THE BIG HOUSE (1930) B/W 88m dir: George Hill
w/Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone, Leila Hyams, Karl Dane
From Variety's review of the film: "As Butch, Morgan and Kent, Wallace Beery, Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery are a great trio in 'the big house,' where each is serving a stretch for homicide, forgery and manslaughter, respectively.
"Prison life on the half shell is plainly exposed. The big wallop is the prison revolt, resulting in several deaths and an expose of how the officials deal with foolhardy prisoners. The hand grenades, barrages, stench bombs, tractor attacks and other means to conquer rebellious prisoners, with variations in the dungeon, etc., are all graphically dovetailed into the tense story."
Frances Marion received an Oscar for Best Writing for this film, marking the first time that a woman won the award. Marion, who also won a Best Original Story Oscar for 1931's THE CHAMP, is featured in the Turner Classic Movies original documentary WITHOUT LYING DOWN. THE BIG HOUSE also won an Oscar for Best Sound (the MGM Studio Sound Department) and was nominated for Best Picture and Actor (Beery).