Within These Walls (film)

Within These Walls is a 1945 American drama film directed by H. Bruce Humberstone and written by Eugene Ling and Coles Trapnell. The film stars Thomas Mitchell, Mary Anderson, Edward Ryan, Mark Stevens, B.S. Pully and Roy Roberts.[1][2][3] The film was released on July 13, 1945, by 20th Century Fox.

Within These Walls
Theatrical release poster
Directed byH. Bruce Humberstone
Produced byBen Silvey
Screenplay byEugene Ling
Wanda Tuchock
Coles Trapnell
Story byJames B. Fisher
Coles Trapnell
StarringThomas Mitchell
Mary Anderson
Edward Ryan
Mark Stevens
B.S. Pully
Roy Roberts
Music byDavid Buttolph
CinematographyClyde De Vinna
Glen MacWilliams
Edited byHarry Reynolds
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 13, 1945 (1945-07-13)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited States


When a judge, Michael Howland, decries conditions at a state prison, the governor recommends he become the new warden. Howland accepts, requiring that his family move to a new home near the penitentiary. His daughter Anne understands the situation, but teen son Tommy is upset by it.

While introducing a new no-tolerance discipline to the prisoners, Howland meets convicted embezzler Steve Purcell, whose good behavior while serving his sentence impresses the warden after a jailhouse incident. Howland needs a driver for his family and entrusts Purcell with the job.

Befriending a couple of inmates, Tommy assists them with a breakout. After a quarrel with his father, Tommy leaves for college and does not see his family again for nearly two years. One day new prisoners are brought in and among them is Tommy, found guilty of an armed robbery.

The warden does not bend the rules for his son. His daughter, meantime, has fallen in love with Purcell, finding out he was innocent of his crime, taking the rap for his guilty brother. Ruthless inmate Martin Deutsch learns this from Tommy and uses this information against Purcell, saying he will inform on the brother if Purcell doesn't help him escape.

Tommy's conscience gets the better of him. He knocks out Purcell to keep him from the prison break. Deutsch, trapped at the gate by the warden's guards, shoots Tommy in the back. Howland pursues the fleeing Deutsch and guns him down.



  1. "Within These Walls (1945) - Overview". TCM.com. 1945-07-13. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  2. "Within-These-Walls - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  3. "Within These Walls". Afi.com. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
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