Pre-Code DVDs and Blu-Rays

These days are luckily seeing a big boon to Pre-Code DVD availability. If you’re looking for a good place to start, the Forbidden Hollywood Collections are all excellent, though I’d probably pick Volume 2 to be my favorite.

For this page, I mostly tried to list collections of films. There are boutiques like Warner Archive who put out a great number of pre-Codes: you can find their index of such here. Kino and TCM also put out individual DVDs that you can look into as well.

Collections


Forbidden Hollywood Collections

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 1

Purchase This Via Amazon | Rent Via Classicflix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Rent it. While Baby Face is essential and Red Headed Woman is a lot of fun, the lack of special features here is a bear. Also note that this collection is only three films long, but usually sells for as much as volumes 2 and 3 which have twice as many films, as well as special features!

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 2

Purchase This Via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Buy!For anyone who has read Mick LaSalle’s Complicated Women, this one is a smorgasbord of female empowerment. The Divorcee is an essential, and Night Nurse is a blast. Special features include a full length documentary about Pre-Code as well as a number of excellent commentary tracks. Well worth your money, especially if you’re just starting to get into Pre-Code cinema.

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 3

Purchase this via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Buy! While not as solid of a collection as Volume 2, the last three listed– and Wild Boys of the Road especially– are all landmark pictures. All also showcase how diverse and wonderful William Wellman’s pictures are, and the disk contains two documentaries on the man as well as a bevy of commentaries. Well worth the dough!

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 4

Purchase this via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Rent it! Unfortunately, this and all subsequent Forbidden Hollywood collections were released without any special features, which is a shame. You should definitely see Jewel Robbery from this set, and the other films are fun and inoffensive, even if I did have to click on my review to remember what They Call It Sin was…

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 5

Purchase this via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Rent The Mind Reader. Ladies They Talk About is kind of fun, but the rest are pretty (and sadly) forgettable.

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 6

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 6

Purchase This Via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: TBD. Will hopefully have this reviewed in the next few months.

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 7

Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 7

Purchase This Via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: TBD. Will hopefully have this reviewed in the next few months.


Studio Collections of Pre-Code Films

Columbia Pre-Code Collection

Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection

Purchase this via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Rent it! Virtue and Three Wise Girls are both excellent little films that showcase their stars (Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow respectively) before they reached their apexes. Unfortunately, the other titles on the disk include a John Wayne clunker that and a pair of Barbara Stanwyck’s weakest efforts of the entire era.

Universal Backlot Pre-Code Collection

Universal Backlot Pre-Code Collection

Purchase this via Amazon | Rent This Via ClassicFlix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Buy it! It’s a weird, eclectic set with Merrily We Go To Hell being a notable stand out. The others range from good to bad, but they’re all extremely interesting to say the least. It’s especially cheap, to boot!


Specific Filmmaker/Genre Collections

 BusbyBerkeleyCollection

The Busby Berkeley Collection

Buy this via Amazon | Rent this via Classixflix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: If you’ve seen one Busby Berkeley musical (and you should see one for damned sure), you’ll know whether or not his kaleidoscopic dance numbers and dirty humor are for you. One of my most treasured DVD collections.

MarxBrothersSilverScreen

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Set

Buy this via Amazon | Rent this via Classixflix

Movies Contained and My Reviews:

My Recommendation: Buy! I mean, come on.


Warner Archive Releases

There are pretty much too many Pre-Codes from Warner Archive to list here, so I will let them handle it for me.


The Criterion Collection

Scarlet Empress

The Scarlet Empress

Purchase this via Amazon.

Design For Living

Design for Living

Purchase this via Amazon.

Review.

Island of Lost Souls

Island of Lost Souls

Purchase this via Amazon.

Review.

Trouble In Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

Purchase this via Amazon.

Review.

Lubitsch Musicals

Lubitsch Musicals

Purchase this via Amazon.


Kino Pictures

A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms

Purchase this via Amazon.

Be Yourself

Be Yourself

Purchase this via Amazon.

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise

Purchase this via Amazon.

The Blue Angel

 The Blue Angel

Purchase this via Amazon.

Counsellor at Law

Counselor at Law

Purchase this via Amazon.

Lottery Bride

 The Lottery Bride

Purchase this via Amazon.

Love Me Tonight

 Love Me Tonight

Purchase this via Amazon.

Comments are closed.