Within These Walls (1945)

71-72 mins | Drama | July 1945

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was This Is the Law . Although HR production charts include Scott Elliott in the cast, his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Mark Stevens, whose character is listed as "Steve Russell" in reviews, is referred to as "Steve Purcell" in the ... More Less

The working title of this film was This Is the Law . Although HR production charts include Scott Elliott in the cast, his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Mark Stevens, whose character is listed as "Steve Russell" in reviews, is referred to as "Steve Purcell" in the picture. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Jun 1945.
---
Daily Variety
6 Jun 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Jun 45
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 45
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 45
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 45
p. 30.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 45
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 45
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 45
p. 8.
Motion Picture Daily
7 Jun 1945.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 May 45
p. 2467.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jun 45
p. 2486.
New York Times
16 Jul 45
p. 8.
Variety
6 Jun 45
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
WRITERS
From a story by
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Prod mgr
Tech adv
SOURCES
MUSIC
"I Wish I Knew" by Harry Warren
"Jingle Bells" by J. S. Pierpont
"The First Noël," traditional.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
This Is the Law
Release Date:
July 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 July 1945
Production Date:
21 February--29 March 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 June 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13450
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71-72
Length(in feet):
6,406
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10829
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Following a series of riots at the state penitentiary, Judge Michael Howland challenges Governor Edward Rice to investigate the prison's incompetent management. When the investigation leads to the removal of the warden, Rice offers the post to Howland, who is well-known for his tough views on crime. Howland accepts, much to the dismay of his teenage son Tommy, who resents having to move away from his friends. Howland's daughter Anne urges her headstrong younger brother to make the best of the situation, and the family moves to their quarters near the prison grounds. Howland establishes himself as a no-nonsense disciplinarian and warns the inmates that they must earn privileges rather than expect them. Inmate Steve Purcell, who is incarcerated on an embezzlement charge, comes to Howland's attention when he inadvertently becomes involved in a fight but refuses to name the ringleaders. Admiring Steve's integrity and good conduct record, Howland offers him a job as the family chauffeur, and Steve and Anne become friends. Tommy has difficultly adjusting to his new surroundings, however, and spends time talking to the inmates. Howland's fears about Tommy's involvement with the prisoners are proven when the youngster helps two convicts in an attempted escape by passing notes to their friends on the outside. The infuriated Howland strikes his son, and soon after, Tommy leaves for college without saying goodbye to his father. Later, during Christmas, Howland and Anne await Tommy's arrival but instead receive a telegram from him in which he states that he has quit school and will never return home. Over the next year and a half, Howland continues to be a strict warden, and ... +


Following a series of riots at the state penitentiary, Judge Michael Howland challenges Governor Edward Rice to investigate the prison's incompetent management. When the investigation leads to the removal of the warden, Rice offers the post to Howland, who is well-known for his tough views on crime. Howland accepts, much to the dismay of his teenage son Tommy, who resents having to move away from his friends. Howland's daughter Anne urges her headstrong younger brother to make the best of the situation, and the family moves to their quarters near the prison grounds. Howland establishes himself as a no-nonsense disciplinarian and warns the inmates that they must earn privileges rather than expect them. Inmate Steve Purcell, who is incarcerated on an embezzlement charge, comes to Howland's attention when he inadvertently becomes involved in a fight but refuses to name the ringleaders. Admiring Steve's integrity and good conduct record, Howland offers him a job as the family chauffeur, and Steve and Anne become friends. Tommy has difficultly adjusting to his new surroundings, however, and spends time talking to the inmates. Howland's fears about Tommy's involvement with the prisoners are proven when the youngster helps two convicts in an attempted escape by passing notes to their friends on the outside. The infuriated Howland strikes his son, and soon after, Tommy leaves for college without saying goodbye to his father. Later, during Christmas, Howland and Anne await Tommy's arrival but instead receive a telegram from him in which he states that he has quit school and will never return home. Over the next year and a half, Howland continues to be a strict warden, and Anne and Steve fall in love. Anne learns that Steve confessed to the embezzlement charge in order to protect his guilty brother, who has a family to support, and promises to wait for his parole. One afternoon, some new prisoners are brought into Howland's office to meet him, and Howland is stunned to see Tommy among them. Tommy, who is using the name Frank O'Reilly, has been jailed for armed robbery, and is nonplussed when his father refuses to give him special treatment. Tommy's older accomplice, Martin Deutsch, learns about Tommy's relationship to the warden, and organizes an escape attempt, in which he intends to take Tommy along as "protection." Meanwhile, Tommy learns from Anne that she is engaged to Steve, and also the real reason why Steve is in jail. When Tommy passes the information along to Deutsch, the convict threatens to incriminate Steve's brother if Steve does not aid their escape. On the day of the escape, Tommy, who has realized that Anne and Steve really love each other, knocks Steve unconscious so that he will not get into trouble. Tommy then drives Deutsch and his accomplices, Harry Bowser and Hobey Jenkins, to the gate, but the guard refuses to let them pass. A gun battle ensues after the prisoners take two guards hostage, and Deutsch uses Tommy as shield when he insists that Howland open the gates. Tommy urges his father not to acquiesce and then is shot in the back by Deutsch. Howland and Anne comfort the repentant Tommy as he dies, and Howland then pursues Deutsch into the cell block, where he shoots and kills the criminal. Later, Howland is still grieving for his son when a new group of prisoners is brought to his office. Having learned to temper justice with mercy, he urges teenaged convict Michael Callahan to come to him for advice and help. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.