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"Karloff: Criminal Kind" - New 3-film DVD collection available for preorder.


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#1 of 9 JoHud

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Posted January 22 2013 - 05:48 AM

Turner Classic Movies and Sony Home Entertainment proudly present Karloff Criminal Kind, a new collection of three atmospheric crime thrillers that showcase Boris Karloff’s intensity and depth as a dramatic actor. Before he gained notoriety as “The Monster” in the Frankenstein movies, Boris Karloff (b. William Henry Pratt) had appeared in over 75 feature films and serials. Born to a distinguished British family, he assumed a stage name and immigrated to Canada and then the United States, where he performed various manual labor jobs while trying to launch an acting career. The grittiness of his life experience carries over to his performances in the three films in this collection. In THE CRIMINAL CODE (1931), directed by Howard Hawks (Scarface, The Big Sleep), Karloff plays a prisoner who is both a ruthless killer and a steadfast friend to other convicts—so long as they maintain the prisoner’s code of silence. In THE GUILTY GENERATION (1931) he is a notorious bootlegger whose son falls for the daughter of his mortal enemy in a Prohibition-era twist on “Romeo and Juliet.” In BEHIND THE MASK (1932), Karloff is a small-time criminal who helps a federal agent (Jack Holt) bust a narcotics syndicate. Presented for the first time on DVD, these three films have been fully restored and re-mastered.

Available for preorder at TCM Shop with a release date of 04/15/13

#2 of 9 Russell G

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Posted January 22 2013 - 09:24 AM

I've not seen any of these, but the early Howard Hawks film has me interested. I might bite on this one.


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#3 of 9 Joe Karlosi

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Posted January 23 2013 - 02:49 AM

I have only seen THE CRIMINAL CODE and THE GUILTY GENERATION. I liked them both, though Karloff has a lesser part in these. I do intend to buy this release.

#4 of 9 Michael Elliott

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Posted January 23 2013 - 10:55 AM

I'm sure many blind buyers are going to be upset that Karloff has a total of twenty-minutes worth of running time but all three movies are good. People just shouldn't expect Karloff in big roles. Alpha released a "Karloff Before Frankenstein" set and after the majors get done with these minor movies, hopefully we can get some of the non-famous stuff that he was just doing small bits in.

#5 of 9 Bob Cashill

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Posted January 23 2013 - 04:47 PM

If you've picked up the Warner Archive's Karloff set you have to have this one, too.

#6 of 9 BrianRi

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Posted January 23 2013 - 06:02 PM

I'm sure many blind buyers are going to be upset that Karloff has a total of twenty-minutes worth of running time but all three movies are good. People just shouldn't expect Karloff in big roles. Alpha released a "Karloff Before Frankenstein" set and after the majors get done with these minor movies, hopefully we can get some of the non-famous stuff that he was just doing small bits in.

Do you mean twenty minutes in each movie or twenty minutes with all three movies combined?

#7 of 9 JoHud

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Posted January 24 2013 - 07:59 AM

I believe it's around 20 minutes per film. His role in these will likely be similar to his supporting role in Five Star Final.

#8 of 9 Michael Elliott

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Posted January 24 2013 - 04:44 PM

I probably should have kept my mouth shut since I didn't have an exact running time for each film but it's pretty small. THE CRIMINAL CODE is probably the best role but if you've seen TARGETS then you've seen the best stuff. BEHIND THE MASK has him doing a very good job but he's mainly in the first half of the picture and still takes a back seat to Holt. THE GUILTY GENERATION is the smallest of the three and I don't want to scare anyone off from the film because it's quite good but Karloff's role is probably under 15-minutes total as he's pretty much just a supporting character.

#9 of 9 Richard--W

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Posted January 25 2013 - 02:34 PM

I taped these films off TCM years ago except for THE CRIMINAL CODE which I bought on a Columbia VHS in the 1980s and still have. Now I can replace them with official releases in better quality. Each is a solid crime drama, well made and entertaining, typical of the early talkies that were coming out in 1930 and 1931. One can enjoy these films whether Karloff is in them or not, but the fact that he has a small role in each film makes them all the more special. Karloff radiated tremendous empathy together with a desperate urgency. He is the most interesting actor of the period, surpassing even Paul Muni in his depth, intensity, chameleon changes and diversity of choices. Anything with Karloff from this period is an absolute must. Karloff in The Criminal Code.




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