Break!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Verdammte hinter Gittern  »

Company Credits

Show more 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

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? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page