Skip to main content


    The Criminal Code (Columbia, 1931). One Sheet (27" X 41") Style B.
    A story of a good man sent to prison to be "broken," this compelling prison drama stars Walter Huston as the warden, Phillips Holmes as a young man incarcerated for killing another man in self-defense, and Boris Karloff as the psychotic, amoral career criminal Ned Galloway. This is an important film in Karloff's career, as it's believed that it was seeing him in this picture that convinced director James Whale to cast him in Frankenstein (1931). Indeed, a number of the mannerisms Galloway exhibits would find their way into the characterization of Mary Shelley's famous monster. During the early years of cinema, the movies began to realize their inherent ability to affect social change. In the 1920s, an overriding theme was that of "regeneration," the belief that criminals weren't born bad, but made bad, and could return to a life on the right side of the law by personal efforts of transformation and with society's mercy and forgiveness. As the 1930s dawned, however, motion pictures cast their eye on the American prison system, and exposed the abuses of an unregulated and often inhumane system. Throughout the decade, films like The Criminal Code, San Quentin(1937), Each Dawn I Die (1939), and particularly I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) - based on a true story - brought the sordid spectacle of sadistic guards, uncaring wardens, and inhuman living conditions to the attention of the movie-going public. Through this raising of cultural awareness, real change was achieved with the arrival of real penal reform on a national level. As one of the earliest talking pictures to take up this banner, The Criminal Code remains an important part of an important struggle. The striking stone litho one sheet offered here, picturing stars Phillips Holmes and Constance Cummings, had pinholes, a small hole beneath the studio logo, chips and tears in the borders, and approximately one inch missing from the top border, all of which have been addressed by expert professional restoration. Paper for this important film is in extremely short supply, making this gorgeous poster a terrific find indeed. From the Berwick Discovery. Fine+ on Linen.

    View movie details on IMDB
    View movie details on AllMovie

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Movie Poster - Rolled (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2012
    23rd-24th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,180

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 July 28 - 29 Movie Posters Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Grey is a true asset to Heritage Auctions and Heritage Auctions are a true asset to the Movie Poster Hobby.
    Jim G.,
    Ray, MI
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Auction #161811 spotlights

    The War of the Worlds (Paramount, 1953). Window Card

    Jaws (Universal, 1975). One Sheet

    Rear Window (Paramount, 1954). Window Card

    Whoopee! (United Artists, 1930). Window Card

    King Cowboy (FBO, 1928). Title Lobby Card

    Elvis on Tour (MGM, 1972). British Quad

    South of the Rio Grande (Columbia, 1932). Title Lobby Card & Lobby Card

    Roman Holiday (Paramount, 1953). Window Card

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 November 18 - 19 Movie Posters Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 November 18 - 19 Movie Posters Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,843,783
    Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction
    Sunday Internet Movie Poster Auction
    REALIZED $53,064.25