How’s everyone’s 2020 going? I have decided to have amnesia and pretend that this is January 1st now. Everything is terrible, but at least I’m sure it can’t get any worse.

Anyway, August on TCM is one of my favorite times of the year with Summer Under the Stars, entire 24-hour blocks dedicated to single stars. Sometimes things get a little wacky (“Cuddles” Sakall gets his own day? Rockin’!), but we usually get one or two stars with a solid pre-Code background.

This year’s most exciting day is probably Sylvia Sidney’s on August 7th, with showings of City Streets and Street Scene back-to-back, which is great since I always mix those movies up. Some typical pre-Code stars also get the nod, including Norma Shearer, William Powell, and John Barrymore.

A few other stars have one or two pre-Codes of their career pop-up– which is supremely disappointing in the case of Claudette Colbert. Who wants to watch the grinding forced-whimsy of The Egg and I when you could be watching the offbeat kinkiness of I Cover the Waterfront? But one that I really wanted to point out, which I don’t have listed below, is the short playing on August 11th called “Rufus Jones for President” (1933), starring an extremely young Sammy Davis Jr. It’s an interesting little nugget and a showcase for just how talented the young Davis was.

I made some changes to the website last month, including a new template, mostly because I screen capture large images and I wanted something that better showed them off.

Just a reminder (because I just paid my hosting bill), you can support this site over at my Patreon. You can also follow me on Twitter. You can also have a lovely August. I mean, it’s not likely, but why not pretend? I wish you luck.

The Lineup

6:00 AM
Gambling Lady (1934)
  Two gamblers fall in love but one is already married to a possible murderer.

Dir: Archie Mayo Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Pat O’Brien . BW- 66 mins, CC,

7:30 AM
An American Tragedy (1931)

A factory worker’s romance with a beautiful heiress is complicated by an earlier fate.

Dir:  Josef von Sternberg Cast:  Phillips Holmes , Sylvia Sidney , Frances Dee . BW- 95 mins,

9:15 AM
City Streets (1931)

A racketeer must choose between his criminal life and love.

Dir:  Rouben Mamoulian Cast:  Gary Cooper , Sylvia Sidney , Paul Lukas . BW- 83 mins, CC,

11:15 AM
Street Scene (1931)

A husband’s violent reaction becomes the talk of the neighborhood when he catches his cheating wife in the act.

Dir:  King Vidor Cast:  Sylvia Sidney , William Collier Jr. , Estelle Taylor . BW- 79 mins, CC,

9:45 PM
Thirty Day Princess (1934)
  Dir:  Marion Gering Cast:  Sylvia Sidney , Cary Grant , Edward Arnold . BW- 74 mins,
8:00 PM
City Lights (1931)

In this silent film, the Little Tramp tries to help a blind flower seller to see again.

Dir:  Charles Chaplin Cast:  Charlie Chaplin , Virginia Cherrill , Florence Lee . BW- 87 mins,

10:00 AM
A Free Soul (1931)

A hard-drinking lawyer’s daughter falls for one of his underworld clients.

Dir:  Clarence Brown Cast:  Norma Shearer , Leslie Howard , Lionel Barrymore . BW- 94 mins, CC,

11:45 AM
The Divorcee (1930)

The double standard destroys a liberal couple’s marriage.

Dir:  Robert Z. Leonard Cast:  Norma Shearer , Chester Morris , Conrad Nagel . BW- 82 mins, CC,

10:30 PM
Smilin’ Through (1932)

A young woman falls in love with the son of an old family enemy.

Dir:  Sidney Franklin Cast:  Norma Shearer , Fredric March , Leslie Howard . BW- 98 mins, CC,

12:30 AM
The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

An invalid poetess defies her father’s wishes to marry a dashing young poet.

Dir:  Sidney Franklin Cast:  Norma Shearer , Fredric March , Charles Laughton . BW- 110 mins, CC,

2:30 AM
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,

11:15 AM
State’s Attorney (1932)

A district attorney’s arrogance almost costs him his career.

Dir:  George Archainbaud Cast:  John Barrymore , Helen Twelvetrees , Jill Esmond . BW- 79 mins, CC,

12:45 PM
Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

True story of the mad monk who plotted to rule Russia.

Dir:  Richard Boleslavsky Cast:  John Barrymore , Ethel Barrymore , Lionel Barrymore . BW- 121 mins, CC,

3:00 PM
Night Flight (1933)

An airline’s owner runs his business with ruthless disregard for safety.

Dir:  Clarence Brown Cast:  John Barrymore , Helen Hayes , Clark Gable . BW- 85 mins, CC,

8:00 PM
Grand Hotel (1932)

Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through scandal and heartache.

Dir:  Edmund Goulding Cast:  Greta Garbo , John Barrymore , Joan Crawford . BW- 113 mins, CC,

10:00 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,

1:30 AM
Arsene Lupin (1932)

A gentleman thief risks his life in an attempt to steal the Mona Lisa.

Dir:  Jack Conway Cast:  John Barrymore , Lionel Barrymore , Karen Morley . BW- 84 mins, CC,

3:00 AM
Svengali (1931)

A hypnotist falls in love with a girl using his powers to turn her into a great singer.

Dir:  Archie Mayo Cast:  John Barrymore , Marian Marsh , Donald Crisp . BW- 81 mins, CC,

9:45 PM
Bird of Paradise (1932)

An island visitor falls for a Polynesian beauty slated for sacrifice to the gods.

Dir:  King Vidor Cast:  Dolores Del Rio , Joel McCrea , John Halliday . BW- 82 mins, CC,

1:15 AM
Flying Down to Rio (1933)

A dance-band leader finds love and success in Brazil.

Dir:  Thornton Freeland Cast:  Dolores Del Rio , Gene Raymond , Raul Roulien . BW- 89 mins, CC,

6:00 AM
The Key (1934)

A British officer stationed in Ireland falls for the wife of an intelligence man.

Dir:  Michael Curtiz Cast:  William Powell , Edna Best , Colin Clive . BW- 71 mins, CC,

7:30 AM
The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

Society sleuth Philo Vance investigates a murder tied to a Long Island dog show.

Dir:  Michael Curtiz Cast:  William Powell , Mary Astor , Eugene Pallette . BW- 73 mins, CC,

12:00 PM
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,

12:00 AM
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- 67 mins, CC,

1:30 AM
Jewel Robbery (1932)

A jewel thief falls for a tycoon’s wife in Vienna.

Dir:  William Dieterle Cast:  William Powell , Kay Francis , Helen Vinson . BW- 68 mins, CC,

4:45 AM
High Pressure (1932)

A scheming promoter tries to get rich selling artificial rubber.

Dir:  Mervyn LeRoy Cast:  William Powell , Evelyn Brent , George Sidney . BW- 73 mins, CC,

6:00 AM
Westward Passage (1932)

An heiress gives up her fortune to wed a poor novelist, then dreams of giving their children the finer things.

Dir:  Robert Milton Cast:  Ann Harding , Laurence Olivier , ZaSu Pitts . BW- 73 mins, CC,

8:00 PM
It Happened One Night (1934)

A newspaperman tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour.

Dir:  Frank Capra Cast:  Clark Gable , Claudette Colbert , Walter Connolly . BW- 105 mins, CC,

Questions? Comments? Leave ’em below!

Categories: TCM Schedules


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.