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Arkadin

THE BIG HOUSE (1930)

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I know everyone is geared up for tomorrow's showing of 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 with the boys in stir--you'll be glad you did.

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I saw THE BIG HOUSE ages ago and was really impressed... good cast and quite gritty for an MGM film

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What a awesome movie. Yesterday was the first time I ever saw this film, and I have to say that I liked it alot. I love good gritty crime/prison movie. It gives yet another reason to admire Wallace Beery's acting skills. I love the prison riot scene , especially Wallace Beery with a Tommy gun. And as a fan of Art Deco, I loved how the Art Deco style prison gave off an imprisoned feeling.

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I enjoyed this film perhaps even more because of the many technical weaknesses, strangely enough. Despite stagey or wooden acting, despite the often mis-timed replies or slow reaction to the "ACTION!" command from the director, the story and good characters made this film rise above its technical weaknesses. Very impressive.

 

Has anyone seen any of the Silent Prison films and can they judge those against THE BIG HOUSE or other, later prison films? For me, THE BIG HOUSE sets a great standard for all others to follow.

 

Another big THANK YOU, TCM.

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Wallace Beery was excellent but Robert Montgomery also gave a fine performance. You had to feel sorry for him in the beginning and despise him later on. I think that he acted his part very well.

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