Tiger Shark (1932): Hawks’ Pre-Code Sea Melodrama, Starring Edward G. Robinson

Howard Hawks directed Tiger Shark, a pre-Code melodrama starring Edward G. Robinson, Richard Arlen and Zita Johann.

The plot concerns a one-handed tuna fisherman named Mike (Robinson) whose wife falls for the man he lost his hand saving.

The film was made the same year as Scarface, one of the director’s best film of the early sound era.

The general storyline was repeated several times in subsequent films, most notably Manpower with Marlene Dietrich and George Raft, in which Robinson plays the same role, only as a power line worker.


Tiger Shark 1932 poster.jpg

Zita Johann is best known for her role opposite Boris Karloff in Karl Freund’s The Mummy that same year.


Directed by Howard Hawks
Produced by Bryan Foy
Written by Howard Hawks, John Lee Mahin
Screenplay by Wells Root; story by Houston Branch
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Cinematography: Tony Gaudio
Edited by Thomas Pratt
Distributed by First National Pictures
Release date September 22, 1932
Running time: 77 minutes

Edward G. Robinson as Mike Mascarenhas
Richard Arlen as Pipes Boley
Zita Johann as Quita Silva
Leila Bennett as Muggsey, A Barber
J. Carroll Naish as Tony


TCM showed the movie May 7, 2020.