Yes, somehow, inexplicably, it really is May.

The good news: May 2020 sees none other than Eddie G. Robinson as the TCM Star of the Month, with many of his best pre-Code roles making an apperance on the network. There’s also a showing of 1933’s The Silver Cord, a fun underseen drama, in primetime on the 3rd, followed by the underseen and fantastic Sin of Nora Moran.

On the other hand, everything is awful. I hope you and yours are well.

For my patrons over on Patreon, the last of the Pre-Code Pals pins went out. (Why it took so long is an exciting tale of envelopes, hours the post office is open, my wife’s lunch breaks and– well, whatever.) A friendly reminder: if you want to support my site, you can become a Patron over at Patreon. Cheers!

Pre-Code Movies on TCM in [MONTH]

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

12:00 PM

The Public Enemy (1931)

An Irish-American street punk tries to make it big in the world of organized crime.

Dir:  William A. Wellman Cast:  James Cagney , Jean Harlow , Edward Woods .

BW- 84 mins, CC,

2:00 AM

Horse Feathers (1932)

In an effort to beef up his school’s football team, a college president mistakenly recruits two loonies.

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

BW- 67 mins, CC,

8:00 PM

The Silver Cord (1933)

A mother manages her sons a little too closely.

Dir:  John Cromwell Cast:  Irene Dunne , Joel McCrea , Laura Hope Crews .

BW- 76 mins, CC,

9:30 PM

The Sin of Nora Moran (1933)

Dir:  Phil Goldstone Cast:  Cora Sue Collins , Zita Johann , Alan Dinehart .

BW- 65 mins, CC,

10:45 PM

Once to Every Woman (1934)

An able nurse clashes with a new doctor at her hospital.

Dir:  Lambert Hillyer Cast:  Ralph Bellamy , Fay Wray , Walter Connolly .

BW- 64 mins, CC,

8:00 AM

Viva Villa! (1934)

Rousing biography of the bandit chief who led the battle for Mexican independence.

Dir:  Jack Conway Cast:  Wallace Beery , Leo Carrillo , Fay Wray .

BW- 112 mins, CC,

8:00 PM

The Scarlet Empress (1934)

A young innocent masters the decadent ways of Imperial Russia in order to reign as Catherine the Great.

Dir:  Josef von Sternberg Cast:  Marlene Dietrich , John Lodge , Sam Jaffe .

BW- 105 mins, CC,

8:00 PM

Little Caesar (1930)

A small-time hood shoots his way to the top, but how long can he stay there?

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Douglas Fairbanks , Glenda Farrell .

BW- 78 mins, CC,

9:30 PM

Tiger Shark (1932)

A tuna fisherman marries a woman in love with another man.

Dir:  Howard Hawks Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Richard Arlen , Zita Johann .

BW- 77 mins, CC,

4:00 AM

The Little Giant (1933)

When Prohibition ends, a bootlegger tries to break into high society.

Dir:  Roy Del Ruth Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Mary Astor , Helen Vinson .

BW- 76 mins, CC,

5:30 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,

6:45 AM

The Hatchet Man (1932)

When he’s forced to kill his best friend, a Chinese hit man adopts the man’s daughter.

Dir:  William A. Wellman Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Loretta Young , Dudley Digges .

BW- 73 mins, CC,

10:00 PM

The Front Page (1931)

A crusading newspaper editor tricks his retiring star reporter into covering one last case.

Dir:  Lewis Milestone Cast:  Adolph Menjou , Pat O’Brien , Mary Brian .

BW- 101 mins, CC,

10:00 AM

42nd Street (1933)

The definitive backstage musical, complete with the dazzling newcomer who goes on for the injured star.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Warner Baxter , Bebe Daniels , George Brent .

BW- 89 mins, CC,

11:45 AM

Footlight Parade (1933)

A producer fights labor problems, financiers and his greedy ex-wife to put on a show.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  James Cagney , Joan Blondell , Ruby Keeler .

BW- 103 mins, CC,

6:00 AM

Spitfire (1934)

A backwoods faith healer falls for a married man from the big city.

Dir:  John Cromwell Cast:  Katharine Hepburn , Robert Young , Ralph Bellamy .

BW- 86 mins, CC,

2:15 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,

6:45 PM

The Expert (1932)

An elderly man complicates his married son’s life when he moves in.

Dir:  Archie Mayo Cast:  Charles “Chic” Sale , Dickie Moore , Lois Wilson .

BW- 67 mins, CC,

4:45 AM

The Man With Two Faces (1934)

An actor uses his skills to protect his sister from her sinister husband.

Dir:  Archie Mayo Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Mary Astor , Ricardo Cortez .

BW- 73 mins, CC,

7:15 AM

Doctor X (1932)

A reporter investigates a series of cannibalistic murders at a medical college.

Dir:  Michael Curtiz Cast:  Lionel Atwill , Fay Wray , Lee Tracy .

C- 76 mins, CC,

10:00 AM

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of a scientist who unleashes the beast within.

Dir:  Rouben Mamoulian Cast:  Fredric March , Miriam Hopkins , Rose Hobart .

BW- 96 mins, CC,

6:00 AM

The Mad Genius (1931)

A deranged ballet teacher will stop at nothing to keep control of his protegee.

Dir:  Michael Curtiz Cast:  John Barrymore , Marian Marsh , Charles Butterworth .

BW- 81 mins, CC,

12:00 PM

A Notorious Affair (1930)

A beautiful noblewoman gives up wealth and society for love of a two-timing musician.

Dir:  Lloyd Bacon Cast:  Billie Dove , Basil Rathbone , Kay Francis .

BW- 67 mins, CC,

4:30 PM

Sadie McKee (1934)

A working girl suffers through three troubled relationships on her road to prosperity.

Dir:  Clarence Brown Cast:  Joan Crawford , Gene Raymond , Franchot Tone .

BW- 93 mins, CC,

8:00 AM

Fugitive Lovers (1934)

A cross-country bus trip brings together a chorus girl and an escaped convict.

Dir:  Richard Boleslavsky Cast:  Robert Montgomery , Madge Evans , Ted Healy .

BW- 82 mins, CC,

10:00 PM

Smart Money (1931)

A barber’s good luck turns him into a big-time gambling boss.

Dir:  Alfred E. Green Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , James Cagney , Evalyn Knapp .

BW- 81 mins, CC,

10:15 AM

Morning Glory (1933)

A stage struck girl travels to New York determined to make it on Broadway.

Dir:  Lowell Sherman Cast:  Katharine Hepburn , Douglas Fairbanks , Adolphe Menjou .

BW- 74 mins, CC,

1:45 AM

Five Star Final (1931)

An unscrupulous newspaper editor searches for headlines at any cost.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Marian Marsh , H. B. Warner .

BW- 89 mins, CC,

5:30 AM

Silver Dollar (1932)

A farmer strikes it rich out West, then leaves his wife for a young beauty.

Dir:  Alfred E. Green Cast:  Edward G. Robinson , Bebe Daniels , Aline MacMahon .

BW- 83 mins, CC,

8:45 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,

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

Categories: TCMFF


Danny is a writer who lives with his lovely wife, adorable children, and geriatric yet yappy dog. He blogs at, a website dedicated to Hollywood films from 1930 to 1934, and can be found on Twitter @PreCodeDotCom.