Hell's House


Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 22%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 22% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 5.8/10 10 1448 1.4K


Top cast

Bette Davis as Peggy Gardner
Charley Grapewin as Henry Clark
Pat O'Brien as Matt Kelly
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
654.83 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 11 min
Seeds 3
1.19 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 11 min
Seeds 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by timboytx 6 / 10

worth watching

The production values leave much to be desired, as this was apparently a B-movie with a very low budget, but several things make it worth watching. There's the legendary Bette Davis, before she was legendary. She always owns the screen whenever the camera sees her, and this early performance is no exception, even in a smaller role. Plus, Junior Dirkin as Jimmy Mason, the teenager, is wonderful in a simple, unaffected performance, as is Frank Coghlin playing his buddy Shorty. Also, there's Charles Grapewin, prior to his role as Uncle Henry in "The Wizard of Oz". And if you have an affinity for reform school movies, as I do, add this to your list. Don't know why, but there's something about the incarceration of youth that appeals to me.

Reviewed by ksf-2 6 / 10

EARLY bette davis...

One of the first films Bette D ever did. and unfortunately, one of the last that Howard Higgin directed. and almost the end of the road for Junior Durkin (played "Jimmy") as well. more about them later. In the film, Jimmy's mom gets bumped off, and he goes to live with relatives. Pat Obrien is "Kelly", a no-good boarder, and Davis is his girl. Jimmy takes the fall for Kelly, and now he's off to reform school. Sound and picture are pretty rough, which is probably why we never see this one on Turner Classics. director Higgin died quite young at 47. and Junior Durkin, the "star" of this also died young, at 19 in a car accident. Durkin also lost his own mother at a young age, just like in this film. The car was driven by friend Jackie Coogan. The film's okay. and a good oppurtunity to see a young Bette Davis in an early, small role. Showing on Moonlight Movies channel.

Reviewed by wes-connors 7 / 10

The Lost Boys

In the days of Prohibition, orphaned country boy Junior Durkin (as James "Jimmy" Mason) goes to live in the city with his aunt and uncle, after his mother is hit by a car. There, Mr. Durkin becomes meets, and hero-worships charismatic boarder Pat O'Brien (as Matt Kelly). Durkin doesn't know it, but Mr. O'Brien is a bootlegger. O'Brien dupes Durkin into being the lookout for a cache of liquor, which police discover. Durkin naively thinks the booze was planted, and refuses to squeal. O'Brien lets the lad take the rap, and Durkin is sentenced to three years in "The State Industrial School for Boys".

After arguing over who gets top, Durkin befriends bunkmate Frank "Junior" Coghlan (as "Shorty"), who has a heart ailment. Conditions in the reformatory are terrible. The boys have a plan to spring Durkin, but young Coghlan is caught. While his pal lies close to death, in solitary confinement, Durkin breaks out to enlist O'Brien's help in finding suitable doctors for Coghlan. But, O'Brien doesn't want to get involved, or he'll have to leave pretty Bette Davis (as Peggy Gardner) for prison...

Howard Higgin's "Hell House" was relatively ahead of the juvenile reformatory curve, and boasts several points of interest.

First off, you have the two "Juniors" Durkin and Coghlan in the same picture, comparable to the 1980s "Coreys" Haim and Feldman. Durkin even looks a little like Feldman. Unfortunately, Durkin died in a car accident. Coghlan's supporting performance upstages even Ms. Davis - and, you will see Davis get her hair messed up as O'Brien tell her, "I just washed my hands and I can't do a thing with 'em!" Note, this was before Davis uttered her famous trademark response, "I'd like to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair" (see "The Cabin in the Cotton"). Finally, you have a delirious Coghlan "talking" to his dead mother quite credibly in one scene - and, in the end, Durkin's deathly "conversation" gives the story startling emotional closure.

******* Hell's House (1/30/32) Howard Higgin ~ Junior Durkin, Frank Coghlan Jr., Pat O'Brien, Bette Davis

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