MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,003 this week

The Criminal Code (1931)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  3 January 1931 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 571 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 »
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 19 Oct 2010
 
list image
a list of 45 titles
created 08 Sep 2011
 
list image
a list of 47 titles
created 25 Nov 2011
 
list image
a list of 42 titles
created 25 Nov 2011
 
list image
a list of 41 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Criminal Code (1931)

The Criminal Code (1931) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Criminal Code.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Air Force (1943)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young
Red Line 7000 (1965)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The story of three racing drivers and three women, who constantly have to worry for the lives of their boyfriends. Jim Loomis and Mike Marsh drive for Pat Cassarian. Jim expects his fiancée... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: James Caan, Laura Devon, Gail Hire
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A federal agent goes undercover to infiltrate a drug smuggling operation headed by a mysterious Mr. X, a criminal mastermind whose identity is unknown even to his henchmen. Mr. X is also ... See full summary »

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Jack Holt, Constance Cummings, Boris Karloff
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A visiting American engages in a bold business promotion, the likes of which the British have not seen.

Director: Marion Gering
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Nigel Bruce, Constance Collier
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Gangster's moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Benny Goodman
Dirigible (1931)
Certificate: Passed Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A French explorer enlists the help of the US Navy in an expedition to the South Pole. There is competition between the airship division and fixed wing fliers, resolved in triumph and ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jack Holt, Fay Wray, Ralph Graves
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

It's the 1930s, the Depression era, and the Board of Directors of Thomas Dickson's bank want Dickson to merge with New York Trust and resign. He refuses. One night, Dickson's bank is robbed... See full summary »

Directors: Frank Capra, Allan Dwan, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Walter Huston, Pat O'Brien, Kay Johnson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Smith is a young architect who changed his name from Marco Ricca when he realized that being a notorious bootlegger's son was not likely to help his career. Maria Palmiero's father is ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Leo Carrillo, Constance Cummings, Robert Young
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The career of a waitress takes off when she meets an amiable drunken Hollywood producer.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Constance Bennett, Lowell Sherman, Neil Hamilton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Julie Cavendish comes from a family of great Broadway actors. Her mother Fanny staunchly continues acting. Her boisterous brother Tony is fleeing a breach of promise suit in Hollywood. Her ... See full summary »

Directors: George Cukor, Cyril Gardner
Stars: Ina Claire, Fredric March, Henrietta Crosman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Louise Fazenda, Ethel Wales, J. Farrell MacDonald
Edit

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
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The only non-Caucasian prisoner in the 2500-man prison is Japanese Tetsu Komai. 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

Featured in The Whole Town's Talking (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Cryptic Shadows (Agitato Mysterioso)
(uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Becce
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Huston and Karloff Make The Film
30 April 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Criminal Code, The (1931)

*** (out of 4)

Terrific acting highlights this pre-code prison-drama about an overbearing D.A. (Walter Huston) who sidelines an innocent man (Phillips Holmes) into prison where he learns the "criminal code" way of doing things. The D.A. eventually becomes the prison warden where he runs into contact with many of the men he sent away including the innocent one who will once again find himself at the wrong place during the wrong time. There's no question this Columbia film was made to cash in on the previous years THE BIG HOUSE but that doesn't mean we get a watered-down copy. Instead director Hawks takes a pretty simple storyline and adds various dimensions simply by showing the stuff in a raw and realistic detail. THE BIG HOUSE is certainly a classic but to me this is the better film of the two. What makes this film work so well are some amazing performances with Huston leading the way. There was no one in Hollywood better for a role like this and God knows that Huston played his fair share of hot-tempered, "my way only" type of characters. He brings a lot of energy to the role and manages to make the character very memorable with a performance that many would copy in the future. Another major plus is the supporting performance of Boris Karloff who pretty much steals the film. Karloff has an uncanny and natural performance that brings a certain rawness as well as a coldness that is a real joy to watch. He's the type of bad guy here you just want to love. Constance Cummings plays Huston's daughter and she's pretty good even though the screenplay offers her very little except to be a love interest for Holmes. As for Holmes, I think he gives a good performance but I'd say he's several notches below both Huston and Karloff. Again, it's a fine performance but at the same time if they had someone on the same level as the other two men the film might have been even better. Hawks makes the film as realistic and as raw as he can, which I guess you could say was a trademark during this early portion of his career. I think the film gets off to a somewhat slow start but picks up at the twenty-minute mark and pretty much sails home. The final thirty-minutes are pure Hawks magic and are the most powerful of these early prison films.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Andy Devine and his amazing bread slicer lanlguy
Discuss The Criminal Code (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?