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The Big House (1930)

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No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: May 14, 1930 Wide

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 287

My Rating

Movie Info

Not the first of the prison pictures, but the one that truly put the genre on the map. Playboy Kent (Robert Montgomery), driving drunk, kills a couple of pedestrians and is sentenced to a 10-year manslaughter term. His cellmate is forger Morgan (Chester Morris), a tough but essentially decent con; the cell-block leader is Butch (Wallace Beery), whose outer oafishness hides a cruel, calculating mind. Butch lives for the day that he can bust out and doesn't care who gets hurt along the way.

Unrated,

Drama, Classics

,

Frances Marion

Jun 22, 1994

Warner Bros.

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

It's an outsized, abstracted version of everyday life circa 1930.

April 7, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

A good early prison drama with a strong, Oscar-nominated performance of Wallace Beery as a tough murderer; Beery took over after Lon Chaney's sudden death.

February 12, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Despite its flaws, for those who love this genre it's a must see film.

January 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Any niggling doubts about the film disappear in the last twenty minutes.

June 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Great early prison drama from the ever-inventive George Hill.

August 21, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Big House

an early prison break film. robert montgomery is completely overshadowed by the now forgotten actor chester morris. i'm afraid montgomery would be everyone's bitch at prison. wallace beery is fun and this film made him a huge star. frances marion became the first woman to win an oscar for screenwriting. it's a little hokey at times. i'd like to see what warner bros could've done with it. interesting to note that prison overcrowding was already an issue in 1930
May 22, 2009
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A classic jailhouse saga.
June 23, 2008
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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  • The Big House (1930) (DE)
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