Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Wallace Beery Plays Himself, errr, Butch!

TCM is showing The Big House (1930) this coming Thursday.  Definitely worth a watch, even if prison movies aren't your thing.  Chester Morris and Wallace Beery are the stars, Bob has a major supporting role.  The movie begins with Bob's character, clean cut Kent Marlowe, being checked into the overcrowded and dated prison to serve a 10-year sentence for killing a man in a drunken-driving accident.  The sequence is really quite good, showing the dehumanization of Kent as he is changed into prisoner no. 48642.  And then the poor guy meets his new cellmates, Morgan (Chester Morris) and Butch (Wallace Beery), with Butch as everyone's nightmare roomie. 

     Chester Morris, Bob and Wallace Beery in The Big House (1930)

Kent has a completely rational reaction to his fate, he is scared to hell facing a life situation filled with violence for which he is ill-prepared.  Love the look on Bob's face in the photo below.  You're so right, Bob.  Nothing good is going to come for you in this prison break. 

It's great seeing Bob in a different kind of role.  But his future has already been determined by the two movies he has made with Norma Shearer, Their Own Desire (1929) and Divorcee (1930).  He just looked too darn good in a tuxedo! 

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