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Discussion in 'DVD' started by JoHud, Jan 22, 2013.
Available for preorder at TCM Shop with a release date of 04/15/13
I've not seen any of these, but the early Howard Hawks film has me interested. I might bite on this one.
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.
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.
If you've picked up the Warner Archive's Karloff set you have to have this one, too.
Do you mean twenty minutes in each movie or twenty minutes with all three movies combined?
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.
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.
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.