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directed by Howard W. Koch
USA 1955


A tough and realistic crime drama unfolds as ruthless convicts (Broderick Crawford, Charles Bronson, Ralph Meeker, Lon Chaney, Jr., and William Talman) execute a successful prison escape to secure $200,000 in hidden ransom money.


Theatrical Release: 3 March 1955 (Detroit)

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DVD Review: MGM (MGM Limited Edition Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:36

1.33:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 6.41 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: January 28th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 9



Here is another mid-1950's film from MGM's made-on-demand Limited Edition Collection that, unfortunately, gets an old open-matte transfer. The same year Ralph Meeker was Mike Hammer in Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly, he also made this underrated crime drama Big House, U.S.A. He plays a kidnapper and extortionist who gets sentenced to a short prison term while his loot is hidden safely at the Royal Gorge. Unfortunately to him, he gets a quartet of cellmates who are planning an escape - and these are some of the best character actors of the time - Broderick Crawford, William Talman, Lon Chaney Jr. and Charles Bronson. There is also some added sex appeal from Felicia Farr in a nurse uniform.

Unfortunately, the transfer is weak. Like stated above, the film is presented open matte, but also has a weak contrast and chroma is evident in a few scenes. There is a greenish hue on some monitors. The film starts with an old United Artists logo, so it gives a general idea that the transfer is not recent. The mono soundtrack is unimpressive, but without major issues. There are no extras included with this release and while the film worth viewing at least once, we can not recommend this release.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC



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