CONVICT’S CODE. Monogram Pictures, 1939. Robert Kent, Anne Nagel, Sidney Blackmer, Victor Kilian, Norman Willis, Maude Eburne, Ben Alexander. Director: Lambert Hillyer. Currently available for viewing here on YouTube.

   You’d have to be a real fan of old movies to recognize more than one or two of the names above with resorting to IMDb to look them up, but they were all professional performers with loads of credits. I imagine Ben Alexander’s name stands out the most, and his was only a small part. I recognized him by his voice before I saw who he was. He was very young, only 28 at the time, although he’d been making movies since he was five.

   Robert Kent was a complete unknown, but with 71 credits included on IMDb, obviously I haven’t been paying attention. In Convict’s Code, he plays the convict, obviously the leading role. He plays Dave Tyler, a former football star who’s been in prison for three years, locked up for a robbery he didn’t commit.

   Released on parole, he vows to prove his innocence, but the six eyewitnesses who testified against him seem all to have died or disappeared. This is not surprising, at least to the audience, who all knew this is what was going to happen as soon as he shook the warden’s hand goodbye.

   But here is where some suspension of disbelief comes in. After meeting with is parole officer, who goes through all of the things Dave can and cannot do (mostly cannot), Dave unknowingly goes to work for the very same man (Sidney Blackmer) who framed him. And this same guy has a sister (slim and very pretty Anne Nagel) whom he dotes on, and with whom Dave soon finds himself falling in love.

   There is more, and all of the players play their roles most enthusiastically, making what could have been a very dull affair not that much of a chore to watch. Turning off your mind and not asking questions helps, but sometimes that’s all you don’t mind doing on a cold winter night around midnight.