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Those are all excellent choices given already.

But often when I think of pre-code I think I'd pick actresses whose careers were so defined by their pre-code films that they were (unfortunately) pretty much washed up post-code.

 

A few examples:

Clara Bow

Nancy Carroll

Alice White

Dorothy MacKaill

And even Betty Boop!

 

To name just a few...I'm sure others can add more.

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Everyone has mentioned a great group of precode ladies. There's one who is missing: Irene Dunne. Yes, she is more likely to be remembered today for her romantic screwball comedies during the Code years, but she also played in some heavy duty precodes as well.

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and let's not forte that Gloria Swanson and Norma Talmadge made a few pre-Coders. Admittedly these were gritty like the films Stanwyck and Francis were making but they were in there. Also... there were Helen Twelvetrees, Betty Compson, Constance Bennett, and Ann Harding.

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She hasn't been mentioned here and she's not really a Pre-Code dame, but Helen Chandler played many interesting roles during the Pre-Code Era, most notably in my opinion in Jacques Feyder's "*Daybreak*" (1931), in "*The Worst Woman in Paris?*" (1933) and in "*The Last Flight*" (1931). She has also the female lead in "*Dracula*" (1931).

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*Dirigible* is just ok, but you might like it more than I did.

 

I seem to have most of the precodes they are showing tomorrow already although I haven't watched them all. I have a compunction to record but don't always find the time with 4 children at home and 2 dogs to sit and watch films. ;)

 

I can just imagine how much catching up time I will get to once we retire. lol

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I had seen *Dirigible* before and liked it a lot. It's the best of the series of action films Frank Capra made in the early talkie period with Jack Holt and Ralph Graves as stars. This one also has Fay Wray and, in a terrific performance, Hobart Bosworth, who was an matinee idol in early silents. The special effects are pretty good and it's a good (if familiar) story. I always felt Capra patterned these films and the relationship between the men on the William Haines/Lon Chaney pairing in *Tell It to the Marines.*

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Thanks, Jill and drednm, I have the DVR set to record *Dirigible* (and a few others). Look forward to seeing Fay. I know Bosworth from *My Best Girl* and *A Woman of Affairs* (among others), but this may be the first talkie I've seen him in.

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10:15am Rain or Shine (1930)

 

A young woman inherits her father's financially troubled circus.

Cast: Joe Cook, Louise Fazenda, Joan Peers, William Collier Jr. Dir: Frank Capra BW-88 mins, TV-G

 

Hey! this one was *very* entertaining, I really enjoyed it. It had everything: old tunes, funny vaudeville routines, great circus acts and a fantastic climax with a huge circus tent burning to the ground and Louise Fazenda being rescued. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, literally!

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During the ice and storm scenes Bosworth famously injured himself by getting dry ice in his mouth. Apparently it caused a lot of damage....

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I thought Joe Cook was terrific in this one. Too bad his film career was so brief.... I agree, the finale was excellently done, but it was Joan Peers who got hoisted (I thought), not Louise Fazenda.

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