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The Criminal Code (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 3 January 1931 (USA)
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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Robert Graham
...
...
Galloway
DeWitt Jennings ...
Captain Gleason (as De Witt Jennings)
...
Gertrude Williams
Ethel Wales ...
Katie Ryan
Clark Marshall ...
Runch
Arthur Hoyt ...
Leonard Nettleford
...
Dr. Rinewulf
...
Tony Spelvin (as Paul Porcassi)
...
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 »
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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

After drugging Katie the housekeeper with tea to insure his alibi, Galloway pours out the contents of the cup in the sink, presumably to preclude any analysis of it, but he leaves the teapot to be discovered. See more »

Quotes

Mary Brady: What good is it to save a man if you destroy him while you're doing it?
Mark Brady: Yeah, I thought of that myself.
Mary Brady: Prison is full of men like that with broken minds and souls. What good is it to save a man for that when he'd be better off dead?
Mark Brady: Yes, I've thought of that too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's credits do not say that Howard Hawks directed the film; instead, they say that the film is "A Howard Hawks Production." See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Criminel (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Antagonist
(uncredited)
Music by Hubert Bath
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.


26 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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