Before he gained notoriety as “The Monster” in the Frankenstein movies, Boris Karloff appeared in more than 75 feature films and serials. Three of those early classics are now coming to DVD for the first time ever in Karloff Criminal Kind, a new exclusive collection from Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Available only through TCM's online store (http://shop.tcm.com), Karloff Criminal Kind will be released as part of the TCM Vault Collection on Monday, May 20. The set includes fully restored and re-mastered editions of The Criminal Code (1931), The Guilty Generation (1931) and Behind the Mask (1932). Complete descriptions of the films are included below.
The Karloff Criminal Kind collection will also feature an introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne. On-screen digital bonus materials include publicity stills, lobby cards, movie posters and more.
The Criminal Code (1931) – In this thriller directed by Howard Hawks, Boris Karloff plays a prisoner who is both a ruthless killer and a steadfast friend to other convicts – as long as they maintain the prisoners' code of silence. Walter Huston stars as the tough-but-fair warden, with Phillips Holmes as the man who falls for the warden's daughter. The adapted screenplay by Seton I. Miller and Fred Niblo Jr. earned an Oscar nomination.
The Guilty Generation (1931) – This Prohibition-era twist on Romeo & Juliet casts Karloff as a notorious bootlegger whose son falls in love with the daughter of his mortal enemy, played by Leo Carillo. Robert Young and Constance Cummings play the star-crossed lovers under the direction of Rowland V. Lee.
Behind the Mask (1932) – Karloff is a small-time criminal who helps a federal agent (Jack Holt) bust a narcotics syndicate whose leader's identity is not even known to his own henchman. Constance Cummings co-stars, with John Francis Dillon directing.