Three thousand men are crammed into cells designed to hold 1800. And with the overcrowding comes the hard-time toughness, the mess-hall ritual, the dark agony of the hole, the cigarettes as currency, the hidden shivs, the hushed voices in the yard, the scheming and the desperation of men with nothing to lose - all the conventions of prison films to come were set with Ho11ywoods first major men-behind-bars picture. Wallace Beery as killer Machine Gun Butch Schmidt, Chester Morris as sly con Morgan, whograsps a chance to redeem himself, and Robert Montgomery as a scared kid-turned-stoolie lead the way in a gritty double Academy Award winner.* Im going to break this place open, Machine Gun says. He means it.