Pre-Code Movies on TCM and the Criterion Channel in March 2022

Happy spring– or is that just what winter wants you to think?

There’s a lot of great movie stuff dropping this month, including a great lineup of Paramount films on the Criterion channel, including some of the most insane and goofy that the studio produced. TCM is focused on Oscar-nominated pre-Codes, and there are still some good ones in there at that.

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Pre-Code Movies on Criterion Channel

This month is one of the months that really make a membership for Criterion Channel worthwhile as they showcase 20 of the best (and, hey, a few of the worst) Paramount pre-Code films. You can read their descriptions of the series at their website, or you can click on any of the movies listed below to read my reviews of them. Any that haven’t been covered yet will likely be what I’ll spend March reviewing.

Pre-Code Movies on TCM in March 2022

7/2, 3:15 PM – Finishing School (1934)

A boarding-school girl has to cope with family problems and puppy love.

Dir: Wanda Tuchock Actors: Frances Dee,Billie Burke,Ginger Rogers
Runtime: 73 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/6, 06:15 AM – Little Women (1933)

The four March sisters fight to keep their family together and find love while their father is off fighting the Civil War.

Dir: George Cukor Actors: Katharine Hepburn,Joan Bennett,Paul Lukas
Runtime: 115 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/8, 12:30 AM – The Champ (1931)

A broken-down prizefighter battles to keep custody of his son.

Dir: King Vidor Actors: Wallace Beery,Jackie Cooper,Irene Rich
Runtime: 86 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/8, 02:15 AM – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of a scientist who unleashes the beast within.

Dir: Rouben Mamoulian Actors: Fredric March,Miriam Hopkins,Rose Hobart
Runtime: 90 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/8, 04:00 AM – Viva Villa (1934)

Rousing biography of the bandit chief who led the battle for Mexican independence.

Dir: Jack Conway Actors: Wallace Beery,Leo Carrillo,Fay Wray
Runtime: 115 mins .. Genre: Western .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/14, 06:00 AM – A Free Soul (1931)

A hard-drinking lawyer’s daughter falls for one of his underworld clients.

Dir: Clarence Brown Actors: Norma Shearer,Leslie Howard,Lionel Barrymore
Runtime: 91 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/14, 07:45 AM – The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931)

A woman takes to the streets to provide for her illegitimate son.

Dir: Edgar Selwyn Actors: Helen Hayes,Lewis Stone,Neil Hamilton
Runtime: 74 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/14, 09:15 AM – The Divorcee (1930)

The double standard destroys a liberal couple’s marriage.

Dir: Robert Z. Leonard Actors: Norma Shearer,Chester Morris,Conrad Nagel
Runtime: 80 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/14, 10:45 AM – Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Boyhood friends grow up on opposite sides of the law.

Dir: W. S. Van Dyke Actors: Clark Gable,William Powell,Myrna Loy
Runtime: 93 mins .. Genre: Crime .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/14, 08:00 PM – All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Young German soldiers try to adjust to the horrors of World War I.

Dir: Lewis Milestone Actors: Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray
Runtime: 140 mins .. Genre: War .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: N

3/20, 06:45 AM – Morning Glory (1933)

A stage struck girl travels to New York determined to make it on Broadway.

Dir: Lowell Sherman Actors: Katharine Hepburn,Douglas Fairbanks,Adolphe Menjou
Runtime: 74 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/22, 12:15 AM – The Gay Divorcee (1934)

A woman thinks a flirting man is the co-respondent her lawyer has hired to expedite her divorce.

Dir: Mark Sandrich Actors: Fred Astaire,Ginger Rogers,Alice Brady
Runtime: 107 mins .. Genre: Musical .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/22, 02:15 AM – The Merry Widow (1934)

A prince from a small kingdom courts a wealthy widow to keep her money in the country.

Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Actors: Maurice Chevalier,Jeanette Macdonald,Edward Everett Horton
Runtime: 99 mins .. Genre: Musical .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/27, 05:45 AM – Grand Hotel (1932)

The lives of the denizens of the Grand Hotel intertwine: a lonely ballerina, a noble thief, an ambitious stenographer, a dying man on a last fling and a ruthless industrialist.

Dir: Edmund Goulding Actors: Greta Garbo,John Barrymore,Joan Crawford
Runtime: 105 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/27, 07:45 AM – It Happened One Night (1934)

A spoiled rich girl escapes her father, who wants to stop her from marrying a worthless playboy. En route to New York, she gets involved with an out-of-work newsman and the couple sets off on a hitchhiking expedition.

Dir: Frank Capra Actors: Clark Gable,Claudette Colbert,Walter Connolly
Runtime: 105 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/28, 04:30 AM – Eskimo (1933)

An Eskimo family fights to survive harsh conditions in the frozen North.

Dir: W. S. Van Dyke Actors: Mala,Lotus,Joseph Sauers
Runtime: 117 mins .. Genre: Adventure .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/28, 06:45 AM – Min and Bill (1930)

Two crusty waterfront characters try to protect their daughter from a terrible secret.

Dir: George Hill Actors: Marie Dressler,Wallace Beery,Dorothy Jordan
Runtime: 69 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/28, 10:00 AM – The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)

The famed English monarch suffers through five of his six disastrous marriages.

Dir: Alexander Korda Actors: Charles Laughton,Merle Oberon,Wendy Barrie
Runtime: 93 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/28, 04:15 PM – The Dawn Patrol (1930)

A hotshot World War I flyer almost cracks under the pressure of sending his men on perilous missions.

Dir: Howard Hawks Actors: Richard Barthelmess,Douglas Fairbanks,Neil Hamilton
Runtime: 95 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/28, 10:30 PM – Cimarron (1931)

A husband and wife fight to survive in the early days of the Oklahoma Territory.

Dir: Wesley Ruggles Actors: Richard Dix,Irene Dunne,Estelle Taylor
Runtime: 131 mins .. Genre: Western .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/29, 01:00 AM – The Big House (1930)

An attempted prison break leads to a riot.

Dir: George Hill Actors: Chester Morris,Wallace Beery,Lewis Stone
Runtime: 80 mins .. Genre: Crime .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

3/29, 02:45 AM – One Way Passage (1932)

An ocean voyage leads to romance for a dying heiress and a condemned criminal.

Dir: Tay Garnett Actors: William Powell,Kay Francis,Aline Macmahon
Runtime: 69 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

3/29, 04:15 AM – A Farewell to Arms (1932)

An American soldier falls in love with Catherine Barkley, a British nurse he meets after being wounded at the front.

Dir: Frank Borzage Actors: Helen Hayes,Gary Cooper,Adolphe Menjou
Runtime: 78 mins .. Genre: Romance .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

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