Pre-Code Movies on TCM in March 2020

So yesterday I sat down and took a deep breath and said, “Wow, thank goodness, 31 Days of Oscar is almost over.” And then I thought, “That means February is almost over.” And then I remembered I had to do this post. Good on me!

For those of you who are enthused about things that I am not, March 2020’s Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies is none other than Joe E. Brown, whose massive mouth made him a reliable comic actor and leading man at Warners for much of the pre-Code era. Brown is an excellent actor and a great physical specimen, even if most of his movies are pretty dopey. I have a lot to catch this month, too, so here’s to that.

Also on the schedule are pre-Code tributes to people like Jean Harlow, Edward Everett Horton and Reginald Denny, which I know will make at least a few people happy.

Otherwise, we’re less than two months away from the 11th annual Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival (TCMFF). I will be attending again this year, pending any pandemic or suspicious nitrate explosion. They’ve already announced four pre-Codes being shown, two of which are among my favorites: Jewel Robbery, The Sin of Nora Moran, Dinner at Eight, and Counselor at Law.

The last one will be shown at the Egyptian on nitrate with Leonard Maltin being given the annual Robert Osborne Award, and, if it’s anything like last year’s capper with A Woman of Affairs, it will be amazing.

As usual, I’m making pins for the festival to give away– all you have to do is recognize my ugly mug– as well as exclusive ones for backers. I’m still tinkering, but here’s one I’ve got for 2020 so far:

If you want the exclusive pin, you can become a Patron over at Patreon and be sure to allow me to access your address. It is very hard to send things to people otherwise. Every dollar helps!

For March, I also hope to continue my reviews through the early films of Cary Grant and any Joe E. Brown movies I haven’t seen– as many as there are.

Pre-Code Movies on TCM in March

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

1st
6:15 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

3/3
8:00 AM

Bombshell (1933)

A glamorous film star rebels against the studio, her pushy press agent and a family of hangers-on.

Dir:  Victor Fleming Cast:  Jean Harlow , Lee Tracy , Frank Morgan .

BW- 96 mins, CC,

3/3
9:45 AM

Red-Headed Woman (1932)

An ambitious secretary tries to sleep her way into high society.

Dir:  Jack Conway Cast:  Jean Harlow , Chester Morris , Lewis Stone .

BW- 79 mins, CC,

3/3
11:15 AM

The Beast of the City (1932)

A police captain leads the fight against a vicious gangland chief.

Dir:  Charles Brabin Cast:  Walter Huston , Jean Harlow , Wallace Ford .

BW- 86 mins, CC,

3/3
4:30 PM

Red Dust (1932)

A plantation overseer in Indochina is torn between a married woman and a lady of the evening.

Dir:  Victor Fleming Cast:  Clark Gable , Jean Harlow , Gene Raymond .

BW- 83 mins, CC,

3/4
9:15 PM

The Tenderfoot (1932)

An innocent cowboy sets out to back a Broadway play.

Dir:  Ray Enright Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Ginger Rogers , Lew Cody

BW- 69 mins, CC,

3/5
3:30 AM

Sally (1930)

A waitress dreams of becoming a Broadway star.

Dir:  John Francis Dillon Cast:  Marilyn Miller , Alexander Gray , Joe E. Brown.

C- 102 mins, CC,

3/6
7:15 AM

Duck Soup (1933)

When he’s named dictator of Freedonia, a con artist declares war on the neighboring kingdom.

Dir:  Leo McCarey Cast:  Groucho Marx , Harpo Marx , Chico Marx .

BW- 69 mins, CC,

3/9
12:15 PM

The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

A big game hunter decides to stalk human prey.

Dir:  Ernest B. Schoedsack Cast:  Joel McCrea , Fay Wray , Robert Armstrong .

BW- 63 mins, CC,

3/11
8:00 AM

Thirteen Women (1932)

A mysterious Eurasian tries to murder the 12 boarding school roommates who treated her like an outsider.

Dir:  George Archainbaud Cast:  Irene Dunne , Ricardo Cortez , Jill Esmond .

C- 59 mins, CC,

3/11
8:00 PM

Fireman, Save My Child (1932)

A small-town ball player moves to the big leagues.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Evalyn Knapp , Lilian Bond .

BW- 66 mins,

3/11
9:15 PM

Elmer The Great (1933)

A country hick bats his way to baseball stardom.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Patricia Ellis , Frank McHugh .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

3/12
12:15 AM

Local Boy Makes Good (1931)

A timid student turns into a track-and-field star.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Dorothy Lee , Ruth Hall

BW- 67 mins, CC,

3/12
1:30 AM

6 Day Bike Rider (1934)

A young failure tries to impress his girlfriend by entering a bicycle race.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Maxine Doyle , Frank McHugh .

BW- 69 mins, CC,

3/12
2:45 AM

You Said A Mouthful (1932)

To sell his unsinkable bathing suit, an inventor passes himself off as a championship swimmer.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Ginger Rogers , Preston S. Foster .

BW- 70 mins, CC,

3/12
4:00 AM

Top Speed (1930)

A humble clerk pretends to be a millionaire and gets mixed up in a yachting race.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Bernice Claire , Jack Whiting .

BW- 71 mins, CC,

3/12
5:15 AM

Eleven Men and a Girl (1930)

A college flirt lures the nation’s best football players to join her school’s team.

Dir:  William A. Wellman Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Joan Bennett , Frank McHugh .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

3/12
7:45 AM

Sit Tight (1931)

A young man goes into the wrestling ring to win a pretty lady trainer.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Winnie Lightner , Joe E. Brown , Paul Gregory .

BW- 76 mins,

3/12
8:00 PM

Private Lives (1931)

A divorced couple rekindles the spark after landing in adjoining honeymoon suites with new mates.

Dir:  Sidney Franklin Cast:  Norma Shearer , Robert Montgomery , Reginald Denny .

BW- 84 mins, CC,

3/12
9:45 PM

Madame Satan (1930)

A socialite masquerades as a notorious femme fatale to win back her straying husband.

Dir:  Cecil B. DeMille Cast:  Kay Johnson , Reginald Denny , Lillian Roth .

BW- 116 mins, CC,

3/13
2:00 AM

The Barbarian (1933)

An Arab prince masquerades as a tour guide to court a beautiful American.

Dir:  Sam Wood Cast:  Ramon Novarro , Myrna Loy , Reginald Denny .

BW- 83 mins, CC,

3/13
3:30 AM

The Lost Patrol (1934)

A British army troop fights off Arab snipers while holed up in an oasis.

Dir:  John Ford Cast:  Victor McLaglen , Boris Karloff , Wallace Ford .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

3/13
5:45 AM

Strange Justice (1932)

A crooked banker and his assistant devise a scheme to frame an ex-con for their crime.

Dir:  Victor Schertzinger Cast:  Marian Marsh , Reginald Denny , Richard Bennett .

BW- 64 mins, CC,

3/13
2:00 PM

A Successful Calamity (1932)

A family pulls together to help a member in financial trouble.

Dir:  John G. Adolfi Cast:  George Arliss , Mary Astor , Evalyn Knapp .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

5/14
8:30 AM

Secrets of the French Police (1932)

Strange crimes committed by a hypnotized woman are solved by a French detective.

Dir:  Edward Sutherland Cast:  Gwili Andre , Gregory Ratoff , Frank Morgan .

BW- 58 mins, CC,

3/16
10:15 AM

Moby Dick (1930)

A mad sea captain sails for vengeance against the white whale that crippled him.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  John Barrymore , Joan Bennett , Lloyd Hughes .

BW- 77 mins, CC,

3/17
8:30 AM

Peg O’ My Heart (1933)

A spunky Irish girl inherits a place in a British estate.

Dir:  Robert Z. Leonard Cast:  Marion Davies , Onslow Stevens , J. Farrell MacDonald .

BW- 87 mins, CC,

3/18
7:45 AM

Roar of the Dragon (1932)

Bandits menace Americans on a Chinese riverboat.

Dir:  Wesley Ruggles Cast:  Richard Dix , Gwili Andre , Edward Everett Horton .

BW- 69 mins, CC,

3/18
10:30 AM

But the Flesh Is Weak (1932)

A widower and his son set out to marry rich widows.

Dir:  Jack Conway Cast:  Robert Montgomery , Nora Gregor , Heather Thatcher .

BW- 77 mins, CC,

3/18
4:00 PM

Smarty (1934)

A squabbling couple can’t seem to make it to the divorce court.

Dir:  Robert Florey Cast:  Joan Blondell , Warren William , Edward Everett Horton .

BW- 65 mins, CC,

3/18
5:15 PM

Wide Open (1930)

A meek and clumsy employee of a large firm gets a chance to implement his useful ideas.

Dir:  Archie Mayo Cast:  Edward Everett Horton , Patsy Ruth Miller , Louise Fazenda .

BW- 69 mins,

3/18
6:30 PM

Lonely Wives (1932)

A lawyer hires someone to impersonate him so he can have an affair.

Dir:  Russell Mack Cast:  Edward Everett Horton , Esther Ralston , Laura La Plante .

BW- 86 mins,

3/19
2:00 AM

Son Of A Sailor (1933)

A lovesick fool bumbles into espionage and finds a stolen plane.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Jean Muir , Frank McHugh .

BW- 73 mins,

3/19
3:30 AM

Going Wild (1931)

A lovesick fool pretends to be an ace flyer.

Dir:  William A. Seiter Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Laura Lee , Walter Pidgeon .

BW- 66 mins,

3/19
4:45 AM

A Very Honorable Guy (1934)

A gambler sells his body to science to pay his debts.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Alice White , Robert Barrat .

BW- 62 mins, CC,

3/19
6:00 AM

Broadminded (1931)

A rejected suitor leaves town and gets mixed up in an international chase.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Joe E. Brown , Ona Munson , William Collier Jr. .

BW- 72 mins, CC,

3/19
7:30 AM

Born to Love (1932)

A World War I pilot thought dead turns up after the mother of his child has married.

Dir:  Paul L. Stein Cast:  Constance Bennett , Joel McCrea , Paul Cavanagh .

BW- 81 mins, CC,

3/19
9:00 AM

War Nurse (1930)

A nurse fights to survive when she’s caught behind enemy lines during World War I.

Dir:  Edgar Selwyn Cast:  Robert Montgomery , Anita Page , June Walker .

BW- 79 mins,

3/19
10:30 AM

A Farewell To Arms (1932)

An American serving in World War I falls for a spirited nurse.

Dir:  Frank Borzage Cast:  Helen Hayes , Gary Cooper , Adolphe Menjou .

BW- 89 mins, CC,

3/27
8:00 PM

Million Dollar Legs (1932)

A small country decides to enter the Olympic Games to raise money for their soon to be bankrupt home.

Dir:  Edward Cline Cast:  Jack Oakie , W. C. Fields , Andy Clyde .

BW- 62 mins,

3/27
9:15 PM

Dinner at Eight (1933)

A high-society dinner party masks a hotbed of scandal and intrigue.

Dir:  George Cukor Cast:  Marie Dressler , John Barrymore , Wallace Beery .

BW- 111 mins, CC,

3/27
11:15 PM

Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Boyhood friends grow up on opposite sides of the law.

Dir:  W. S. Van Dyke Cast:  Clark Gable , William Powell , Myrna Loy .

BW- 90 mins, CC,

3/30
7:30 AM

Tugboat Annie (1933)

A lady tugboat captain tries to help two young lovers come together.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Marie Dressler , Wallace Beery , Robert Young .

BW- 86 mins, CC,

3/30
9:15 AM

Melody Cruise (1933)

A playboy finds true love during an ocean cruise.

Dir:  Mark Sandrich Cast:  Charles Ruggles , Phil Harris , Helen Mack .

BW- 76 mins,

3/30
1:00 PM

One Way Passage (1932)

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

Dir:  Tay Garnett Cast:  William Powell , Kay Francis , Aline MacMahon .

BW- 68 mins, CC,

3/30
4:30 PM

Monkey Business (1931)

Four stowaways get mixed up with gangsters while running riot on an ocean liner.

Dir:  Norman McLeod Cast:  Groucho Marx , Harpo Marx , Chico Marx .

BW- 78 mins, CC,

3/31
8:15 AM

They Learned About Women (1930)

Professional baseball players win big with their vaudeville act until love gets in the way.

Dir:  Jack Conway Cast:  Joseph T. Schenck , Gus Van , Bessie Love .

C- 95 mins, CC,

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

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