The Big House - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big House Reviews

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April 27, 2015
Starring Robert Montgomery and Wallace Beery. Montgomery is very good cast against type as a drunk driver convicted of manslaughter who loses his individuality behind bars. This is truly the definitive prison picture -- unrelentingly damning in its portrait of the penal system, all the hallmarks are here from the requisite riot to the sadistic warden. Superbly photographed to illustrate with great fluidity the anonymity and claustrophobia faced. convicts. Wallace Beery is his typical, tough-as-nails self as Montgomery's violent cellmate; Lewis Stone is fine as the warden. Only an unnecessary but fairly typical romantic subplot drags the action down a notch. Directed by George Hill, who at the time was married to screenwriter Frances Marion.
½ February 15, 2014
yet another prison movie like 'brute force' or '20,000 years in sing sing"
August 25, 2013
The great granddaddy of all prison films. This film set the standard and many of the tropes of prison films for years to come and still holds up as a tough, gritty film.
May 22, 2013
Watching old gangsta movies & they are just as good if not better than the ones from these days, This is 1930!!!
July 26, 2011
Competing against "All Quiet on the Western Front", I'm surprised this movie isn't more popular.
April 16, 2011
Prison break film from 1930. Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery were excellent. Wallace Berry unforgettable and comical at times. Great script. Loved the slang used by the inmates. Gives you a good glimpse at what prison life was like back then. Loved it.
February 7, 2011
Still very entertaining tale of prison. Robert Montgomery is Kent, a young man just sent to prison for manslaughter. He gets thrown into a cell with the two toughest guys in the joint - the more cerebral Morgan (Chester Morris) and tough guy Butch (Wallace Beery). Lewis Stone plays the Warden, who wants to do what is right. After Kent double-crosses Morgan causing him to lose out on his parole, Morgan escapes and seeks out Kent's sister, Anne. The two fall in love. But there is much more to this film. Sure there is the typical cheesy acting attributed to this period, but the writing of Frances Marion is well-researched and the dialogue far better than many films of the era. Wallace Beery is perfectly cast as the tough heavy Butch who has had enough of the joint. The original prison movie and still highly enjoyable.
February 3, 2011
chester sneers beery roars in this pre code drama
January 1, 2011
Early prison drama features Wallace Beary, Christopher Morris and Robert Montgomery as a trio of prisoners, each with different plans of getting out of the slammer early. While it does have nifty glimpses of prison life during the 30's, the creaky plot doesnt move a lot.
½ February 17, 2010
Solid prison drama, good cast. Wallace Berry is particularly good and very convincing as one of the prisoners. Good pace and an interesting story. It?s more brutal than I was expecting. Good editing.
½ February 17, 2010
Solid prison drama, good cast. Wallace Berry is particularly good and very convincing as one of the prisoners. Good pace and an interesting story. It's more brutal than I was expecting. Good editing.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2009
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
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2008
A classic jailhouse saga.
½ June 10, 2008
George W. Hill's "masterpiece" features some good stark lighting, a nice riot ending (with TANKS!), and Wallace Beery. Montgomery turns yellow almost instantly and plays the weasel well.
January 3, 2008
ahahaha!!! Finally Flixster has added this movie to the list, i looked it up a while ago and it wasnt there........this has to be my favorite black and white movie.....for some reason the movie doesnt seem cliche and its so serious and bgelievable and a true work of art!
September 11, 2007
Greta prison drama. Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery are awesome, but this one belongs to Wallace Beery.
April 19, 2006
Full review coming soon
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