The Criminal Code (released January 3, 1931) is a Hollywood crime film, directed by Howard Hawks, based on a play by Martin Flavin with cinematic adaptation by screenwriters Seton I. Miller and Fred Niblo, Jr.
Shot in black-and-white, the picture stars Walter Huston as District Attorney Mark Brady, who gets a dapper young law intern named Robert Graham, played by Phillips Holmes, convicted for ten years.
Like other prison films of the 1930s, such as San Quentin and Each Dawn I Die, The Criminal Code encouraged its viewers to question the contemporary American legal and penal systems.
The film also features Constance Cummings as Mary Brady, the warden's daughter, DeWitt Jennings as Yard Captain Gleason, and, reprising his onstage role as Ned Galloway, one of Graham's two cellmates, English-born actor Boris Karloff, who gives an electrifying proto-Frankenstein performance. He would be cast only a few months later as James Whale's infamous screen monster.
Six years of stress and hard...