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Noir_Kiss3

Your Top Ten Pre-Codes

14 posts in this topic

What are your top ten?

These aren't just chosen for their "pre-codeness" but overall quality. I've used asterisks to denote the one that have more of the qualities that wouldn't play after the code enforcement.

 

1.Skyscraper Souls (1932) ****

2.Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) ****

3.Jewel Robbery (1932) ****

4.Baby Face (1933) ****

5.Employee's Entrance (1933) ****

6.The Mind Reader (1933)

7.Fooltlight Parade (1931)

8.Little Cesar (1933)

9.I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang

10.Grand Hotel (1932) ****

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Wow I would have to really think about this one since my pre-code film knowledge is somewhat weak. I just love pre-code movies but I don't have books about them like I do with Film Noir.

 

I have seen everyone of the films you listed except Jewel Robbery. All films I enjoyed.

 

I know one film that would be in my top ten would be A Free Soul.

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First of all, Noir, thanks for starting a new thread, it's been a bit musty over here.

Here's mine:

Baby Face: In my mind, the Citizen Kane of Pre-Codes

Call Her Savage: Jaw-dropping scene after scene

Red-Headed Woman: Gotta have at least one Harlow on here

Safe in Hell: Lurid masterpiece; Mackaill is terrific in this

Three on a Match: Best 63 minute flick ever made; Ann Dvorak at her best

Smarty: Included only because it could never be made after the code and it could not be even made today; quite bizarre

Female: Although it peters out in the third act, whole film is commendable; gotta have one Chatterton film on here

Design for a Living: Coward's play about threesomes; always liked the ending to this one

Possessed: Crawford and Gable holding up a dinner party for an hour so that they can make whoopee

A Man's Castle: A favorite, someday hopefully will be shown unedited; Loretta Young looking luminous here.

 

I have lots of honorable mentions as this is my favorite genre...

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Great list of films, and you're right about Three On A Match. Great movie and one where Bette Davis is the third female lead and the other gals, Ann and Joan are great.

 

But I don't think we can call pre-codes a genre since there are pre-code westerns, crime dramas, period dramas etc... Regardless of what we call it Pre-code movies are special.

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Indeed, maybe I should have used 'category' instead. If I had to add a few more I would put a Norma Shearer film on there as well, either The Divorcee or A Free Soul, as you mentioned.

Looking forward to a few more lists, if we can get a few more users eyes' over to this forum...

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Hard to limit this to 10, but just off the top of my head:

 

Three on a Match

A Free Soul

Female

Red Dust

Red-Headed Woman

I'm No Angel

Blonde Venus

Midnight Mary

Baby Face

Safe in Hell

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The end of the pre-code era is often defined as July 1934. While to code existed before than it wasn't enforced until July 1934.

 

Therefore when one list a 1934 film they have to know if it was released before July of 1934. Films made in the early months of 1934 often had to be re-edited so they could be release once the code was enforced.

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1934...My list won't be so hot when i post it then LOL...I sense a Frankenstein, Dracula and Invisible Man appearance. They count? :)

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Thank goodness I keep good records. And I have the edit button :) ...My Ten:

 

1. It Happened One Night

2. King Kong

3. Lady For a Day

4. Three on a Match

5. Smart Money

6. Frankenstein

7. The Invisible Man

8. All Quiet on the Western Front

9. Public Enemy

10. Dracula

 

Edited by: lanceroten on Oct 23, 2013 5:10 PM

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All good choices everyone! I haven't seen Midnight Mary--that one's on my list of movies to watch for. I'm also waiting for the original The Last of Mrs Cheney . I'd also add:

 

Private Lives (Norma Shearer and Robt Mongomery exchanging insults and blows as a divorced couple who meet on their next honeymoons and realize they are still in love with each other--very funny)

 

Shanghai Express (Dietrich and Anna May Wong as prostitutes trvelling on a train with a cast of crazies and revolutionaries in war-torn China--worth it for Dietrich's wardrobe and Anna May Wong.)

 

Hoopla (Clara Bow as a cootch dancer in a travelling carnival who falls in love with the boss' kid, after earning $25 stealing his virginity. She marries him and tries to go straight. Tawdry, sleazy and Bow in a python-skin costume)

 

And has anyone listed the Lubitsch musicals?

One Hour With You, The Love Parade and The Smiling Leiutenant and even though it's not really Lubitsch, Love Me Tonight?

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Babyface

Red headed woman

Red Dust

Public Enemy

Faithless

Safe in Hell

A Free Soul

Three On A Match

The Bitter Tea Of General Yen

Ten Cents A Dance

 

So many more! It is tough to choose..

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1. GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933

2. BLONDE CRAZY (1931)

3. BEAUTY AND THE BOSS (1932)

4. THE HALF NAKED TRUTH (1932)

5. BLESSED EVENT (1932)

6. RED HEADED WOMAN (1932)

7.FIVE STAR FINAL (1931)

8. THE LITTLE GIANT (1933)

9. CITY STREETS (1931)

10. THIS IS THE NIGHT (1932)

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Bad Girl (1931)

Footlight Parade (1933)

Night Nurse (1931)

Private Lives (1931)

Safe in Hell (1931)

So Big! (1932)

Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

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