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Pre-code Movies


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#1 of 39 Marilyn_A

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Posted November 12 2004 - 05:09 PM

I am new to this FORUM and am so happy to be here. I cannot think of a better place to ask the burning question I have that no one else has been able to answer. Since I am a PRE-CODE HOLLYWOOD flick lover I stay constantly frustrated trying to find any of these gems on dvd. When I ask about these, most people give me a blank look and ask, "What's that?". For anyone who doesn't know, my definition is; movies that were made between 1929-34 (with sound) before the Production Code tried to emasculate all the male directors with the censor scissors. Mow, the $64,000 Question....does anyone know of a complilation or box set or group of releases that contain these wonderful movies? I know there was a studio that released their pre-codes on laser disc but I have only seen a few on dvd. Here are a few:

FEMALE (1931?) w/Ruth Chatterton
BABYFACE (1933) w/Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent
THE DIVORCE'(1934) w/Norma Shearer
WOMEN IN WHITE (1933) w/Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Gable
KEPT HUSBANDS (1931) w/Dorothy Mackaill & Joel McCrea
MILLIE (1931) w/Helen Twelvetrees & Joan Blondell
OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1934) w/Bette Davis & Leslie Howard

These last three are on a DVD two disc set put out by ROAN GROUP ARCHIVAL ENTERTAINMENT but to the best of my knowledge this is the only one.
Can anyone help with a source for these really interesting "time capsules"? They seem extremely modern in their own way and are a joy to watch.

Marilyn

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#2 of 39 Haggai

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Posted November 12 2004 - 05:32 PM

Welcome to the HTF, Marilyn. I don't know of any compilations along those lines, but a great single title that comes to mind is the Criterion DVD of Trouble In Paradise.

#3 of 39 Seth Paxton

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Posted November 12 2004 - 06:13 PM

Isn't there a Cagney set that just came out? Or are those post-code films? I know they are B-pix IIRC, but I didn't note the era. (edit - nevermind, nothing earlier than 36 there)

It won't be a box set but we just got the Warner's announcement for The Public Enemy and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, 2 films I'm sure you are ready to own on DVD.

BTW, if you haven't already read it I strongly suggest Thomas Doherty's Pre-Code Hollywood. Of course maybe you already read it which is why you are so into the era. Posted Image

Quote:
These last three are on a DVD two disc set put out by ROAN GROUP ARCHIVAL ENTERTAINMENT but to the best of my knowledge this is the only one.
That's all I've been able to find up to this point. Looks like you might be one-at-a-timing more than you were hoping to. At least this stuff is making its way to DVD at all, that's a big step.

At the national meet Paramount gave us a big thumbs down on Wings getting released which just really irks the shit out of me, what with it winning the first Best Pix Oscar (and w/ Fox getting Sunrise already out and in a nice "classics" DVD no less).

#4 of 39 Marilyn_A

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Posted November 12 2004 - 06:58 PM

Ya'll are making me feel right at home on this forum.Posted Image You know how frustrating it is to want something really cool and everyone is selling mostly "uncool" stuff. Not that I'm biased.
Roan Group is based in the UK and they do have BIRD OF PARADISE with another pre-code but it's not sold over here. I just purchased that tonight as I had it on my mind to get it before.
You know, TCM showed all these fabulous movies August of 2003 which is where I got turned onto them in the first place along with a great doc/show based loosely on the Mick LaSalle book U]Dangerous Women[/u].
And Seth, I'll check out the Doherty book...it sounds like it's right up my alley.

Marilyn

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#5 of 39 Tom B.

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Posted November 12 2004 - 08:23 PM

BABY FACE is listed on amazon.com as an upcoming DVD but they give no details about it. Earlier this year, long-lost "cut" footage was allegedly found in England - hopefully this will make it on to the new DVD.

Re "WOMEN IN WHITE" - I don't know if you mean the 1934 film with Clark Gable and Myrna Loy titled MEN IN WHITE - or the 1931 film with Gable and Stanwyck titled NIGHT NURSE. Both have played on TCM several times but they are not on DVD.

#6 of 39 Paul_Scott

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Posted November 12 2004 - 10:17 PM

i wish fox would put out the Clara Bow movies they own.
Call Her Savage is a real pre-code hoot.

Columbia has Platinum Blonde w/ Harlow and Loretta Young out on dvd.
its technically pre-code although its not very racy (but it is a good movie with a lot of zippy dialogue)

MGM put out the LD box sets, so Warner owns the titles now.
it would be nice if they did a similar set in the future.
it would fit in nicely next to the theme sets they put out for Gangster movies and film noirs.

#7 of 39 Joe Karlosi

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Posted November 12 2004 - 10:19 PM

We could really use THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932) on DVD. One of the most explicit pre-code films I've seen.

#8 of 39 Marilyn_A

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Posted November 13 2004 - 01:45 AM

Quote:
Re "WOMEN IN WHITE" - I don't know if you mean the 1934 film with Clark Gable and Myrna Loy titled MEN IN WHITE - or the 1931 film with Gable and Stanwyck titled NIGHT NURSE. Both have played on TCM several times but they are not on DVD.

My mistake....you are right, it's NIGHT NURSE, I remember it being said that this movie was dealing with the abortion issue in 1931, mind you! Thanks for setting me straight. I am always amazed when I see one of these pre-code beauties how modern they seem in dealing with pertainent issues.
I love TCM....to have a nice long lunch with Robert Osborne would be one of my fondest wishes. He is so knowledgeable about all these oldies. It is hard for me to get excited about any movie nowadays past the mid-50's date. It just seems like the movies "lost" something after that. AND, I love B&W! Noir is very comforting to me but that's another thread..........

Marilyn

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#9 of 39 SteveGon

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Posted November 13 2004 - 08:40 AM

Quote:
It won't be a box set but we just got the Warner's announcement for The Public Enemy and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang...

Posted Image

When was IAAFFACG announced? I've only heard about The Life of Emile Zola coming in February.

#10 of 39 IvanT

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Posted November 16 2004 - 06:37 AM

Just wanted to add my voice here... I find the movies from 1930-1934 completely fascinating but unfortunately have little hope of ever seeing most of them on retail DVDs. General public simply isn't interested and that's the bottom line as far as studios are concerned.

So far, TCM seems the only way of seeing any of these movies, and that's what I've been doing (even though, living in Europe, local TCM schedules are nowhere near as good as the US ones, but they do show pre-code movies, usually after midnight--prime time is reserved for the umpteenth showing of "The Cincinnati Kid" (seriously, this movie is shown literally every week)).

I have taken to simply recording the movies on DVD when I see them on TCM--that's how I have "Female" with Ruth Chatterton on DVD. Posted Image The movie is actually from 1933.

Regarding "Wings", which, being silent, doesn't strictly fall into this category I actually have it on DVD! It's a Japanese R2 edition which I just stumbled upon in a shop when I was in Tokyo--believe me, nobody was more surprised than me at that turn of events. Subsequently it turned out they have a lot more classics available on DVD over there even stuff like Russian or French movies from 1930's is readily available.

#11 of 39 Marilyn_A

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Posted November 16 2004 - 07:36 AM

Gee, Ivan...I guess this means that I have to travel the world to get what I want on dvd then buy them one at a time. Posted Image I have noticed that some of the Chinese dvds were more in line with what I was looking for. I see them a lot on ebay....the English subtitles on these movies are sometimes more entertaining than the movies themselves.
Thanks for the correction re: Female, it was late and my dates were fuzzy.
TCM is my salvation as far as my taste in movies...at times, you do get the "classic" CLASSICS on HBO Signature but that's about the only other place I see what I want. I really don't see the point in watching most of the new movies made...it seems such a waste of time.

#12 of 39 Paul_Scott

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Posted November 17 2004 - 03:30 AM

i thought Female was on a Roan disc (possible a double or triple feature).


Has anyone ever seen The Story Of Temple Drake?
that remains the one pre-code film i most want to see and have never, ever run across anywhere.
i finally got a hold of Come On, Marines and Search For Beauty and they were both a hoot.
SFB in particular is quite racy.


such a shame they aren't and will never be on dvd.

#13 of 39 Marilyn_A

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Posted November 17 2004 - 04:36 AM

Paul...I would love to have Female on a triple feature! I was just on the Roan website and didn't see it. If you do come across it, I would love a heads up.
I have never even heard of The Story of Temple Drake, Come on, Marines, and Search For Beauty. It seems to me I have heard the name Temple Drake before...could it be from a Faulkner novel? There is one movie made from the book Sanctuary by William Faulkner that though definately not pre-code, was a rather sordid and racy '50's movie with Lee Remick, Yves Montand and I think, Bradford Dillman. Montand's characters name was "Candyman"....say no more! Govenors daughter gets kidnapped, raped by "Candyman" and develops a taste for it! Does this sound anything like TSOTD ? You never see that movie either.

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#14 of 39 Eric Peterson

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Posted November 17 2004 - 05:13 AM

Marilyn,

Here are all of the Pre-Code films that Roan has available. Troma distributes all of the Roan titles now and they have them for super-cheap. I bought a bunch of these last year and have most of the pre-code titles, although I haven't got around to watching them yet.

http://store.troma.c....&department=79

Another title to consider is Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble in Paradise". There is a nice SE released by Criterion on DVD. I'm pretty sure that this is considered a pre-code movie, but it came out in 1934.

#15 of 39 Rob Willey

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Posted November 17 2004 - 07:25 AM

Quote:
Another title to consider is Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble in Paradise". There is a nice SE released by Criterion on DVD. I'm pretty sure that this is considered a pre-code movie, but it came out in 1934.

Trouble in Paradise was released in '32. Highly recommended, BTW.

Rob
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#16 of 39 Eric Peterson

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Posted November 17 2004 - 07:59 AM

Trouble in Paradise was released in '32. Highly recommended, BTW.


OOPS! :b :b

#17 of 39 Haggai

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Posted November 17 2004 - 08:35 AM

Trouble In Paradise already came up--see post #2 above. Posted Image

#18 of 39 Paul_Scott

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Posted November 17 2004 - 08:44 AM

Marilyn,
yes, SOTD was based on Sanctuary.
in fact it was one of the films usually cited for bringing the hammer down on enforcing the code.
it stars Miriam Hopkins (whose also in Trouble in Paradise).

Search For Beauty stars Robert Armstrong (yeah!), Buster Crabbe, and i forgot who else...(Ida Lupino maybe?).
the reason i wanted it, as well as COM, was for the presence of Toby Wing in one of her rare speaking roles.

in fact i got my tapes from a friend of hers who got them from Toby herself.
unfortunately the quality is not that great, so they aren't even worth trying to burn to a dvd, but it was fun to see them nonetheless.

#19 of 39 Marilyn_A

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Posted November 17 2004 - 02:02 PM

Paul...was Buster Crabbe the beauty they were searching for in SEARCH FOR BEAUTY? Sorry, I couldn't resist....Posted Image Can you tell I've been watching four dvds of FLASH GORDON this week? My favorite line was in the first FG dvd was, "The world is ending and my son Flash is giving up his polo team in London to be here with me...." cut to Flash in jodpers on a plane with WICKER SEATS ! I loved it. Flash sure cut quite a fine figure.

[rant]Why don't they make these great movies available to us...why should we suffer!!![/rant]

Nevermind....I'm over it now and off to watch Clark Gable and Lana Turner in HONKY TONK. Talk about chemistry, ahhh, but that is another thread.

#20 of 39 Derek Estes

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Posted November 17 2004 - 02:38 PM

I also recommend Love me Tonight, a great Pre-Code Musical,Directed by Rouben Mamoulian from Kino. It stars Maurice Chavalier and Jannette MacDonald, and is similar in style to Trouble in Paradise.

I hope that Warners will be able to turn their attention to their vast library of Pre-Code films, in the next couple of years. But, I think that will largely depend on the success of the other 1930s films they have on their current schedule, such as The Gangsters Collection in January. I have also heard that they are going to release many of their Busby Berkeley films in this next year (Gold-Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade are two of my favorite Pre-Code films!). Some of my other favorites that Warners owns are...
Wild Boys of the Road
Night Nurse
Baby Face
Ladies they Talk About
Three on a Match
Heroes for Sale
Blonde Crazy
Taxi!
...and many others
Warners puts so much energy into the classic films they release, that for them to release these would be a real treat for Pre-Code lovers. It is now up to us to help create the demand, by turning other people on to these films. Many are aired on TCM, and can be found on VHS.
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