Hey! It’s October! Finally. This year is the year I’ve decided to become a Halloween person. There aren’t many holidays for me– I’m not patriotic or religious, and while I’m all for Labor Day (yay, Labor) and Veterans Day (yay, Vets), there still isn’t a set tradition for either handing out candy or putting fucking skeletons all over your house for those days. Yet.

So now I am a spooky Halloween person. I have no idea what this entails. Maybe I will buy a pumpkin for myself? I could carve a pumpkin on it, because pumpkins are spooky. This is going to be so much fun.

TCM in October has two of the famous pre-Code Universal Monster movies, namely Dracula and The Mummy showing. They’re also spending all of the 30th on many of the pre-Code eras most interesting horrors. Also check out a day dedicated to pre-Code Harlow movies on the 8th and a day for pre-Code Constance Bennett movies on the 22nd.

As some of you may have already heard, TCM updated its website to the current trend of being a “mobile first” browsing experience, which is not super great to browse on my laptop. The main problem is that it changed the way it presents its schedules, making it more time-consuming for me to make mine the same as I used to. I may try something new next month to shake things up.

A friendly reminder: if you want to support my site, you can become a Patron over at Patreon. IF YOU DARE. Hooooo hooo ha hahahaha

PLEASE NOTE: The times below are updated from my initial post because they are listed on the TCM site as three hours later they’re actually showing on the channel. I have no idea what this is about, but I hope it gets sorted out by next month. They may still not be perfect; follow your friendly Next on TCM Twitter bot for more info.

Pre-Code Movies on TCM in October 2020

  • 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

2nd, 8:00 PM

Dracula (1931)

The legendary bloodsucker stakes his claim on a British estate in search of new blood. With Bela Lugosi.

7th, 3:15 PM

Storm at Daybreak (1933)

Fictionalized spy story including an account of the events leading up to the start of World War II. With Kay Francis.

7th, 6:30 PM

One Heavenly Night (1930)

A flower seller goes into exile in place of a notorious opera singer.

8th, 6:15 AM

The Public Enemy (1931)

An Irish-American street punk tries to make it big in the world of organized crime. With James Cagney, Jean Harlow and Mae Clarke.

8th, 8:15 AM

Red-Headed Woman (1932)

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

8th, 9:45 PM

Dinner at Eight (1933)

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

8th, 1:30 PM

Hold Your Man (1933)

A hard-boiled woman and a conman wear down each other’s rough edges. With Jean Harlow.

8th, 3:15 PM

Red Dust (1932)

A social-climbing plantation overseer is torn between a married woman and a prostitute. With Jean Harlow.

8th, 6:15 PM

Bombshell (1933)

A film starlet deals with her scheming press agent. With Jean Harlow.

8th, 8:00 PM

The Front Page (1931)

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

10th, 8:27 AM

Men of the North (1930)

Mounties track gold mine robbers.

10th, 12:00 AM

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932)

A British lord raised by apes saves a noblewoman touring Africa.

12th, 8:00 AM

King Kong (1933)

Monkey business.

13th, 9:00 AM

The Solitaire Man (1933)

Crooks double cross one another on a tense flight from Paris to London.

13th, 10:30 AM

Blind Adventure (1933)

An American in London stumbles on a crime ring. With Robert Armstrong and Helen Mack.

14th, 4:00 PM

Freaks (1932)

A lady trapeze artist violates the code of the side show.

15th, 12:30 PM

Big City Blues (1932)

Eric Linden minces about.

21st, 8:00 PM

Hard to Handle (1933)

A hustling publicity man pushes a series of fads. With James Cagney and Mary Brian.

22nd, 9:30 AM

Beast of the City (1932)

A police captain leads the fight against a vicious gangland chief. With Walter Huston and Jean Harlow.

22nd, 1:00 AM

One Way Passage (1932)

An ocean voyage leads to romance between a dying woman and a condemned criminal.

22nd, 6:00 AM

Three Faces East (1930)

A female agent tries to unmask a German spy. With Constance Bennett

22nd, 7:30 AM

Born to Love (1932)

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

22nd, 9:00 AM

The Common Law (1932)

A kept woman gives up luxury to move in with a struggling artist

22nd, 10:30 AM

Rockabye (1932)

A Broadway star has a child out of wedlock, eventually Joel McCrea shows up. Overall, not great.

22nd, 11:45 AM

Bed of Roses (1933)

A girl from the wrong side of the tracks is torn between true love and a life of sin. Check out that sipping scene! With Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea.

22nd, 1:00 PM

Our Betters (1933)

An American heiress marries into British nobility. Features probably the second-best final line of the pre-Code era. With Constance Bennett.

22rd, 11:30 PM

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

A disfigured sculptor turns murder victims into sculptures. With Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray and Glenda Farrell.

23rd, 12:45 PM

No Marriage Ties (1933)

After drinking himself out of a job, a newspaperman becomes a tycoon. With Richard Dix.

25th, 5:00 AM

The Mummy (1932)

A mummy is accidentally revived after 3,700 years by a bunch of bumbling Brits; only David Manners and Zita Johann can save us.

25th, 6:15 AM

Murder on the Blackboard (1934)

A schoolteacher matches wits as they try to solve a teacher’s murder. Second in the Hildegarde Withers mystery series and the lamest. With Edna May Oliver and James Gleason.

27th, 6:30 AM

Somewhere in Sonora (1933)

A young cowhand gets roped into the outlaw’s life. With John Wayne and Duke (the horse).

27th, 10:30 AM

Sagebrush Trail (1933)

A man, wrongly imprisoned for murder, escapes to track down the real killer. Again, John Wayne. Not sure about the horse.

29th, 6:00 AM

Haunted Gold (1932)

A cowboy and his girl fight bandits and a ghost over an abandoned mine. John Wayne and Duke (the horse) ride roughshod.

29th, 8:30 AM

Before Dawn (1933)

Detectives compete to solve the murders at a mysterious mansion. With Stuart Erwin and Dorothy Wilson.

30th, 6:30 AM

Doctor X (1932)

A reporter investigates a series of cannibalistic murders at a medical college. SYNTHETIC FLESH. With Lee Tracy, Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill.

30th, 8:00 AM

The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

A Chinese warlord threatens to take over the world. Pretty racist stuff within! With Boris Karloff and Myrna Loy enjoying herself a bit too much.

30th, 9:30 PM

The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

Joel McCrea and Fay Wray run for their lives across the leftover sets from King Kong.

30th, 10:45 AM

Island of Lost Souls (1932)

On a remote island, a mad scientist turns wild animals into human monsters. With Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, and… is that Bela Lugosi?

30th, 12:00 PM

White Zombie (1932)

Okay, that’s definitely Bela Lugosi this time. A zombie master menaces newlyweds on a Haitian plantations. (say that five times fast)

30th, 1:30 PM

The Vampire Bat (1933)

Villagers suspect the town simpleton of being a vampire. With Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray and Melvyn Douglas.

30th, 2:45 PM

Mystery at the Wax Museum (1933)

A wax sculptor turns murder victims into works of art. No, not the one with Vincent Price.

31st, 6:00 AM

Freaks (1933)


31st, 7:15 AM

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

A scientist releases the beast within. With Fredric March (in an Oscar winning role) and Miriam Hopkins.


Categories: TCM Schedules


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