The Criminal Code

USA, 1931 (Howard Hawks; 1h 37m)

The Criminal Code is a prime example of Hawks’s early talkies (made after his brief stint in silent filmmaking), as well of the gritty crime films that were popular during the Great Depression (Hawks’s own seminal Scarface would arrive the following year). Rather than a gangster film, this is a prison melodrama in mould of I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), another highly popular subgenre of the early 1930s. 

In a much-heralded interview in 1962, Hawks told future director Peter Bogdanovich that in pursuit of authenticity he had hired 10 convicts to critique the story.

Encyclopaedia Britannica  
Date: June 21st, 2020
Time: 11:30am
Finishes at: 1:10pm

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