I don’t remember how often I talk about my life at home, but I currently have a toddler and, because childcare is tight where I live, I am currently his primary caretaker. And the thing about toddlers is that they are A) exhausting and B) insane. Sure, most days they will take a 2-hour nap, but the days you need to get a post ready for your website, you will suddenly find that today is not a napping day and instead A Chaos Day where tap-dancing on daddy’s laptop is the plan.
All this is to say that I’m a little behind this month. I’m hoping things return to normal around here in January after I’ve (finally) gotten my house in order and (possibly) found a babysitter of some kind. I finally have a desk, though it’s still in the box– third in line to be assembled after a shoe rack and my wife’s new desk. I have some plans and ideas for celebrating 90 years of the films of 1932 next year, but time is the enemy. I’ll do my best.
Back to the site, I wanted to remind everyone of the great new Pre-Code.com Instagram being run by the great Kim Luperi. There’s a lot of great stories, clips and pics popping up there every day, so be sure to give it a look!
There weren’t any new pre-Code movies added to Criterion Channel this month, but TCM’s selection in December is actually pretty excellent, with a bunch of pre-Codes popping up in primetime. I’m especially excited for 1933’s Tarzan the Fearless popping up, the non-MGM entry from the pre-Code era starring a scantily clothed Buster Crabbe as the titular vine-swinger.
I finally got my VPN and TCM up and running and it’s so nice to be able to watch some classic films again, even if that means TCM Underground is on at 10 AM and I’m not sure I can handle John Waters that early in the day.
Pre-Code Movies on TCM in December 2021
- All times listed here are Eastern Standard. This schedule is subject to change.
- Plot descriptions and casts lists below come from TCM. See the full listings for the month here.
12/1, 6:00 AM – Flying Down to Rio (1933)
A bandleader woos a Latin flame who is already engaged to his employer.
Dir: Thornton Freeland Actors: Dolores Del Rio,Gene Raymond,Raul Roulien
Runtime: 89 mins .. Genre: Musical .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
08:00 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
12/2, 08:00 PM – No Man of Her Own (1932)
A card sharp on the run falls for a beautiful librarian.
Dir: Wesley Ruggles Actors: Clark Gable,Carole Lombard,Dorothy Mackaill
Runtime: 85 mins .. Genre: Romance .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: N
12/3, 03:30 AM – The Silver Cord (1933)
A clinging mother tries to divide one son from his wife and another son from his girlfriend.
Dir: John Cromwell Actors: Irene Dunne,Joel Mccrea,Laura Hope Crews
Runtime: 74 mins .. Genre: Adaptation .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/3, 12:30 PM – Madame Satan (1930)
A socialite masquerades as a notorious femme fatale to win back her straying husband.
Dir: Cecil B. Demille Actors: Kay Johnson,Reginald Denny,Lillian Roth
Runtime: 115 mins .. Genre: Musical .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/4, 08:29 AM – Come On Danger! (1932)
A woman turns outlaw to save her ranch.
Dir: Robert Hill Actors: Tom Keene,Julie Haydon,Rosco Ates
Runtime: 54 mins .. Genre: Western .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: N
12/8, 09:00 AM – Big Business Girl (1931)
A college girl uses her brains and her legs to conquer the business world.
Dir: William A. Seiter Actors: Loretta Young,Frank Albertson,Ricardo Cortez
Runtime: 79 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: N
12/9, 08:15 AM – Tarzan the Fearless (1933)
The jungle king helps a young woman rescue her father from the high priest of a lost city.
Dir: Robert F. Hill Actors: Buster Crabbe,Jacqueline Wells,Eddie Woods
Runtime: 85 mins .. Genre: Adventure .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y
12/9, 08:00 PM – Man of the World (1931)
Dir: Richard Wallace Actors: William Powell,Carole Lombard,Wynne Gibson
Runtime: 71 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: N
12/9, 09:30 PM – Today We Live (1933)
An aristocratic English girl’s tangled love life creates havoc during World War I.
Dir: Howard Hawks Actors: Joan Crawford,Gary Cooper,Robert Young
Runtime: 113 mins .. Genre: Romance .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/10, 03:45 AM – Downstairs (1932)
An evil chauffeur seduces and blackmails his way through high society.
Dir: Monta Bell Actors: John Gilbert,Paul Lukas,Virginia Bruce
Runtime: 75 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/16, 8:00 PM – Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)
A brother and sister risk their lives to expose the gangsters who ruined their family.
Dir: Harry Beaumont Actors: Joan Crawford,Lester Vail,Cliff Richards
Runtime: 81 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/18, 08:00 PM – Imitation of Life (1934)
A widow and her housekeeper go into business together but almost lose their daughters.
Dir: John M. Stahl Actors: Claudette Colbert,Warren William,Rochelle Hudson
Runtime: 106 mins .. Genre: Drama .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/18, 10:00 PM – Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Three chorus girls fight to keep their show going and find rich husbands.
Dir: Mervyn Leroy Actors: Warren William,Joan Blondell,Aline Macmahon
Runtime: 96 mins .. Genre: Musical .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/21, 06:00 AM – Hell’s Heroes (1930)
Three cowboys risk their lives to get an abandoned baby to civilization.
Dir: William Wyler Actors: Charles Bickford,Raymond Hatton,Fred Kohler
Runtime: 65 mins .. Genre: Western .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y
12/25, 09:30 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
12/28, 08:00 PM – Trouble in Paradise (1932)
A love triangle ignites trouble between two jewel thieves and their intended victim.
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Actors: Miriam Hopkins,Kay Francis,Herbert Marshall
Runtime: 81 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/28, 09:45 PM – Design for Living (1933)
An independent woman can’t chose between the two men she loves.
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Actors: Fredric March,Gary Cooper,Miriam Hopkins
Runtime: 90 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/28, 11:30 PM – The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
A misfired flirtation lands a young lieutenant married to a princess instead of the one he loves.
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Actors: Maurice Chevalier,Claudette Colbert,Miriam Hopkins
Runtime: 102 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/29, 01:15 AM – One Hour with You (1932)
Both members of a married couple fight the temptation to stray.
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Actors: Maurice Chevalier,Jeanette Macdonald,Genevieve Tobin
Runtime: 80 mins .. Genre: Musical .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
12/29, 02:45 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
12/29, 04:00 PM – 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
12/31, 08:00 PM – The Thin Man (1934)
In New York, a detective, his wife and his dog solve the murder case of an eccentric inventor.
Dir: W. S. Van Dyke Actors: William Powell,Myrna Loy,Maureen O’sullivan
Runtime: 80 mins .. Genre: Suspense/Mystery .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y
Questions? Comments? Or do you just want to bug me? Leave a comment below!