Pre-Code Movies on TCM in April 2014 and Other Site News


Pre-Code.Com Site News for April 2014

I hope everyone’s March came out alright. I burned my foot fire walking and got through midterms for school, and that’s about as exciting as it gets around here while I’m in classes. I’m down to 16 weeks total of school left, and when things wrap up in August, let me tell you, it will be party time.

But, for now, I do have an announcement to make! After some consideration, I decided that May will be Reader Review Request Month here on Pre-Code.Com! I know it’s two months from now, but it’ll give me plenty of time to hit some lengthier entries. No prizes or anything, but a hearty thank you to everyone who makes a suggestion.

I do eight reviews a month, but three have already been taken– I’ve already promised a few people I’d do The Cheat, Blessed Event, and The Story of Temple Drake. Anyone who wants can submit a request down below in the comments section (one per person please!), and I’ll see what I can do, first come, first served. There are a few I will probably defer on due to future plans or availability, but I’ll let you know.  If you want to know what I’ve already covered, you can check out my site index here.

Anyway, back to the movies themselves. TCM has a pretty robust schedule this month, including a night of early John Wayne westerns and a rare showing of the pre-Code documentary Thou Shalt Not. As for rarities, War Nurse makes an appearance as does the splendid Arsene Lupin. Check them out!

Upcoming Reviews in April

  • Two very, very controversial films.
  • And a movie about a cute little girl with big dimples.

Pre-Code Hollywood Movies on TCM in April

Please note: All times are Eastern. This schedule is subject to change. See the full listings here. To watch TCM online, check out their TCM Watch site.

Date Time Film Link
4th 6:00 AM Scarlet Dawn (1932)
A Russian nobleman and his fiancee elope to live as peasants in Turkey.
4th 7:00 AM Miss Pinkerton (1932)
A private duty nurse gets herself mixed up in a murder investigation.
My Review
4th 8:15 AM He Was Her Man (1934)
A safecracker goes straight to get back at some fellow crooks.
4th 9:30 AM The Big Shakedown (1934)
A racketeer breaks into black-market medicine.
My Review
6th 10:00 PM Red Dust (1932)
They showed this twice in March. You have no excuse not to watch it!
My Review
11th 12:45 PM Blondie Johnson (1933)
Joan Blondell as a gangster. Nuff said!
My Review
13th 6:30 AM Bombshell (1933)
A glamorous film star rebels against the studio, her pushy press agent and a family of hangers-on.
My Review
15th 3:30 AM It Happened One Night (1934)
The required monthly showing.
My Review
15th 7:00 AM Son of a Sailor (1933)
A lovesick fool bumbles into espionage and finds a stolen plane.
16th 8:30 AM Paid (1930)
A young innocent plots revenge after being sent to prison unjustly.
16th 10:00 AM War Nurse (1930)
Rare WWI melodrama, well worth catching!
My Review
16th 11:30 AM Gentleman’s Fate (1931)
A bootlegger falls apart when his wife leaves him.
16th 1:15 PM The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931)
Helen Hayes won Best Actress for this story of a prostitute.
16th 2:45 PM Sporting Blood (1931)
A horse passes through a series of owners on the road to the Kentucky Derby.
My Review
16th 4:15 PM Carnival Boat (1932)
A logger defies his father to court a showgirl. But she’s played by Ginger Rogers, so I can’t blame him.
16th 5:30 PM Hell Divers (1930)
Two naval air force officers carry their rivalry from the skies to the bedroom. (!!)
17th 8:30 AM Dinner at Eight (1933)
Spoiler alert: the dinner is cold.
My Review
17th 10:30 AM The Thin Man (1934)
A husband-and-wife detective team takes on the search for a missing inventor and almost get killed for their efforts.
My Review
17th 10:00 PM Grand Hotel (1932)
Because there’s no such thing as ‘too much John Barrymore’ on TCM.
My Review
21st 8:00 PM The Big Trail (1930)
A series of John Wayne’s early westerns kicks off with his first big picture.
22nd 12:00 AM Haunted Gold (1932)
A cowboy and his girl fights bandits and a ghost over an abandoned mine. Roinks.
22nd 1:15 AM Somewhere in Sonora (1933)
A young cowhand is falsely accused of a crime.
22nd 2:30 AM Baby Face (1933)
A woman sleeps her way to the top.
My Review
22nd 4:00 AM Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
I presume this is put here so that your John Wayne loving grandpa who just finished Baby Face can figure out what the hell he just saw.
22nd 5:30 AM Telegraph Trail (1933)
An Army scout volunteers to string telegraph wires through Indian territory.
22nd 7:00 AM The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933)
A boxer facing a murder charge hides out in a kid’s house.
22nd 8:30 AM Ride Him, Cowboy (1932)
Not a gay porn. I presume.
22nd 9:45 AM The Big Stampede (1932)
More John Wayne.
22nd 11:00 AM The Man From Monterey (1932)
A cavalry officer tries to protect a landowner.
22nd 12:15 PM Sagebrush Trail (1933)
A man wrongly accused of murder escapes to find the man who committed the real crime.
22nd 1:30 PM Randy Rides Alone (1934)
I’m not sure how I feel about that title. The last John Wayne pre-Code.
28th 9:30 AM Free and Easy (1930)
Buster Keaton talkie. I’ve told you all you need to know.
My Review
28th 11:15 AM Guilty Hands (1931)
Underrated Kay Francis/Lionel Barrymore thriller.
My Review
28th 12:30 PM Arsene Lupin (1933)
Really fun team up between the two Barrymores. Catch it!
My Review
28th 2:00 PM Looking Forward (1933)
A young man keeps the family department store open during the Depression.
28th 3:30 PM Night Flight (1933)
A hodgepodge disaster.
My Review
28th 5:00 PM Should Ladies Behave? (1933)
A young girl falls for her aunt’s lover.
28th 6:30 PM Sweepings (1933)
A man spends his life building a successful career to pass to his uninterested kids.
30th 4:15 AM Mandalay (1934)
A woman with a past tries to get rid of a former lover.
My Review

Questions? Comments? Or do you just want to bug me? Leave a comment below!


Danny lives outside Tokyo, Japan, with his lovely wife, adorable daughter, and two yappy dogs. He blogs bi-weekly at pre-code.com, a website dedicated to Hollywood films from 1930 to 1934, and can be found on Twitter @PreCodeDotCom.

22 thoughts on “Pre-Code Movies on TCM in April 2014 and Other Site News

  1. I have two snappy pre-codes to suggest: Union Depot (1932) and I’ve Got Your Number (1934). Both are full of jaw-dropping scenes of scandalous behavior. In “Depot,” Joan Blondell comes graphically close to getting raped by grifter Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (while she is pretending to be a prostitute to raise the cash she needs for a train ticket). Joan is also trying to get away from a club footed sex pervert who likes to have her read him naughty stories…he has some other “likes” in store for her as well. “Number” has telephone installer Pat O’Brien called out to a brothel to make an installation…phone that is. Or maybe he is there to disconnect a line. Either way, he has to work around sleazy broads sitting on their beds and snapping their chewing gum. And that’s only one of the subplots. You get the idea. Both have Joan Blondell doing her stuff. You will like these! Both are available on DVD.

    1. Since I’m trying to do 1934 stuff this year and you’ve certainly enticed me on it, I think I’ll go with I’ve Got Your Number. I penciled it in for May 16th. Thanks!

  2. Now that I’ve found a couple ways to get TCM, I’m ready for April. I bought a Chromecast to put Watch TCM from my iPad onto my TV, but it didn’t support the Watch TCM app. However, I discovered it will cast anything from Chrome. Thus the name I guess. But what the hell, TCM now streams from the web anyway, if you have a cable channel login from a company it supports. Luckily, my wife works out of town and does. I gave up our cable so she could have cable, but she lets me have the stream apps.

    I’ve also learned that Sony has a new over-the-air old movie channel, getTV. See this review http://willmckinley.wordpress.com/ – so TCM has some competition, and some of us have another source of old movies to watch. Not in my city, but I hope soon. I also hope it becomes a Roku channel.

    1. My roommate back in California bought a Chromecast and I think we were both disappointed with how useless it was. I tried streaming Warner Instant on it to no avail, and since his TV could already do YouTube, there wasn’t much use for it. Ah well.

      I saw Will’s story, and I was thinking about adding its schedule onto here, I’m just not sure how popular the network is. I suppose I could also check on Fox Movie Channel, too, since they throw out stuff from the pre-Code era every so often. (More often than TCM Australia does, that’s for sure.)

  3. Merrily We Go to Hell (1932). I haven’t seen this one but I once saw a gif of a scene with Sylvia Sidney looking a bit crazed while driving a car and jotted the name down but haven’t come around to it. Can I request an alternate in case this suggestion doesn’t work out ? Faithless also from 1932. And this is simply because Tallulah Bankhead + Robert Montgomery = hot.

    1. I’m very much in favor of reviewing any movies that I already own but I haven’t gotten to, and Merrily definitely fits in that category. I’ve got it listed for May 12th. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the plug, James. I’ve been trying to get the “Watch TCM” stream to my TV set, as well. Sometimes I can get the Chromecast to “cast” the web page with the broadcast stream, but, in most cases, the video freezes on the TV or plays without audio. Next I’m going to try to plug my laptop directly into the TV via an analog cable. There is likely encryption in the digital signal that prevents viewing of the app on TV.

    1. Yeah, that Chromecast stuff is annoying. I use the HDMI port on my laptop to hookup to my TV and it works perfectly fine for WAI and any MP4s I have on my computer. I wish it were easier than that, but here I have to use my PC to get around country restrictions, too, so I don’t think that’ll change any time soon for me.

  5. Yay TEMPLE DRAKE! I have a copy of the restored version they showed on TCM, if that would be of any interest. (The youtube version does have an appropriate hidden-under-the-mattress grubbiness.)

    1. It’s tempting, but I think I’ll stick with the YouTube version. I got your email a while back, and I wanted to say I’m sorry for not responding. and I’m afraid I have no idea how to use DropBox. 🙁

  6. “Million Dollar Legs!”

    Principal imports — Goats & Nuts.
    Principal exports — Goats & Nuts.
    Principal inhabitants — Goats & Nuts.

    But the field is so rich! (Though _you_will_regret_ doing the Shirley Temple movie.)

    1. Okay, I would almost have said no just because that DVD is going to be a pain in the butt to get a hold of, but I seriously laughed at that quote for like five minutes. (It is strangely applicable to an aunt of mine.) I penciled it in for the 19th of May. Thanks!

      (And I’ve already watched that Temple movie, and yes, you, ma’am, are correct.)

  7. Since you specified one per person, I’m miffed that two movies came to mind… so I’m going to flip a coin and ask for “One Hour With You”, which I think is one of the essential Pre-Codes, right down to the fact that it was rejected for reissue on the basis that it was ENTIRELY inappropriate under the Code.

  8. When you get done with the full-length movies — which won’t be for a long time yet
    — would you consider covering shorts? Not the “babies in Washington” sorts, but Laurel and Hardy, and some experimental movies.

    1. I’d love to do shorts, the only problem is that writing about them are just as time consuming as hitting feature films. I may hit some later this year, but I can’t say for sure. 🙂

  9. “The Sign of the Cross” (1932): too much pre-code to enumerate, and if there’s any chance you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to spoil any of it, but… Claudette Colbert playing peek-a-boob in an olympic sized swimming pool full of asses milk before she makes her female assistant strip naked and join her… and the rest of the movie is balls to the wall pre-code. TSotC is one of the Infamous 10 that drove the Breenazoids crazy.
    (p.s. your friends are right to demand “The Story of Temple Drake,” but take the time to research it. Pre-production hysteria caused it to be crippled with pre-emptive censorship. Heres a couple of great articles to soften it up: http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/jack-la-rue-sexual-outlaw/ http://acidemic.blogspot.com/2009/01/first-david-lynch-movie-story-of-temple.html

    1. I’m booked up for May, but I’ll see if I can work that in for June. Luckily that fits in quite well with my theme for the month…

      And, yeah, I’ve actually read stuff on Drake before, but it’s been a while. I’ve also read about the original novel, and, man, that’s going to be an interesting one to see!

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