There are lots of different definitions of what a Pre-Code film is and what constitutes it. While this site will explore practically every movie produced between 1930 and July 1934, that doesn’t mean that all of those films are Pre-Code movies. This list of Pre-Code films was culled from several books on the subject, and while it may not be exhaustive, at least serves as a good introduction.

If you’re looking for just a general listing of movies that this site has covered (which will include some not listed below), please check our Site Index. Links below go to relevant reviews.

1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934

The Pre-Code Films of 1930

The Pre-Code Films of 1931

The Pre-Code Films of 1932

The Pre-Code Films of 1933

The Pre-Code Films of 1934


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Johan Boelaert · July 31, 2014 at 6:22 am

MrFilmschatten features on his channel on Youtube The Moth (1934) ( as a pre-code film. And indeed, rather innocent en naive, but here and there indeed naughty…

    Danny · August 7, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Thanks, I’ll have to check it out!

Ajax · September 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm

I’m rather stunned that Tarzan and his mate is left out of the list of essential pre-code films in as much as it is the only film of that era that I know of that presents Maureen O’Sullivan’s vagina. Watch the scene in the cave where she attempts to keep the lions at bay by making a firewall between herself and the lions. She kneels down to light and maintain the fire and clearly has no undergarment on beneath her loincloth. Surprise! Unlike the underwater scenes, in the cave it is definitely not Josephine McKim.

    Danny · September 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Heh. That is a good point. This list is being revised at the moment and will be updated by the end of the year. O’Sullivan’s nether regions or not, Tarzan will definitely make the list. 🙂

      Ajax · September 10, 2014 at 2:51 am


Elizabeth Penrose · October 30, 2014 at 4:27 am

I’ve just become aware of “Journey’s End.” Isn’t this a pre-code film?

    Danny · November 1, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    It could be. This list is composed of movies that are usually referenced in books about pre-Code Hollywood, not all of the movies released in these years. Because of that, some movies that are really obscure or weren’t released when those were published may be overlooked. That might be true of Journey’s End… but I’ll have to check it out first.

Paul · November 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Another Pre-code film from 1931 is “Bought!’ with Constance Bennett. Not yet listed.

    Danny · November 18, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Now it is! Thank you!

Robert · May 4, 2016 at 5:34 am

Wikipedia say’s that Alice in Wonderland (1931) and Alice in Wonderland (1933) version are both pre-code films

Tabetha · June 21, 2016 at 6:58 am

There really should be a pre-code film festival!

    Elizabeth · June 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

    No — not a film festival! Film festivals generally show isolated films. There ought to a celebration with a day-long program, from the main feature, to shorts, to Betty Boop and Tom and Jerry. All the components of a day at the movies in the day.

Lacy · September 22, 2016 at 1:51 am

I just discovered this site via TCM’s “Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies” course and I LOVE it! One of my fave’s is not yet listed, though, and I’d love to read your review of it. 1931’s “Man in Possession” with Robert Montgomery.

Ed Young · May 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm

As I was reading some of the pre code stuff I was also flipping through the cable channels and noticed a movie from 1938, four years after the Hayes Code was considered.
“The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse” starring Edward G. Robinson.
Seeing it was billed as a comedy, could this be one of those movies they tried to slip through the cracks? After all, the word “clitoris” wasn’t exactly a common word back then….except perhaps to a gynecologist.
Just sayin’……

Richard · September 7, 2017 at 7:42 am

Please take a look at Lil Dagover’s only American (pre-code?) movie “The Woman from Monte Carlo” from early 1932!

andy wood · May 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm

How about a list for 1929? This list is superb!!

    Elizabeth · May 2, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I’d second that. Although it’s harder to find copies of films from 1929, some of the survivors are just as interesting and just as notorious. In musicals, the list would show Busby Berkley’s films as the result of a series of innovations, and not as the default.