207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

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MichaelB
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207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#1 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:55 am

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THE CRIMINAL CODE
(Howard Hawks, 1930)


Release date: 22 March 2021

Limited Edition Blu-ray (World Blu-ray premiere) 

Pre-order here

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 Phillip 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.

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
• High definition remaster
• Original mono soundtrack
• Audio commentary with film historian Nora Fiore (2021)
The Howard Hawks Masterclass with John Carpenter (1997): archival audio recording of an event from the British Film Institute’s 1997 Howard Hawks retrospective at the National Film Theatre, London
Kim Newman on Boris Karloff (2021): the author and critic discusses the non-horror roles of the iconic actor
Codes and Convictions (2021): video essay comparing The Criminal Code with its 1950 film noir remake, Convicted
Lux Radio Theatre: ‘The Criminal Code’ (1937): radio adaptation starring Edward G Robinson
• Image gallery: publicity and promotional material
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Philip Kemp, extracts from interviews with Howard Hawks, Henri Langlois on the early sound films of Howard Hawks, overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited edition of 3,000 copies

All extras subject to change
 
#PHILTD207
BBFC cert: PG
REGION B

EAN: 5060697920703

Image
TWENTIETH CENTURY
(Howard Hawks, 1934)


Release date: 22 March 2021

Limited Edition Blu-ray (World Blu-ray premiere)

Pre-order here

The second film Howard Hawks (The Criminal Code) made at Columbia Pictures is among his greatest works. John Barrymore plays a theatre impresario down on his luck. Carole Lombard is his former protégé, now a major star. When the two meet by chance aboard the Twentieth Century locomotive, their love-hate relationship is reignited.

Now recognised as a classic, Twentieth Century is the film which established the template for the screwball comedy – and made Lombard a star. 

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES

• 4K restoration
• Original mono soundtrack
• Audio commentary with novelist and film historian Farran Smith Nehme (2021)
• Stars in Her Eyes (2021): academic Lucy Bolton discusses the film career of Carole Lombard
• Howard Hawks Study Day (1997): archival audio recording of an event from the British Film Institute’s 1997 Howard Hawks retrospective at the National Film Theatre, London
• Super 8 version: cut-down home cinema presentation
• Image gallery: publicity and promotional material
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Pamela Hutchinson, extracts from interviews with Howard Hawks, overview of contemporary and modern critical responses, and film credits
* World premiere on Blu-ray
* Limited edition of 3,000 copies
All extras subject to change

#PHILTD208

BBFC cert: U

REGION B
EAN: 5060697920710

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andyli
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Re: 208 Twentieth Century

#2 Post by andyli » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:01 am

Day one! Cannot get enough 4K restoration of B&W films.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#3 Post by Aunt Peg » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:00 am

Yes & Yes. I was only think about 20th Century yesterday, how much I'd love to see it again and now there is an announcement.

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filmyfan
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#4 Post by filmyfan » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:12 am

Excellent news - saw 20th Century before Covid at the BFI in a Lombard season - think it was the restored version

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Altair
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#5 Post by Altair » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:19 am

Indicator has the most consistently strong covers of any company at the moment.

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Finch
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#6 Post by Finch » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:57 am

Very happy about Twentieth Century AND in 4k! The Criminal Code sounds interesting. Now checking if anyone had anything to say about it in the recent Hawks Auteur thread....

EDIT: knives, therewillbeblus, altair and rayon vert all loved it apparently, plus it's got Walter Huston and the Karloff. That's going to be a comfortable blind buy then.

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Pavel
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#7 Post by Pavel » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:02 am

Altair wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:19 am
Indicator has the most consistently strong covers of any company at the moment.
These are great, but Light Sleeper's cover sucks imo.

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Ribs
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#8 Post by Ribs » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:07 am

Weird, I thought there was something that indicated Criterion would be handling 20th Century for US/UK (as Columbia doesn't license for the UK anything Criterion is going to release) but guess that lapsed or whatever. Still cool for Indicator to do more releases from the 30s though!

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Finch
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#9 Post by Finch » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:12 am

Twentieth Century is Region B locked.

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Finch
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#10 Post by Finch » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:13 am

Hhm, weirdly enough, according to the specs, Criminal Code is not, on the other hand.

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MichaelB
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#11 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:21 am

It definitely is, but thank you for obliquely drawing my attention to the fact that a line break went missing so it appears to be REGION B
EAN: 5060697920703. I'll fix that now.

There will be a handful of region-free releases going forward, but they'll unavoidably be in a tiny minority. As the physical media market dwindles still further, major rightsholders seem to be getting much keener on enforcing region-locking.

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knives
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#12 Post by knives » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:26 am

Altair wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:19 am
Indicator has the most consistently strong covers of any company at the moment.
And here I was thinking that’s not how you sell people on Lombard.

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Roscoe
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#13 Post by Roscoe » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:17 am

Aw dammit to hell, a 4K restoration of TWENTIETH CENTURY, there goes my pre-New Year's resolution to lay off purchases.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#14 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:48 am

Fantastic to see more early Golden Age studio films from Indicator. I believe these are the first from the 30s they've released that weren't originally part of a box set.

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MichaelB
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#15 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:21 am

Yes, I believe that's correct - the six Dietrich/Von Sternbergs, one of the Fords, and two of the (scripted by) Fullers were all in box sets.

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Drucker
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#16 Post by Drucker » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:29 am

Chiming in to the thread to further express my excitement. I woke up and saw Anthony Nield's Twitter with the 20th Century Cover and I thought maybe he was just making mock covers for fun.

Jonathan S
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#17 Post by Jonathan S » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:37 am

Is it coincidence that Indicator's THE CRIMINAL CODE is scheduled for release on the same day as the BFI's TARGETS (which prominently includes a clip from the earlier film)...?

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MichaelB
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#18 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:46 am

Yes.

It was equally coincidental that Little Murders came out at the same time as the BFI's The Touch, although I did let them know in advance that Elliott Gould spent a fair bit of his interview talking about working with Ingmar Bergman.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#19 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:24 am

Drucker wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:29 am
Chiming in to the thread to further express my excitement. I woke up and saw Anthony Nield's Twitter with the 20th Century Cover and I thought maybe he was just making mock covers for fun.
I absolutely love that cover! This is one of those Hawks titles that I've wanted to see but didn't because of all the dvd versions floating around there. That it's 4k is making me think it might be one of my favorite discoveries of 2021. I'd forgotten about Criminal Code so between this and that Film Foundation resto of The Big Sky it's great to see more Hawks resurface like this.

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domino harvey
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#20 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:29 am

Twentieth Century may be extremely well liked (and with due cause) ever since the mid-century Hawks re-evaluation, but it was not a popular film and did not “make” Lombard a star upon its release— she was already more well-known for films quite unlike her most lasting comic roles. See here for more

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#21 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:00 pm

Twentieth Century is the funniest movie I've ever seen, and as far as I'm concerned this is the release of the year. I woke up this morning, saw this announcement, and thought that I was still dreaming- literally (the cover didn't help, even though it's gorgeous- anyone going into this expecting a serious romanticized Lombard star-vehicle is in for a rude awakening).

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soundchaser
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#22 Post by soundchaser » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:37 pm

I'm not quite as sold on Twentieth Century as some, but there's no doubt this is a major, major release that I'm thrilled to support. And I'm glad someone (other than the long-suffering domino harvey) is finally doing a piece on Carole Lombard.

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dwk
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#23 Post by dwk » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:44 pm

Ribs wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:07 am
Weird, I thought there was something that indicated Criterion would be handling 20th Century for US/UK (as Columbia doesn't license for the UK anything Criterion is going to release) but guess that lapsed or whatever. Still cool for Indicator to do more releases from the 30s though!
Criterion is rumored to have The Roaring Twenties, so you might be thinking of that.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#24 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:55 pm

I'm not familiar with Nehme well enough to get overly excited about the commentary, but this is very much a comedy that is both cosmetically pleasurable and also indicative of deeper jabs at uncomfortably-relatable narcissism and the default to selfishness within equally compelling intimacy in social relationships, as well as the lure into playing games with people to cope with this paradoxical absurdist friction. My writeup from the Hawks project:
therewillbeblus wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:30 am
Twentieth Century

My favorite Hawks, my favorite pure comedy, and on any given day a contender for sneaking into my all-time top ten list, this loud film is pulsing with an energy far more intricate than it appears. I actually didn’t like this film the first time I saw it, as I was missing the zippy intelligent verbiage of His Girl Friday and the situational dynamic extravagance of Bringing Up Baby’s various setpieces. Oh, the miracles of reconsideration! What sets this film apart is that the humor is derived more directly from the loose possibilities of a very certain type of human behavior stemming from an individual vessel, rather than realising the potential in an array of exchanges dependent upon constructed line-readings or setpieces. That doesn’t mean that the thrills here don’t involve more than one party (they do), but the gags hinge on each person giving it their unhinged ‘all’ and watching a bunch of hungry ferocious beasts collaborate by the nature of placing them together in a cage, like an intentional happy accident, and one that mirrors our crazy social world.

The film embraces these contradictions and is also about this process through a twisted examination of the potency of human support. Barrymore motivates Lombard into a state of uninhibited confidence, unlocking her potential by supplying an artificial push in a pin-prick. Hawks' comedy doesn’t ask for a complex reading, but I’ll give it anyways: This is a film about the insanity of people fighting for control, resisting influence, and yet through the nature of coexisting and needing another person as a sounding board for one’s orchestra of emotional projection, they inevitably finance one another’s greatest strengths and horrid weaknesses to wild proportions.

Barrymore finds the optimal method to react to a variable in every scene, flip-flopping in the least self-aware avenues, and Lombard’s own transformation is brilliant as they play off of one another in a never ending one-upmanship of theatrics. The performances are so hammy, and are even better because they are based on the awareness that each character is giving a performance themself (she learns from the best- “I despise temperament!”). The quieter roles of Barrymore’s associates play ‘roles’ too, just like all people do in a predetermined system governing our socialization. In fact, Walter Connolly has my favorite line in the whole film, derived from his earnest nonchalant willingness to give his own life to please his boss! Even the crazy old man is playing a role- having fun in the only way he can, escaping into a part amidst the deterioration of mental health which is anything but funny outside of a movie. These characters all need an audience to actualize their identities, and through unexpected means this film is reminiscent of Hawks' later works that celebrate paramount participation in life.

If you, like me, think that narcissistic overly dramatic people are hilarious, I implore you to give this film a try, knowing that it is not going to play to the humor many typically find to be ‘smarter’ but I believe is secretly the most intelligent of the bunch (in Hawks’ oeuvre and outside of it). Each revisit I find myself rewinding scenes several times because even when paying full attention I miss a small idiosyncratic detail that contains a new visual joke in someone’s mannerisms. This is the most wonderfully scathing film on the clashing of egos in social engagement, of the repellent magnetism of men and women, and the instinctual power blindly taking over as we attempt to collaborate in passionate activities - work or play - intentionally exaggerated to the greatest extremes to show us what we might look like from an alien’s perspective. It’s also a film that we are allowed not to see ourselves in, to identify with people we know or the sheer potential a human being can have to express themselves, to trick another, and to fake their way through an interaction to get what they want. Who hasn’t detected a passive-aggressive move like Jaffe’s early ‘attempt’ before, and yet who has had the guts to call one on it like Lombard does?

What appears to be an outlier is actually perfectly emblematic of Hawks’ interests. As a comedy, the film aligns with his ideal definition of humor as derived from non-humorous situations (the actors make the lines funny, but they aren’t funny themselves) more than any of his other comedies; and as a film, or a dramatization of life, it simultaneously celebrates collaborative practice while skewering the individualistic inanity that it costs to get there. Barrymore may be an egoist and a control-freak, but he also feels a genuine pleasure from creating a work with a partner in Lombard’s starlet. Collectivism may produce great work, but it can be pretty hollow when composed of repelling parts. Or maybe that's just part of the games we're all playing, in one way or another, all the time. This is the joke of life, and the cyclical nature of the film ending where it began is a perfect crown to cement that Sisyphean process that is infectiously beautiful as a depraved emotional rollercoaster. Absurd, sure, but one hell of a fun ride!

And if you don’t like it, you’re Judas, and it’s curtains for ya.

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Re: 207-208 The Criminal Code & Twentieth Century

#25 Post by Gerald Christie » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:35 pm

Definitely in for The Twentieth Century, a lovely and unexpected announcement of one of the top screwball comedies in my book. That being said, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed with the extras. They couldn't manage to include in some way Todd McCarthy or Peter Bogdanovich? The former wrote the definitive book on Howard Hawks and the latter conducted multiple interviews with him. Granted, it may be difficult due to COVID or age related issues but still... No offense to Farran Smith Nehme, but I find her writing very much hit and miss. They just tend to be very observational and superficial and not much in the way of insightful analysis. I'm not expecting much from her commentary. The Carole Lombard extra could be interesting... Maybe it's just me but considering the director and film, I expected overall more, a limited package more akin to their Sweet Charity one. This classic certainly deserves more and I can't help but be left wanting more. Hopefully, there is additional content coming.

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