The Big House

  • 1930
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Prison

The granddaddy of 'em all. Inspired by a particularly bloody riot that occurred in an Auburn, New York, prison in 1929, THE BIG HOUSE spawned a host of movies like 20,000 YEARS IN SING SING and I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG. Grimly realistic and often brutal, it exposes the inhuman conditions and paranoia that deepen criminal resolve among inmates....read more

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The granddaddy of 'em all. Inspired by a particularly bloody riot that occurred in an Auburn, New York, prison in 1929, THE BIG HOUSE spawned a host of movies like 20,000 YEARS IN SING SING and I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG. Grimly realistic and often brutal, it exposes the inhuman

conditions and paranoia that deepen criminal resolve among inmates. George Hill's uncompromising direction captures all the ugliness and futility of prison life, and Beery (in a role originally intended for Lon Chaney Sr.) is the perfect goonish ringleader of the convicts--part clown, part thug,

softhearted and softheaded, but with a killer instinct. Morris gives one of his best performances as the intelligent member of the threesome; Montgomery, at the beginning of his film career, is uncharacteristically spineless but wholly believable as a wretched, despicable cringer; and Stone, as

always, contributes a solid portrayal of the establishment stalwart.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The granddaddy of 'em all. Inspired by a particularly bloody riot that occurred in an Auburn, New York, prison in 1929, THE BIG HOUSE spawned a host of movies like 20,000 YEARS IN SING SING and I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG. Grimly realistic and often… (more)

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