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Thanks for the Pre-Codes!


alix1929
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I've enjoyed watching some of the pre-Codes lately. There for awhile, I'd pretty much seen everything TCM was showing! What fun to see something new for a change. Just goes to show there's plenty of variety in the "vaults" if someone chooses to get it out.

 

Thanks for THE VAMPIRE BAT, BACK PAY, WAY OUT WEST, and a host of others.

 

Now, how about some with Kay Francis? I'd like to see some of her early 1930's work, if possible.

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Once again, Kay Francis gets her birthday spotlight, on January 13, but the titles seem to be similar to last year's. Transgression, Jewel Robbery, Man Wanted and One Way Passage are scheduled, as is I Loved a Woman, with EGR. My Eddie Robinson collection has been hurting since I lost TCM a few years back, so now that I've got it again (and driving my wife crazy), I'm looking forward to snagging better copies of films like these. Gotta love Kay Francis, but I still haven't seen the new books about her yet.

 

Johnny

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Yes, Julia Faye! There's always been something about Julia Faye that I thoroughly approve of, even if it seems from superficiality. I think it's always been to DeMille's lasting credit that he never forgot the people he worked with, like Faye, and continually kept them in employment until his death. He even found room for her in The Story of Dr. Wassell. As for the pre-code banner, what about Madam Satan? I don't even know if words can come close to describing the experience of watching that film! Amazing, considering the direction he'd take in his remake of The Squaw Man. What a strange fellow, that C.B. DeMille.

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I also love MADAM SATAN! It's like one of the quintessential pre-Codes that receives air time.

 

Sadly, I've seen all the Kay Francis movies named. However, it's been years since I saw TRANSGRESSION. I think it also has Ricardo Cortez, a regular staple for pre-Code bad lovers.

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I'm jealous that you watched it, Alix ;).... I wonder when I'll have the chance of finally seeing "Madam Satan" (I've been waiting for years), hopefully TCM will schedule it soon.

 

"Transgression" sounds like an attractive title!

 

So You saw "Pasion Flower"? What can you tell me about it?

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I'm looking forward to seeing Transgression. From what I've read about in Complicated Women, it sounds very interesting. Alix, nice to learn you love Madam Satan. Personally, I know one other soul who's watched it (and she watched it with me) and absolutely loathed, and I mean loathed, it! Perhaps she couldn't understand the pomp and circumstance involved. Some people miss the point in everything, and everything DeMille did was worthwhile, I think, even Four Frightened People. All this talk about Passion Flower makes me want to see it now more than I did when it just another title I never thought I'd view. Like feaito, I like to know more about it (or do I? I generally don't like to know too much about a film before I see it. Kinda ruins it a bit). Maybe it'll air this year.

 

I do think Jewel Robbery and One Way Passage are two of Francis' best pre-codes. One for the sheer slickness of it and the other for the sheer romanticism involved. Very fine films, indeed. I think Jewel Robbery is far more enjoyable and witty than Trouble in Paradise, but you can call me sinner if you like.

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MADAM SATAN is just too "pre-Codish" for words. I love especially thje Zeppelin scenes. That's so "30's" if you ask me. It personifies the picture many have in their minds of the wealthy class during the depression era. Partying while everyone else went to hell in a handbasket.

 

Plus...I love the dresses the ladies in this one wore. Trust DeMille.

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I have seen PASSION FLOWER, and I honestly can't remember much about it, except that I didn't like Bickford. He's really not Kay's type--he's too beefy and rough, in my opinion.

 

I probably won't catch this one on the DVR to watch again. Sorry. Of course, if you haven't seen it, any Kay Francis movie is worth watching!

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JEWEL ROBBERY is one of my absolute favorites! It is witty, sexy, and very, very funny. William Powell is awesome and suave & sophisticated. He makes a wonderful leading man for Kay.

 

Be sure to tape or Tivo this one, because you won't want to miss it!

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Thanks Alix! You could not believe all the Pre-Codes I have on tape, but yet not seen: Ann Vickers, Daybreak, Son of India, Born To Love, The Common Law, Way for a Sailor, Son of the Gods, Our Betters, Susan Lenox, The Great Lover, No Other Woman, Up the River, Beast of the City, Red Headed Woman, The Keyhole, Private Lives, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, Strange Interlude, Strangers May Kiss, The Half Naked Truth, The Star Witness, Forbidden, The Sea Bat, Rasputin and the Empress, Politics, Reducing, Prosperity, The Girl Said No, Blondie of the Follies, The Vagabond Lover, Trader Horn, When Ladies Meet, Gambling Lady, Christopher Strong, The Kennel Club Murder Case, Arsene Lupin, Our Blushing Brides, Our Modern Maidens, Aggie Appleby Maker of Men, But the Flesh is Weak...

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On your list, feaito, are some of my favourite films, and films that, when I was younger, never dreamt I'd ever get to see. One of the beauties, as we all know, about TCM. The Star Witness is a remarkable little film, a tight example of William Wellman's artistry and command of actors; The Beast of the City (playing next month, I think) is simple staggering (and sexy); The Keyhole features a hilarious (though not unexpected) turn by Allen Jenkins and some good interplay between George Brent and Francis; Arsene Lupin is simply my favourite John Barrymore film, a wonderful excuse to fritter away an hour-and-a-half; Aggie Appleby I first saw when I picked up the VHS and I wasn't expecting much but, wow! And Up the River. I taped this back in the late eighties off television and I wonder, has it been played on FMC or TCM? My print's awful, but Bogart and Tracy, so young, so fresh; it's irresistable!

 

I was thinking about Forbidden this morning actually. I came across the title and, since I've never seen it, I thought about posting a query about it. Ironic you did! There's no end to the joys of pre-codes and Jewel Robbery sums a lot of that joy up, as well as illustrating why William Dieterle was such a fine director. I think that film moves as fast as Pat O'Brien could deliever dialogue; barely lets you take a breath! I haven't seen Fog Over Frisco, but I would expect a similar treatment.

 

But what's The Common Law? Off the top of my head, am I missing something?

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Thanks for your comments Johnny...I taped "Up the River" last week from the Cinecanal Classics Channel and it might be scheduled at FOX, because it's a FOX film. "Forbidden" was taped from the Cinemax Channel.

 

As for "The Common Law" it's an RKO Radio-Path? Pre-Code starring Connie Bennett and Joel McCrea, released in 1931. Supposedly it shows a woman in the nude posing for a painter, among other things!! It was scheduled on TCM in August, on the Joel McCrea or the Connie Bennett day.

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We don't get either of those channels up here, darn it! For us, it seems, progression towards civilization has been rather slow. Count yourself lucky! Thanks for the heads-up on The Common Law; I won't miss it the next time they show it (unless I fall asleep ten minutes before they air it, like I did with La Boheme the other night).

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On the other hand, I don't have US TCM but a pale copy of it, "TCM Latin", full of TV series and few films.

 

Other Pre-Codes I've been dying to see are "Midnight Mary", "Bitter Tea of General Yen", "Skyscraper Souls", "Employees Entrance", "Illicit", "Night Nurse", "Ladies They Talk About", "Ex-Lady", among others.

 

I think I have "Tiger Shark" on tape too.

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It's sometimes so hard to see the films we would like to see. The lengths I had to go to get people I know in America to record films for me before we finally got TCM at the beginning of the month was ridiculous. I suppose we should be grateful for any that do come our way. Tiger Shark's a good one, so are the rest. Keep your fingers crossed they'll come your way.

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Someone who's movies you have to see is Warren William. He starred in things like SKYSCRAPER SOULS, EMPLOYEES ENTRANCE, BEAUTY & THE BOSS, and THE MATCH KING. He is wonderful, and captures the pre-Code essence perfectly.

 

Your list below is awesome. I love MIDNIGHT MARY, and most all of Loretta Young's pre-Codes. NIGHT NURSE, & LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT are awesome Stanwyck movies. BITTER TEA is very interesting. Only saw that one once.

 

Someone else mentioned ARSINE LUPINE. What a great Barrymore flick. I agree, it's one of my favorite John B. movies.

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