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Star of the Month


jh33
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I would love to see a whole month of just Pre-code movies saluting all the actress who did pre-codes like Jean Harlow , Barbara Stanwyck , Norma Shearer, Irenne Dunne and others. Also would like to see Ann Sheridan as Star of the Month.

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That's a great idea, jh33, and TCM should concentrate the films that suggest *why* the Breen boys clamped down on them in mid-1934. Start off the month with a film like The Story of Temple Drake (which was shown here in September for the only time in memory) and take it from there. The only thing I'd add to your suggestion would be to include films from the silent era, since that's when many of these great actresses like Shearer and Joan Crawford first burst into stardom. There are many silent films that are completely "pre-code" in spirit even if we don't generally think of them under that label. I'd bet that a month like that would generate more favorable publicity for TCM than any program they've had in years.

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This theme is actually a better idea than the battle of the blondes theme TCM had in November. They have enough pre codes in their library to even highlight actresses who don't get the recognition Barbara Stanwyck or Jean Harlow would get. It would be nice to see the theme on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a night and honoring 2-3 actresses each night. I think it would be grand!

 

Also, I would be ECSTATIC if Ann Sheridan were SOTM. She is on my list of people I think should be, that TCM has access to many of her films, but we may not see get the distinction for a long long while.

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Love the idea! Pre-Code is the type of theme that could spread itself over two nights a week throughout a month (a la TCM's "blonde tribute" in November). It could further be broken down into specific concepts -- one night, focus on the "complicated women" of pre-Code, the other on the "dangerous men" (both nights with Mick LaSalle, who wrote excellent pre-Code books of those titles, joining Bob for intros and outros); other nights, examine several pre-Codes from various studios: Warners, RKO/Pathe, MGM, Columbia, Paramount, Universal and Fox (the last three would have to be coordinated with Universal, which owns many pre-Code Paramount titles, and Fox, which has worked with TCM in presenting Will Rogers and other early talking stuff). Wait -- those would total up to nine nights, so make sure one of those days of the week occurs five times during the month (as was the case with the blondes).

 

There's a lot of pre-Code product out there that TCM hasn't gotten to yet, so something like this would be plenty of fun.

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VP19, every one of those suggestions of yours only adds to my previous thought that a pre-code month is an idea whose time has come. Mike LaSalle's books are both terrific, and he'd be a great person to have as a guest commentator. And if you don't mind my saying so, so would you and the Self-Styled Siren. Not to mention our own Eugenia H, who may know more about Barbara Stanwyck than 99% of the professional critics out there.

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