The Criminal Code (Region B)

Type: New Blu-Ray

(Howard Hawks, 1930)
Release date: 26 June 2023
Standard Edition Blu-ray

Howard Hawks (Twentieth Century) made his first film for Columbia Pictures with this pre-Code prison movie. The great Walter Huston (Dragonwyck) stars as a district attorney-turned-prison warden who gets to witness first-hand the effects of his convictions, especially Phillips Holmes (An American Tragedy), imprisoned after killing a man in a drunken brawl. Co-starring Boris Karloff (Frankenstein), The Criminal Code is tough, no-nonsense, quintessential Hawks.


  • High Definition remaster
  • Original mono audio
  • Audio commentary with film historian Nora Fiore (2021)
  • Behind the Mask (2021, 26 mins): author and critic Kim Newman discusses the non-horror career of actor Boris Karloff
  • Codes and Convictions (2021, 30 mins): video essay by Jonathan Bygraves on the many adaptations of Marvin Flavin’s The Criminal Code
  • The Howard Hawks Masterclass with John Carpenter (1997, 36 mins): archival audio recording of a presentation by the cult filmmaker from the British Film Institute’s 1997 Howard Hawks retrospective at the National Film Theatre, London
  • Lux Radio Theatre: ‘The Criminal Code’ (1939, 59 mins): radio adaptation starring Edward G Robinson, Beverly Roberts and Paul Guilfoyle
  • Image galleries: on-set and promotional photography from The Criminal Code and its lost Spanish-language version, El código penal
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing