Hell's House


1h 12m 1932

Brief Synopsis

Jimmy Mason idolizes bootlegger Matt Kelly who is interested in Jimmy's girlfriend Peggy. Unwilling to squeal on his idol, Jimmy winds up in a cruel reformatory where a new- found friend dies from abuse. Jimmy's aunt tells him Peggy is seeing a lot of Matt, so Jimmy escapes.

Film Details

Also Known As
Juvenile Court
Release Date
Feb 10, 1932
Premiere Information
Atlanta, GA premiere: 10 Feb 1932
Production Company
B. F. Zeidman Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
State Rights
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

After Jimmy Mason's mother is killed in a hit-and-run accident, he goes to live with his aunt and uncle, Emma and Henry Clark. There he meets their boarder, Kelly, whose bragging and apparent civic connections impress Jimmy. In fact, Kelly is a notorious bootlegger, and when Jimmy asks him for a job, he puts the boy to work taking orders for bootleg booze. The police raid Kelly's office, and because Jimmy will not name Kelly as his boss, he is sentenced to three years in the state industrial school for boys. At the reform school, Jimmy is forced to do hard labor in the brick yards but makes friends with Shorty, a sickly boy who tries to help Jimmy sneak a letter out to Kelly. Shorty gets caught, and when he keeps silent for Jimmy, he is sentenced to solitary confinement. When Jimmy learns that Shorty is seriously ill, he escapes and goes to Kelly and Kelly's girl friend, Peggy Gardner, for help. Kelly tries to evade his responsibility toward Jimmy, but Peggy calls newspaper columnist Frank Gebhardt, who has been desperately trying to expose the brutal conditions at the boy's school. The authorities follow Jimmy to Gebhardt's office and are about to take him back, when at the last minute, Kelly has a change of heart, confesses his guilt, and admits the boy's innocence. Shorty, however, has already died due to the heartless abuses of the system.

Film Details

Also Known As
Juvenile Court
Release Date
Feb 10, 1932
Premiere Information
Atlanta, GA premiere: 10 Feb 1932
Production Company
B. F. Zeidman Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
State Rights
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

If you'd give the kid a chance, Kelly, he might amount to something, instead of always thinking about yourself.
- Peggy Gardner

Trivia

Notes

The synopsis in the copyright records is entitled "Misguided." The working title of the film was Juvenile Court. Universal loaned Bette Davis to B. F. Zeidman as part of a contractual obligation to the studio.