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The Criminal Code (1931)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  3 January 1931 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 587 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 10 critic

After a failed attempt at running for governor, D.A. Mark Brady is appointed warden of the state prison where many of the criminals he prosecuted are incarcerated.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(from the stage play by), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Phillips Holmes ...
Robert Graham
Constance Cummings ...
...
Galloway
DeWitt Jennings ...
Captain Gleason (as De Witt Jennings)
...
Gertrude Williams
Ethel Wales ...
Katie
Clark Marshall ...
Runch
Arthur Hoyt ...
Leonard Nettleford
John St. Polis ...
Dr. Rinewulf
Paul Porcasi ...
Tony Spelvin (as Paul Porcassi)
Otto Hoffman ...
Jim Fales
John Sheehan ...
McManus
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Storyline

A wily D.A.(Brady) gets a 10 year conviction of a young 20 year old (Robert Graham)who he knows killed a man in self defense. Years later Brady becomes warden of the prison holding Graham. When Brady realizes that 6 years of working in the prison jute mill has pushed Graham to the breaking point, he gives him a chance- a new job as his valet. Graham responds well and earns the respect of both the warden and his beautiful daughter. Graham's mettle is put to the test when he stumbles onto a prison murder committed by his cell-mate. He must choose between the criminal code of silence and the warden's strong persuasion to reveal the killer. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Codice penale  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 2 October 1929 and closed in March 1930 after 173 performances. The opening night cast included Arthur Byron as Brady, Russell Hardie as Graham, Anita Kerry as Mary Brady, Burr Caruth, Ethel Griffies and Walter Kingsford. Galloway was played by Henry Crossen. See more »

Quotes

'Mac' McManus: [Noticing that the trustee barber shaving Brady is a former cutthroat] Say, you know who that barber is.
Mark Brady: Yeah, sure I do.
'Mac' McManus: You better lay off and grow a beard!
See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of El código penal (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Accusation
(uncredited)
Music by J.S. Zamecnik
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best prison movies ever made
28 November 2006 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

I would say it is THE best except for my fondness for "Caged." This is a brilliant movie, as shocking as Hawks's "Scarface," released a year later and far better known.

Walter Huston is a district attorney when we met him. Throughout, he is given to the one word, catchall statement or response "Yeah." Huston has rarely if ever been better -- and he was one of the greats of Hollywood history.

Phillips Holmes is excellent as a young man he sends to prison. He is innocent in all senses before he gets there. But he quickly leans the code of the title.

Constance Cummins isn't given much as Huston's daughter but she is appealing. However, Boris Karloff gives one of his very finest performances as a tough but decent prisoner. Of course, of course he is fine in "Frankenstein." And he is wildly brilliant in "Lured" many years later. Here he gives a solid, unadorned, moving performance.

Clark Marshall, a name I do not recognize, is also fine. He plays a sniveling, conniving inmate. And DeWitt Jennings is shocking as a brutal guard.

Amazingly, I had never seen this movie before tonight. It's bone I will want to see again; and I urge you to see it, too.


25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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