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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:
...
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 »
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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

State's Attorney: Now, there was a killing out here over a week ago. So far there's been no inquest. Th-the coroner's done his duty. He's been out here three times. We've sworn in a jury, packed them out here in a bus, and had to pack them back again. Each time you've asked for a postponement. You wouldn't let us see this fellow Graham, and you refused to testify yourself. All we know about the case is what comes out in the newspapers.
Mark Brady: Yeah, and that's not much.
State's Attorney: Not much? A man's dead and somebody's got to pay!
Mark Brady: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Penitentiary (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Antagonist
(uncredited)
Music by Hubert Bath
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Eye for An Eye
3 June 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The Criminal Code" is centered around the theme "An Eye for An Eye." This theme is the reason that young Robert Graham is sent to prison, the reason why the prisoners object to the D.A. becoming the Warden of the prison, and the reason why Graham is sent to "the hole" near the end of the film. For 1931, it was one of the first critical looks at this theme. It raises certain questions as to the morals of the law, and the Criminal Code versus the Prisoners Code. Phillips Holmes gives a good enough performance as Robert Graham, and Boris Karloff came off well as the inmate with a bone to pick (months before becoming Frankenstein), but the performance that I liked the most was Walter Huston, who played the D.A.-turned-prison-warden. Huston's character was a wily one, who said "Yeah" and "Yeah?" about a hundred times throughout the film.


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