Pre-Code Movies on TCM in December 2020

For those of you still reading blogs, or specifically a blog, as I suppose you must be doing right now, hello. And I’m sorry.

Those of you who’ve been with or near this site for the last ~9 years of its existence have every right to be annoyed or frustrated with me. In October, I posted one review. In November, again, one review. Considering at one point I was doing 8 per month, this probably seems like a tremendous letdown.

I have a litany of excuses, all ranging from, well, you know, the global pandemic, I know I’m moving next year but have no idea where to, my two kids taking up more of my time, my wife’s duties at the hospital are stressing all of us out, again I’m terrified of catching a deadly disease that could hurt my high-risk parents, etc, etc.

But here is what I will tell you right now. This is a lull. As much as I think blogging is dead (it is!), I am stubborn as hell and won’t give up on doing it for my own satisfaction any time soon. Once my jobs begin winding down next year, I fully expect to return to this as often as I can manage.

THOUGHTS ON THE THIN MAN

But for those of you who don’t care about all that fluff, December! On TCM! Laurel & Hardy are the Stars of the Month. Though I don’t include shorts in the listings below, they are showing a ton of the duo’s early works, which I’m looking forward to exposing my daughter to for the first time.

TCM is also showing its main pre-Code Christmas movie classics, The Thin Man and Little Women, which always play this time of year. Also, this Thursday, 12/3, Bruce Goldstein is hosting a night of pre-Codes, including the great Baby Face in case you needed something to snap you out of overwhelming holiday reverie.

Have a great month, everyone, and have a safe and happy holidays.

— Danny

Pre-Code Movies on TCM in December

Please note:

  • All times listed here are Eastern Standard. This schedule is subject to change (like if someone dies or the world ends– you know how it is).
  • Plot descriptions and casts lists below come from TCM. See the full listings for the month here.
Date & Time Film

2nd
1:00 PM

Ace of Aces (1933)

After he’s branded a coward, a sculptor travels to France to help fight World War I.

Dir:  J. Walter Ruben Cast:  Richard Dix , Elizabeth Allen , Ralph Bellamy .

BW- 77 mins, CC,

3rd
8:00 PM

Baby Face (1933)

A beautiful schemer sleeps her way to the top of a banking empire.

Dir:  Alfred E. Green Cast:  Barbara Stanwyck , George Brent , Donald Cook .

BW- 76 mins, CC,

3rd
9:30 PM

Employees’ Entrance (1933)

An unscrupulous department store manager stops at nothing to get what he wants.

Dir:  Roy Del Ruth Cast:  Warren William , Loretta Young , Wallace Ford .

BW- 75 mins, CC,

3rd
11:00 PM

Blessed Event (1932)

An unscrupulous gossip columnist lands himself in hot water.

Dir:  Roy Del Ruth Cast:  Lee Tracy , Mary Brian , Allen Jenkins .

BW- 80 mins, CC,

3rd
12:45 AM

Two Seconds (1932)

In the last moments of his life, a criminal reviews the circumstances that led him to death row.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Vivienne Osborne , Guy Kibbee .

BW- 67 mins, CC,

5th
10:00 PM

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.

Dir:  W. S. Van Dyke Cast:  William Powell , Myrna Loy , Maureen O’Sullivan .

BW- 91 mins, CC,

7th
8:00 PM

Pardon Us (1931)

Selling homemade beer lands a two friends in prison together.

Dir:  James Parrott Cast:  Oliver Hardy , Wilfred Lucas , Walter Long .

BW- 70 mins,

7th
9:30 PM

Sons of the Desert (1933)

Two friends hatch a harebrained scheme to attend a lodge convention over their wives’ objections.

Dir:  William A. Seiter Cast:  Stan Laurel , Oliver Hardy , Charley Chase .

BW- 65 mins, CC,

7th
11:00 PM

Pack Up Your Troubles (1932)

Two World War I veterans try help a comrade’s orphaned daughter find her family.

Dir:  George Marshall Cast:  Stan Laurel , Oliver Hardy , Donald Dillaway .

BW- 68 mins,

8th
1:45 AM

The Devil’s Brother (1933)

Two wannabe bandits are hired as servants by the real thing.

Dir Hal Roach Cast Dennis King , Thelma Todd , James Finlayson .

BW- 90 mins, CC,

8th
4:45 AM

Hollywood Party (1934)

A movie star’s gala celebration creates chaos.

Dir:  Allan Dwan Cast:  Stan Laurel , Oliver Hardy , Jimmy Durante .

C- 69 mins, CC,

11th
4:15 AM

Prosperity (1932)

Feuding mothers almost wreck their children’s marriage.

Dir:  Sam Wood Cast:  Marie Dressler , Polly Moran , Anita Page .

BW- 87 mins,

14th
6:30 AM

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

A World War I veteran faces inhuman conditions when he’s sentenced to hard labor.

Dir:  Mervyn Le Roy Cast:  Paul Muni , Glenda Farrell , Helen Vinson .

BW- 93 mins, CC,

17th
9:15 AM

Night Nurse (1931)

A nurse discovers that the children she’s caring for are murder targets.

Dir:  William A. Wellman Cast:  Barbara Stanwyck , Ben Lyon , Joan Blondell .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

17th
10:30 AM

Parachute Jumper (1933)

A gangster victimizes three friends trying to get jobs.

Dir:  Alfred E. Green Cast:  Douglas Fairbanks , Bette Davis , Frank McHugh .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

17th
2:45 PM

Downstairs (1932)

An evil chauffeur seduces and blackmails his way through high society.

Dir:  Monta Bell Cast:  John Gilbert , Paul Lukas , Virginia Bruce .

BW- 78 mins, CC,

17th
4:15 PM

Passion Flower (1930)

A society woman courts heartache when she falls in love with her chauffeur.

Dir:  William de Mille Cast:  Kay Francis , Kay Johnson , Charles Bickford .

BW- 79 mins, CC,

21st
7:30 AM

Hell’s Heroes (1930)

Three cowboys risk their lives to get an abandoned baby to civilization.

Dir:  William Wyler Cast:  Charles Bickford , Raymond Hatton , Fred Kohler .

BW- 68 mins, CC,

25th
7:15 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 Cast:  Katharine Hepburn , Joan Bennett , Paul Lukas .

BW- 115 mins, CC,

31st
9:15 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.

Dir:  W. S. Van Dyke Cast:  William Powell , Myrna Loy , Maureen O’Sullivan .

BW- 91 mins, CC,

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

3 Replies to “Pre-Code Movies on TCM in December 2020”

  1. Hi Danny! As someone who still visits this blog regularly, please don’t feel bad about gaps in posting – this year really is a shitter (please forgive my language, I’m British), and the fact you’re still managing to write at all (for free, no less!) is still incredibly impressive given everything else that’s going on in life right now. And in my view, blogging is no more dead than pre-code itself (which is to say, it is technically dead, but its elegant corpse still brings great joy to a select bunch of discerning individuals like us, and thus needs to be protected at all costs). Hope your new home etc are sorted out without too much stress!

  2. Hi Danny, I can’t begin to say how much your blog eases the stress of the day and brings joy to our household. We are currently also reading “Thoughts On The Thin Man’ and its a delight too. Thank you so much for doing this when you can. Our thoughts are with you and your family – be safe and know you appreciated and love what you do.

  3. Glad I found this blog! Been watching the Laurel & Hardy films on TCM and got to thinking about Wheeler & Woolsey and that led me here. Appreciate your insights and analysis. I’m particularly interested in slapstick films of the 20s and 30s. Any/all recommendations in this vein appeciated.

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