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The Big House (1930) - Plot Summary Poster

(1930)

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Summaries

  • A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

  • After a manslaughter conviction from drunk driving, nice but foolish Kent is sent to a prison over-crowded and unable to properly deal with it's inmates. There he meets veteran criminals like Morgan and his hardened pal Butch. And the system punishes them all, turning them against each other and bringing out the worst.

  • Twenty-four year old Kent Marlowe is just beginning his ten year sentence in prison for vehicular manslaughter. Kent, not seeing himself as a "criminal" and who has the support of a loving family, is nervous and scared about his incarceration, especially in that he will be sharing a cell in the already overcrowded prison with John Morgan and Butch Schmidt - better known as Machine Gun Butch - who are serving time for robbery and murder respectively. Kent's cell mates are renowned for being the toughest inmates in the institution, Butch who carries a knife with him where ever he goes. Kent quickly learns that the unwritten codes amongst the inmates are not to whine and don't be a stool pigeon to the authorities. When an opportunity arises, one of the inmates manages to escape, his plan to get back at one of his cell mates who he believes double-crossed him. But on the outside, his view of life changes, which includes a possible change in allegiances to his former prison colleagues, especially his former cell mates.

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  • Young Kent Marlowe, sent to prison for manslaughter, never learns the prison 'code of honor', planting a knife on his cellmate John Morgan, causing Morgan's parole, due to start the next day, to be revoked. Morgan escapes, meets and falls in love with Marlowe's sister, is recaptured and returned to prison where his ex-cellmate,tough-guy murderer Butch Schmidt, has entrusted the details of a planned breakout to the craven Marlowe.


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