Sleep eludes me. While Friday was a lot of fun, my third day at TCMFF was hectic and probably my toughest of the festival.

Starting off the day, I made it into All Through the Night, a very fun Bogart film, that had a great, witty introduction by Michael Schlesinger. He pointed out that the film is actually referenced in Casablanca, and its similarities to the great Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back.

Unfortunately (for me), I snuck out of the film early to get in line for the highly anticipated Tarzan and His Mate.

Tarzan and His Mate

So the presentation for Tarzan was fun and fantastic. It went covered a lot, tracing MGM’s decision, after the troubles of Trader Horn, to move to a more backlot approach to its African epics. They talked about MGM’s zoo, and Mary, the rhino who appears in a number of the Tarzan films, usually in the same footage. The highlight of the presentation was Ben Burtt’s investigation into Tarzan’s warbling yell and how sound engineers back in the 30s crafted it.

The movie itself was kind of a ‘woo boy’ fest, with a lot of pointless action scenes strung together with no regard for emotional investment or logical consistency. So, hey, at least some film making traditions are alive and well.

Blood Money

After grabbing a bite to eat at a ramen place, I got in line for Blood Money, the most obscure pre-Code of the Festival (and the only one not on DVD). I’d reviewed it way back near when I began this site via a bootleg, and remembered having mixed feelings. (Maybe I should have actually read the review, but I wanted to be surprised!)

Blood Money, the third film 20th Century Pictures released, was seen by the Production Code Office as being very much in the ‘gangster’ cycle. George Bancroft is a bondsman who thrives off his underworld clientele until the day that his lover’s younger brother, who is also a bank robber, runs out on him and leaves him stuck with the check. Misunderstandings ensue, thanks to a hula-crazed, sex-crazed, kleptomaniac played by Frances Dee.

The movie has some really over-the-top moments. The best part is that this was a Bruce Goldstein presentation, so he delved into the film’s many cuts and edits. It was a lot of fun.


I was pretty suck of the multiplex by the afternoon and decided to shuck my plans and head over to the Legion at Post 43. I’d never seen Indiscreet, a Cary Grant/Ingrid Bergman comedy directed by Stanley Donen. It’s a cute movie– a little too smooth– but the performers are both utterly charming and the movie is gorgeous.

I also checked out the introduction to the midnight show of Student Nurses, which was humbling. But I needed sleep.

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Coming Up

My Sunday sees Garbo on the big screen, Kevin Brownlow talking his career, and more!

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.

1 Comment

Sarah · April 18, 2019 at 8:46 pm

Hello Pre-Code, enjoying your review of TCMFF. It was my first and I’m not sure we saw the same movies so it was awesome to see the recap. I do hope the midwesterners you met were friendly and polite. I seemed to have only met classic film fans from CA at the movies- exception was Backlot meetup. I did share your wrap up article with links on our TCM Backlot page so the others that could not attend could see more about the TCMFF. Thank you. -Sarah

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