Pre-Code Movies on TCM in August 2015

Pre-Code.Com Site News for August 2015

Ah, August! It’s time for TCM’s annual ‘Summer Under the Stars’ programming block, where each day is dedicated to a different star of old Hollywood. It’s usually a mix between more enduring stars, and some slightly more obscure ones. This summer’s selection is certainly eclectic, with everyone from Ann-Margaret to Virginia Bruce getting their time to shine.

Three stars in particular having almost entire days revolving around pre-Code films: Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Mae Clarke, and Greta Garbo. Looking at availability of their films, the number of their movies I’ve already reviews, and the delicious irony of scheduling a bunch of reviews around her the month after I finished my Cagney retrospective, I’ve decided to spend the month of August with reviews dedicated to the career of Mae Clarke. I won’t be able to finish her filmography (there are a number of her movies I just can’t find), but I should be able to take out a good chunk.

Meanwhile, I have a big announcement to make this month for people who enjoy reading smart takes on pre-Code movies. That probably includes you. Stay tuned!

Pre-Code Hollywood Movies on TCM in August

Please note: All times are Pacifc. This schedule is subject to change. See the full listings here. To watch TCM online if you have a cable subscription, check out their TCM Watch site.

Date & Time
Film

Adolphe Menjou Day

3rd, 6:00 AM The Easiest Way (1931)

3rd, 7:15 AM Men Call It Love (1931)
A man leaves his mistress to court a happily married woman.

3rd, 8:45 AM The Great Lover (1931)
A womanizing opera star falls in love with his innocent young protegee. With Irene Dunne.

4th, 1:30 AM New Moon (1930)
A Russian lieutenant falls in love with a beautiful princess. Shit, or is this the vampire movie? I can’t remember.

Ginger Rogers Day

5th, 3:00 AM Flying Down to Rio (1933)

5th, 4:30 AM The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Katharine Hepburn Day

7th, 3:00 AM Little Women (1933)

Joan Crawford Day

10th, 7:30 AM Dancing Lady (1933)
A musical star is trapped in a love triangle between Clark Gable and Franchot Tone. Wonder who wins.

10th, 9:15 AM Sadie McKee (1934)

10th, 11:00 AM Forsaking All Others (1934)

Groucho Marx Day

14th, 3:15 PM Animal Crackers (1930)

14th, 5:00 PM Monkey Business (1931)

14th, 6:30PM Horse Feathers (1932)

14th, 7:45 PM Duck Soup (1933)

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Day

15th, 3:00 AM Chances (1931)
Two brothers fight for the same girl in World War I.

15th, 4:15 AM Union Depot (1932)

15th, 5:30 AM It’s Tough to Be Famous (1932)
Fame complicates a naval hero’s life.

15th, 7:00 AM The Narrow Corner (1933)
A man on the run for murder hides out on a remote Pacific island.

15th, 8:15 AM Captured! (1933)
Leslie Howard, Douglas Fairbanks, and Paul Lukas are in a POW camp. Directed by Roy Del Ruth.

15th, 9:00 PM Flight Commander AKA The Dawn Patrol (1930)

15th, 11:00 PM Parachute Jumper (1933)

16th, 12:15 AM Little Caesar (1930)

16th, 1:45 PM Success At Any Price (1934)
A young man ruthlessly climbs the corporate ladder. With Genevieve Tobin. This one is really hard to find, so record it.

Mae Clarke Day

20th, 8:00 AM The Fall Guy (1930)
An unemployed druggist gets mixed up with gangsters.

20th, 9:15 AM Turn Back the Clock (1933)
Lee Tracy TRAVELS THROUGH TIME.

20th, 10:45 AM Penthouse (1933)
Myrna Loy plays a high class escort out to solve the murder of an actress who seems to die a lot in these sort of movies.

20th, 12:30 PM Parole Girl (1933)
Mae Clarke decides to mess up Ralph Bellamy’s life.

20th, 2:00 PM This Side of Heaven (1934)
An eccentric family tries to work together when the father is accused of embezzlement.

20th, 3:30 PM The Man With Two Faces (1934)
An actor uses his skills to protect his sister from her sinister husband.

20th, 5:00 PM Waterloo Bridge (1931)

20th, 6:30 PM Frankenstein (1931)
I know how you just pronounced the film’s name in your head, but it’s ‘Frahnk-en-schtein’.

20th, 7:45 PM Fast Workers (1933)
John Gilbert hangs out in skyscrapers whenever he’s not ogling Mae Clarke.

20th, 9:00 PM The Penguin Pool Murder (1932)

20th, 10:15 PM Lady Killer (1933)

20th, 11:45 PM The Public Enemy (1931)

21st, 1:15 AM The Front Page (1931)
It’s like His Girl Friday, only older.

Marlene Dietrich Day

22nd, 6:15 AM The Blue Angel (1930)
A man destroys his life for a woman.

22nd, 7:15 PM Shanghai Express (1932)
“It took more than one man to earn me the nickname ‘Shanghai Lily’.”

Virginia Bruce (!) Day

25th, 3:30 PM Kongo (1932)

25th, 5:00 PM Downstairs (1932)

Greta Garbo Day

26th, 7:00 AM Romance (1930)
An opera singer leaves her wealthy lover for a young priest.

26th, 8:30 AM Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise (1931)
A farm girl runs away and has a series of affairs in the city. With Clark Gable.

26th, 10:00 AM Mata Hari (1931)

26th, 11:30 AM The Painted Veil (1934)

26th, 8:45 PM Grand Hotel (1932)

Gary Cooper Day

30th, 4:30 AM Today We Live (1933)
A young girl’s love life causes havoc in World War I. With Joan Crawford.

30th, 9:00 AM One Sunday Afternoon (1933)
A revenge seeking man realizes he doesn’t have as many issues as he thought.

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

12 Replies to “Pre-Code Movies on TCM in August 2015”

  1. Okay, I’ll bug you—because TCM seems impervious to nagging. Why not a month devoted to a different character actor each day, from the obvious to the not-so: Donald Crisp, Robert Barratt, Rafaela Ottiano, Hilda Vaughn, Harold Huber…. WHY? WHY? WHY?

    1. I’ll second this. Too many stars have gotten 5 or more SUTS days over the years. Would love to see more of the real workhorses of Hollywood – the supporting and character actors – Frank McHugh, Marjorie Main, Edward Everett Horton, Jean Dixon, and few hundred others.

      1. I think the problem is the ‘stars’ part of Summer Under the Stars. TCM is still trying to do people who had their name over the title at one point or the other (though several you mentioned could probably still make that cut). I think they’re trying to balance the popular with the obscure with the contemporary, and it’s hard to do in 31 days. I’m just thrilled that Clarke and Fairbanks Jr. get their days in the sun.

    2. Ha! I think the SUTS idea is to reel people in with the stars they know and love and catch a few that they haven’t watched before. I mean, we are getting Monty Wooley day for some reason. I do agree, a series of character actor days would be fun, but I could see how it’s tricky, since TCM, while it shows a nice number of obscure films, still needs to fit the staple movies in at primetime to draw a wider audience in.

  2. A couple of things – looks like on the days I checked, you have Pacific, not Eastern, time. Also, I know Pre-Code is technically 1930-1934, but by limiting it thus, you miss 1929’s “The Cocoanuts on Groucho day (8/14), not to mention some of Garbo’s best silents.

    1. You’re right, that is Pacific. I changed it on another part of the TCM site a month or so ago, and I hadn’t noticed that that carried over. Thanks for the heads up!

      I actually had to think about whether to include Cocoanuts. I’ve often thought about expanding the site back to *all* early talkies and not just 1930, the problem being is that it’s not like I need more to cover. I may still cover it someday, but for now I’m trying to keep my focus narrow. That’s also why I skipped the Garbo silents– I won’t be covering silent films on here, unless I have a specific reason.

      1. That’s pretty much what I figured. You can expand the scope only so much before it gets unwieldy. Covering Silents opens up a whole different field. Best to stay focused with ’30-’34. You still got a ways to go with that. Thanks Danny.

  3. Love Mae Clarke, such an underrated actress who should have been a bigger star than she was. I loathe it when people base the entirety of their opinions of her talent based on her bland performance in Frankenstein; when you’re given a character who does nothing but scream on cue, even a genius couldn’t do much.

    1. Yeah, she has some serious chops and a wonderful sense of tragedy built into her. SHe’s given the short end of the stick in Frankenstein and Public Enemy, and it’s too bad those are her only movies that really withstood the test of time.

  4. A Mae Clarke month sounds great – I’ll look forward to reading about more of her films. She’s definitely underrated.

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