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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:

Howard Hawks (uncredited)

Writers:

Martin Flavin (from the stage play by), Fred Niblo Jr. (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Huston ... Mark Brady
Phillips Holmes ... Robert Graham
Constance Cummings ... Mary Brady
Boris Karloff ... Galloway
DeWitt Jennings ... Captain Gleason (as De Witt Jennings)
Mary Doran ... Gertrude Williams
Ethel Wales ... Katie Ryan
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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Codice penale See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Goofs

Robert calculates there are 52,560 hours in six years. However, he forgets leap years with their extra day. So, in a span of six years there would actually be 52,584 or 52,608 hours, depending on if that period included one or two leap years. 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 »

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

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Targets (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Erotican
(uncredited)
Music by Mikulicz
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Criminal Code straddles the line between 2 societies
8 February 2006 | by sscaliciSee all my reviews

Sometimes you seem to get into a position where you have to take your medicine for an even unintended actions. That is what happens to poor 20-year-old Bob Graham, and within 10 minutes into the movie, he's in the infinite world of prison, where he must learn yet another set of codes of the criminal sort. Creepy Ned Galloway (Boris Karloff just before his "Frankenstein" turn) takes a rather minor (at least early on) role and fills it with gusto (maybe its that creepy little haircut) in a claustrophobic cell. Later, he does the right thing for rehabilitated and soon-to-be-paroled (maybe) Graham, who does not violate the titular Criminal Code (since he's still a con).

James Whale wanted Karloff for his monster after seeing Boris in this flick, and after you see it, you'll know why.

BTW, who doesn't love a good prison movie yarn, and with Karloff in it, it rates a "9."


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