The Criminal Code

A seldom seen Howard Hawks film (1931), derived from a stage hit and somewhat too talky. A district attorney (Walter Huston) loses his bid for governor and is consoled (sort of) by being appointed warden of a prison—which is full of men he put there. In its stark, clean visual style and its blend of dark humor and violence, the film is a prelude to Hawks's masterful Scarface. With Constance Cummins, Phillips Holmes, and Boris Karloff. 97 min.

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