The Big House (1930)

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Mr. Arkadin
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The Big House (1930)

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

I know everyone is geared up for Nightfall, but don't miss this grandaddy of prison talkies showing beforehand. A great film that TCM usually only shows once a year, if that often. Spend a few hours in stir with the boys--you'll be glad you did.
feaito

Post by feaito »

It is truly one of the good prison movies I have seen with a uniformly very good cast. I have read that originally Leyla Hyams' character was supposed to be Bob Montogomery's fiancée, not his sister, but they changed it to make Chester Morris' character more sympathetic for the audiences. In the French Version released by MGM in 1931, Charles Boyer played Morris' character.
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vallo
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Post by vallo »

I love Wallace Berry's 'Machine Gun' Butch in this film. he's great. But the part was slated for Lon Chaney Sr. prior to his death. I have an old VHS of this film. Too bad Chester Morris didn't make it bigger in the industry, always liked his style.


Bill (vallo)
"We're all forgotten sooner or later. But not films. That's all the memorial we should need or hope for."
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Ollie
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Post by Ollie »

I always thought Chester Morris, Richard Dix and George Reeves should have done a Brothers movie.
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mrsl
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Post by mrsl »

I've thought all along that Dix and Reeves had similar facial characteristics, but now that you mentioned Chester Morris, you're so right, he fits right in the same mix.

Anne
Anne


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Ann Harding
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Post by Ann Harding »

I have never seen this picture, but I would like to, one day. I read about it extensively in Frances Marion's memoirs (Off With Their Heads). She wrote the script and it was entirely based on her own experience in visiting prisons and penitenciaries. She based the Wally Beery character on somebody she met there. She won an Oscar for that film.
raftfan
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Post by raftfan »

Agree with you completely, Vallo, about the "star that should have been", Chester Morris. Have come to really enjoy his work since watching our newly-acquired TCM broadcasts. He was a great hard guy in such films as "Alibi". I also very much admired his role in the original "Three Godfathers", which was a much leaner and grittier version than the sentimental John Ford production.
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kimpunkrock
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Post by kimpunkrock »

I need to see this film. I love Robert Montgomery and Chester Morris. Somehow I missed this one when it played on TCM. I must have been traveling.

I am currently working on a Robert Montgomery painting using clips from the Now Playing Guides and the internet. I actually have a scene from the Big House pasted on the canvas.

I will post a picture when I am done.
"Wars may come and wars may go but art is forever."---Leslie Howard in the 49th Parallel
feaito

Post by feaito »

kimpunkrock wrote:I need to see this film. I love Robert Montgomery and Chester Morris. Somehow I missed this one when it played on TCM. I must have been traveling.

I am currently working on a Robert Montgomery painting using clips from the Now Playing Guides and the internet. I actually have a scene from the Big House pasted on the canvas.

I will post a picture when I am done.
That will be nice!! :D
Mr. Arkadin
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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

Hi Kim, nice to see you here!
Ollie
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Post by Ollie »

This is another early film with lots of technical flaws - speeded-up camera footage, slow or mis-timed responses, etc. - that don't matter one bit to my enjoyment of this. Robert Montgomery plays his age in this film - young, young, young - and while he's a bit over-the-top in the climax, we see that sniveling sinister character he'd exploit in other bad-guy-role films of his.

Wallace Beery is such an incredible force on this picture - as much as Morris tries to command his scenes, Beery ends up being the memorable face when I think of this film.
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kimpunkrock
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Post by kimpunkrock »

Mr. Arkadin wrote:Hi Kim, nice to see you here!
Thanks it is nice to be here.
I love phbb forums like this.
The set up is better than the fancy one at TCM.

I am glad there is somewhere else to post besides TCM.
"Wars may come and wars may go but art is forever."---Leslie Howard in the 49th Parallel
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