We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

Favorite PreCode Women


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1 jamesjazzguitar

jamesjazzguitar

    There is nothing as bad as something not so bad

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,235 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 15 November 2016 - 12:40 PM

"I've balanced our account."   

 

Stanwyck made some great pre-code films.   Love Baby Face but also Night Nurse.   Gable is a very bad boy in this one. 


  • BelleLeGrand1, cinemaspeak59 and blackcougar1959 like this

#2 Dialogfan

Dialogfan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 15 November 2016 - 08:52 AM

Of those I've seen, I'd probably have to go with Barbara Stanwyck, particularly in Baby Face. I also like the free range and the depth of Theresa Harris, who got a lot out of the Pre-Codes before the Code came in. Also, Norma Shearer in anything Pre-Code, The Divorcee being my favorite. 

 

Who is your favorite? 

attachicon.gifbabyface_5.jpg

 

attachicon.gifshearer295.jpg

 

 

 

"I've balanced our account."   



#3 Dialogfan

Dialogfan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 14 November 2016 - 10:16 AM

Dvorak's most famous pre-code would be Scarface with Paul Muni.   Other pre-code gems are Three On A Match with Joan Blondell,  Bogie and a very young Bette Davis.        Love is a Racket with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,    The Strange Love of Molly Louvain with Lee Tracy (a plot about an unwed mother),   and The Crowd Roars with Cagney and Blondell.     Dvorak was under contact at Warners so TCM has access to these films.   

 

For Ruth, my favorite pre-codes are Frisco Jenny,   Female,  and Madame X.     Her best film is Dodsworth released in 1936.  This film with Walter Huston and Mary Astor is first rate and was one of the best movies released that year.    A very mature and frank look at a women turning 40 and her unwillingness to deal with this.    It has a very pre-code vibe given the theme and the director Wyler was creative in how he got around the code

 

Jamesjazzguitar:  well said!  "Dodsworth" and your description of turning 40 is right on the money.  You also have added some great choices which should be followed up.  Youtube video uploaders are being creative with titles so they are not taken down so quickly...though I wish TCM would do much more pre code including lesser known ones, perhaps even dedicating a day of the month to pre code.  Upcoming is the roaring "Naughty Flirt" with Alice White in her best "Bugs Bunny animation like" role!  

 

I keep waiting for "Loose Ankles" with Loretta Young but its never broadcast.  

 

"Three on a Match"...no matter how often I see it, I can't look away.  Ann Dvorak is an actress that even in supporting roles seems to shine. 

 

I don't know the little boy's name who played the young "Goldberg" Jewish character in school who answers the teacher's anger of "Oh, I wish I could be your mother for just a day..." to teach him a lesson. 

 

He says, "I'll speak to pop about that" in a way that shines the comedic talent.  

 

Did he go on to more movies?

 

When those close to me who only want 'modernity' point to "The Office" for humor, I have won more than a few over by having them watch (or try to catch!) the insults of 

 

Greer Garson's unending insults in  "Pride and Prejudice" versus the insults of "The Office" sitcom. 

 

The rich dialog of the classics and the loveliness of the actresses elicits great emotional responses from the audience.  

 

When Helen Twelvetrees said, "Momma said for you to be good to me", you can almost feel her fear  of the wedding night and that which was to follow.  

 

When Myrna Loy said, "You came back.  You couldn't go.  You forgot me!" in "Test Pilot", although its a great line, rewind back just a bit to the porch scene where she fights back tears and rage declaring to Clark Gable that she would never want him to love her.  I don't have the exact quotes, but it is rivetingly delivered (and well written!)  

 

THAT scene alone rivals anything offered today.  

 

This is a fun thread...

 

Mae Clark is another that arrests the viewer.  Parole Girl...I love her anger as her emotions are never mingled with indifference.  

 

I'm only just warming up to silent movies, but "A Woman of Affairs" with Garbo is something special.  

 

"Evergreen" is another...though I forget her name. 

 

I get razzed but, do I love "Naughty Marietta"!  The soundtrack is even on TIDAL and through good headphones and quality DAC, the sound is marvelous.  (I use the "Mojo" with iPhone).  

 

My wife and I have just fallen for the unbearable cuteness of Simone Simon and in "Delicious" the adorable Janet Gaynor is irresistible.  

 

I haven't seen a single actress in this thread that I disagree with her inclusion! 


  • jamesjazzguitar and cinemaspeak59 like this

#4 MCannady1

MCannady1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 21 July 2016 - 11:06 PM

I'm sure there are many more but these are the actresses of early Hollywood I really liked. My apologies if some fall outside the category...Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow, Miriam Hopkins, Dolores Costello, Joan Blondell, Louise Brooks, Joan and Constance Bennett, Mae Clarke, Hedy Lamarr, Barbara Stanwyck, Myrna Loy, Una Merkel, Gloria Gaynor, Katherine Hepburn, Carol Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Fay Wray, Marie MacDonald, Kay Francis, Claudette Colbert, and Joan Crawford.


Helen Twelvetrees, Arline Judge and Claire Dodd are three more Pre-Code talented ladies. I grew up loving older films and in the last few years discovered that some of my favorites were in Pre-Codes; Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert. Joan CRawford, Ann Harding, Helen Vinson, Alline McMahon, and Adrienne Ames. Those are a few, of course. For awhile I watched lots of them and others come to mind like Marion Burns, Marion Schilling, Anita Page.
Some of the last ones are not as well known, but were very gifted as well. I also like Lupita Tovar, Lupe Velez and Dolores Del Rio.

#5 cinemaspeak59

cinemaspeak59

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts

Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:12 AM

Very impressive list.  I agree with all the names mentioned.  I'll name these already-cited actresses: Ruth Chatterton, Greta Garbo, Miriam Hopkins, and Jeanette MacDonald. 



#6 Flashalex

Flashalex

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio, TX

Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:02 AM

I'm sure there are many more but these are the actresses of early Hollywood I really liked. My apologies if some fall outside the category...Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow, Miriam Hopkins, Dolores Costello, Joan Blondell, Louise Brooks, Joan and Constance Bennett, Mae Clarke, Hedy Lamarr, Barbara Stanwyck, Myrna Loy, Una Merkel, Gloria Gaynor, Katherine Hepburn, Carol Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Fay Wray, Marie MacDonald, Kay Francis, Claudette Colbert, and Joan Crawford.


  • MCannady1 and rayban like this

#7 jamesjazzguitar

jamesjazzguitar

    There is nothing as bad as something not so bad

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,235 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 12 June 2016 - 01:10 PM

Norma Shearer, Clara Bow, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow pre-The Girl From Missouri, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Blondell, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Dvorak, Mae West circa. I'm No Angel and She Done Him Wrong, Tallulah Bankhead, Constance Bennett, and Ruth Chatterton... to name a few....

 

Very impressive list.    Glad to see Ann Dvorak mentioned here.   She is often forgotten since her issues with Warner Bros studios impacted her Production Code career  (and the code just took some of her magic away).

 

Another actress with some fine pre-code films is Marion Davies,  known today more for her association with Hearst than her films.     


  • TopBilled likes this

#8 Tisher Price

Tisher Price

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 363 posts
  • LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:40 PM

Norma Shearer, Clara Bow, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow pre-The Girl From Missouri, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Blondell, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Dvorak, Mae West circa. I'm No Angel and She Done Him Wrong, Tallulah Bankhead, Constance Bennett, and Ruth Chatterton... to name a few....


  • TopBilled likes this

​"Ya unn't gonna sell this house, an' ya unn't gonna leave it EITHER!"--​Bette Davis as Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)


#9 MCannady1

MCannady1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:29 PM

MCannady1--Have you seen "Hallelujah" (1929), the first all-African American musical?  It starred Nina Mae McKinney, & was released by MGM.  King Vidor directed, & got an Oscar nomination for his efforts.  The films' racial attitudes are outdated, but it is a milestone worth seeing.  TCM has shown the film before, last in 2013(?).

No, but would really enjoy seeing it.  I will try to locate it.  I do wish the attitudes had been right, but we have wonderful actors and actresses of the Golden Age in some unique roles.  I like Elizabeth Welch (Big Fella) with Paul Robson and Louise Beavers in Imitation of Life.  Of course we all like Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind and other great films. 



#10 MCannady1

MCannady1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:18 PM

Prior to TCM's precode spotlight last year, I unfairly dismissed pre-1934 movies as "creaky" and with poor sound quality.  There always seemed to be a ton of pops, scratches, crackles (sounds I like hearing in old film, but too much and it just distracts) in the picture and sound.  

 

Anyway, I watched a few of the pre-codes last year and found myself really intrigued by the storylines and performers.  It's interesting to see how stars who appeared in a lot of pre-codes, like Barbara Stanwyck, adapted their film persona and style to match the new production code standards.

 

Anyway, thanks to TCM's spotlight last year, I've been looking at pre-codes with a new appreciation and have been recording them as they air when they feature some of my favorite performers.

 

My favorite pre-code actresses:

 

Joan Blondell

Barbara Stanwyck

Jean Harlow (I used to find her annoying, but she's growing on me)

Mary Astor

Myrna Loy

Carole Lombard (she's also been growing on me as well)

 

I haven't seen a ton of pre-code films to be able to pick out performers from those films that I enjoy whose career didn't really progress into the Production Code era-- hence the more bigger name stars in my list.  However, I'm using the early films of actors and actresses I enjoy as a starting point and will discover more of the late 20s-early 30s stars that way.

Wonderful choices!.  I discovered more favorites when watching Pre-Codes;  Madge Evans, Anita Page, Helen Twelvetrees.

and Helen Vinson. Also noteworthy was the lovely Sally Eilers.  Love Carole Lombard in some later films too; namely In Name Only with Cary Grant and Kay Francis and Vigil in the Night with Brian Aherne and Anne Shirley.  Carole could do it all - whether tragedy, humor, commonplace problems, etc. 

 

I have been watching Pre-Codes like Baby Face in the Forbidden Hollywood Sets.  To my list I must add Claudette Colbert, Loretta Young and the marvelous Irene Dunne and Barbara Stanwyck.



#11 jamesjazzguitar

jamesjazzguitar

    There is nothing as bad as something not so bad

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,235 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 14 November 2015 - 05:48 PM

I don't think I've seen an Ann Dvorak film.  Where do you recommend that I start? Same goes for Ruth Chatterton.  

 

I'll will look out for No Man of Her Own.  

 

Thanks!

 

Dvorak's most famous pre-code would be Scarface with Paul Muni.   Other pre-code gems are Three On A Match with Joan Blondell,  Bogie and a very young Bette Davis.        Love is a Racket with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,    The Strange Love of Molly Louvain with Lee Tracy (a plot about an unwed mother),   and The Crowd Roars with Cagney and Blondell.     Dvorak was under contact at Warners so TCM has access to these films.   

 

For Ruth, my favorite pre-codes are Frisco Jenny,   Female,  and Madame X.     Her best film is Dodsworth released in 1936.  This film with Walter Huston and Mary Astor is first rate and was one of the best movies released that year.    A very mature and frank look at a women turning 40 and her unwillingness to deal with this.    It has a very pre-code vibe given the theme and the director Wyler was creative in how he got around the code


  • speedracer5 and cinemaspeak59 like this

#12 speedracer5

speedracer5

    Errol Flynn's girlfriend in a parallel universe,back in time

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,618 posts
  • LocationForest Grove, Oregon

Posted 14 November 2015 - 01:38 AM

I highly recommend No Man of Her Own;  this pre-code is a nice blend of comedy and drama with that pre-code sexuality in spades between Gable and Lombard (but at this stage in their lives they were only acting!).

 

Otherwise great list of pre-code actresses;   I would add Ann Dvorak and,  a little goes a long way but I still love her, Ruth Chatterton to that list.   

I don't think I've seen an Ann Dvorak film.  Where do you recommend that I start? Same goes for Ruth Chatterton.  

 

I'll will look out for No Man of Her Own.  

 

Thanks!


"It's not an old movie if you haven't seen it." -Lauren Bacall

 

"A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." -Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

 

Proud member of:

 

dxmdyx.png

 

 

My classic movie and television blog:

 

Whimsically Classic

 

https://whimsicallyc....wordpress.com/


#13 jamesjazzguitar

jamesjazzguitar

    There is nothing as bad as something not so bad

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,235 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:51 AM

Oops I should have researched my films better.  I liked Twentieth Century and thought it was '32 or '33.  I guess it was '34.  I may have seen No Man of Her Own, but I can't remember it.  

 

Scratch Lombard off my list... for now anyway.

 

I highly recommend No Man of Her Own;  this pre-code is a nice blend of comedy and drama with that pre-code sexuality in spades between Gable and Lombard (but at this stage in their lives they were only acting!).

 

Otherwise great list of pre-code actresses;   I would add Ann Dvorak and,  a little goes a long way but I still love her, Ruth Chatterton to that list.   


  • TopBilled likes this

#14 speedracer5

speedracer5

    Errol Flynn's girlfriend in a parallel universe,back in time

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,618 posts
  • LocationForest Grove, Oregon

Posted 12 November 2015 - 01:52 AM

Curious what pre-code Lombard films you like.   The only one that I really enjoy is No Man of Her Own, with future hubby Clark Gable.    In most pre-codes files Lombard has only token roles.    Ladies' Man is a good film but Powell and Kay Francis are the stars.   Lombard really didn't make it until after the code was enforced.

 

Oops I should have researched my films better.  I liked Twentieth Century and thought it was '32 or '33.  I guess it was '34.  I may have seen No Man of Her Own, but I can't remember it.  

 

Scratch Lombard off my list... for now anyway.


"It's not an old movie if you haven't seen it." -Lauren Bacall

 

"A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." -Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

 

Proud member of:

 

dxmdyx.png

 

 

My classic movie and television blog:

 

Whimsically Classic

 

https://whimsicallyc....wordpress.com/


#15 jamesjazzguitar

jamesjazzguitar

    There is nothing as bad as something not so bad

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,235 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 09 November 2015 - 04:22 PM

Prior to TCM's precode spotlight last year, I unfairly dismissed pre-1934 movies as "creaky" and with poor sound quality.  There always seemed to be a ton of pops, scratches, crackles (sounds I like hearing in old film, but too much and it just distracts) in the picture and sound.  

 

Anyway, I watched a few of the pre-codes last year and found myself really intrigued by the storylines and performers.  It's interesting to see how stars who appeared in a lot of pre-codes, like Barbara Stanwyck, adapted their film persona and style to match the new production code standards.

 

Anyway, thanks to TCM's spotlight last year, I've been looking at pre-codes with a new appreciation and have been recording them as they air when they feature some of my favorite performers.

 

My favorite pre-code actresses:

 

Joan Blondell

Barbara Stanwyck

Jean Harlow (I used to find her annoying, but she's growing on me)

Mary Astor

Myrna Loy

Carole Lombard (she's also been growing on me as well)

 

I haven't seen a ton of pre-code films to be able to pick out performers from those films that I enjoy whose career didn't really progress into the Production Code era-- hence the more bigger name stars in my list.  However, I'm using the early films of actors and actresses I enjoy as a starting point and will discover more of the late 20s-early 30s stars that way.

 

Curious what pre-code Lombard films you like.   The only one that I really enjoy is No Man of Her Own, with future hubby Clark Gable.    In most pre-codes files Lombard has only token roles.    Ladies' Man is a good film but Powell and Kay Francis are the stars.   Lombard really didn't make it until after the code was enforced.



#16 speedracer5

speedracer5

    Errol Flynn's girlfriend in a parallel universe,back in time

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,618 posts
  • LocationForest Grove, Oregon

Posted 08 November 2015 - 03:14 PM

Prior to TCM's precode spotlight last year, I unfairly dismissed pre-1934 movies as "creaky" and with poor sound quality.  There always seemed to be a ton of pops, scratches, crackles (sounds I like hearing in old film, but too much and it just distracts) in the picture and sound.  

 

Anyway, I watched a few of the pre-codes last year and found myself really intrigued by the storylines and performers.  It's interesting to see how stars who appeared in a lot of pre-codes, like Barbara Stanwyck, adapted their film persona and style to match the new production code standards.

 

Anyway, thanks to TCM's spotlight last year, I've been looking at pre-codes with a new appreciation and have been recording them as they air when they feature some of my favorite performers.

 

My favorite pre-code actresses:

 

Joan Blondell

Barbara Stanwyck

Jean Harlow (I used to find her annoying, but she's growing on me)

Mary Astor

Myrna Loy

Carole Lombard (she's also been growing on me as well)

 

I haven't seen a ton of pre-code films to be able to pick out performers from those films that I enjoy whose career didn't really progress into the Production Code era-- hence the more bigger name stars in my list.  However, I'm using the early films of actors and actresses I enjoy as a starting point and will discover more of the late 20s-early 30s stars that way.


"It's not an old movie if you haven't seen it." -Lauren Bacall

 

"A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." -Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

 

Proud member of:

 

dxmdyx.png

 

 

My classic movie and television blog:

 

Whimsically Classic

 

https://whimsicallyc....wordpress.com/


#17 TheCid

TheCid

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,718 posts
  • LocationSouth Carolina

Posted 10 August 2015 - 02:38 PM

Always find it interesting that pre-code movies on TCM are rated G for TV.


  • film lover 293 likes this

#18 film lover 293

film lover 293

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,049 posts

Posted 10 August 2015 - 12:08 PM

MCannady1--Have you seen "Hallelujah" (1929), the first all-African American musical?  It starred Nina Mae McKinney, & was released by MGM.  King Vidor directed, & got an Oscar nomination for his efforts.  The films' racial attitudes are outdated, but it is a milestone worth seeing.  TCM has shown the film before, last in 2013(?).



#19 MCannady1

MCannady1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 05 August 2015 - 08:57 PM

Well we love many of the same actress of the era.   I was introduced to studio-era movies by the Bogart, Cagney, E.G. Robinson films of the 30s and 40s while they were under contract at Warner Brothers.     One day I saw Marked Women (a 1937  Davis \ Bogie picture),  and this lead me to more of the WB Davis pictures.      So many movies,  so little time!  

You bet!  I loved Marked Woman too!  I re-watched it recently.  Bogie was great as the attorney who tries to protect the escort girls from an evil  nightclub owner.  Bette was wonderful in her role as the hostess who tries to protect her innocent young sister.  Tragedy strikes!  Bette is great in those pre-codes too!



#20 MCannady1

MCannady1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 05 August 2015 - 08:28 PM

I nearly forgot to mention the beautiful Ann Sothern in wonderful  pre-code films; Walking on Air, Let's Fall in Love, etc.  These are around 1934 and are very special.  In both she sings beautifully.

 

Irene Dunne shone in Ann Vickers, a poignant pre-code with forbidden topic.

 

Ann Harding was wonderful in the poignant pre-code The Life of Vergie Winters, Gallant Lady, Condemned, etc. 

 

Frances Dee shone in Finishing School and The Silver Cord which were two very special pre-code films.

 

The lovely Joan Bennett starred in the racy pre-code "Doctor's Wives", a poignant film about a young nurse who navely marries a worldly doctor (played by Warner Baxter).  All goes well at first until a hospital patient who is not really ill keeps begging him to spend the weekend at her cabin.  She is a wealthy, bored socialite who is a widow.  Dr. Judd finally agrees and spends several days at the cabin without telling his wife.  He deceives her by claiming he had an urgent call to a sick friend. 

 

When Joan's character finds out, she wants to retaliate by going out with a young friend of her husband who is smitten by her and is starting out as a sculptor.  I guess you can imagine what ensues next....  She threatens to leave her husband when he returns and he  passes off his infidelity!  He acts like she needs to come to her senses!  Of course she returns but the marriage is not the same after that.  She remains only friends with the sculptor.

 

Another great pre-code actress is Sally Eilers who shone in Walls of Gold with Ralph Morgan.  She was a young executive for an advertising company who was engaged to a young man who was very poor,  They delay their wedding until he gets "on his feet".  She meets a wealthy widower, Ralph Morgan, who is smitten with her.  Unable to resist, Jimmie marries him instead,  Unbenownst to Jimmie, Ralphs's character sleeps with other women.  While he gives her fur coats and a beautiful home, he is out there with clients and other girlfriends.  When she finds out his wife wants to leave and return to her former fiancee, 

 

There are several pre-code issues here; his affair with his 17 year old niece, his forcing Jimmie not to have children, etc.  In the book it is more explicit, but it is obvious that he does not want children and flaunts his affairs.  Jimmie wants her old boyrfriend back.

 

Helen Twelvetrees shone in Millie, Bad Company, The Young Bride and several others.  She had a warmth and sensitivity which could not compare to others!

 

Our wonderful golden age certainly contained great pre-code films.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users