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    Description

    The Criminal Code (Columbia, 1931). One Sheet (27" X 41") Style A.
    In this compelling prison drama, Phillips Holmes plays Robert Graham, a man who has been wrongly sent to jail for killing a man in self-defense. When Mark Brady (Walter Huston), the DA who prosecuted Graham, becomes warden, he sees his error and offers Graham a job as his valet as a path to redemption for them both. Graham takes to the position instantly, especially as it involves frequent driving trips with the warden's pretty young daughter, Mary (Constance Cummings). When Graham is witness to a prison murder committed by his cellmate, Ned Galloway (Boris Karloff, just months before being cast in Frankenstein), he must choose whether to follow the letter of the law and tell the warden what he knows, or uphold the criminal code of silence.
    Based on a play by Martin Flavin, this picture was an early effort of director Howard Hawks, who was just developing his clever "overlapping dialogue" technique that he would work to perfection a little later in His Girl Friday (1940) and Ball of Fire (1941). After completing The Criminal Code, Hawks would go on to helm Scarface (1931) with Paul Muni, one of the formative gangster pictures of the era, and one that, along with Little Caesar (1931) and The Public Enemy (1931), would set the standard for virtually all gangster pictures to follow. This picture, therefore, is an important stepping stone to Scarface, as it represents Hawks' formative efforts in working out the tropes of the crime film that would become so vital to his next work. As well, one might consider this to be Hawks' exploration of the "regeneration" theme that was popular in movies of the 1920s - the "bad boy makes good" plotline - before moving on to the more hard-edged "gangster as social problem" film that Scarface would embody. This glorious stone litho treasure has been professionally restored to address tears and small holes on the right side, a crease in the bottom section, pinholes in Huston's forehead, and chips in the bottom border. Additionally, approximately one inch was trimmed from the top border and has been replaced. Don't miss your chance to own this stunning beauty. Break your silence and bid now! From the Berwick Discovery. Fine+ on Linen.




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    Auction Dates
    March, 2012
    23rd-24th Friday-Saturday
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