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Pre-Code Classics Coming to TCM

Pre-Code Classics Coming to TCM

Hollywood got away with a hell of a lot before the Production Code, and Turner Classic Movies is offering a weekly taste of the bounty. Alec Baldwin and TCM’s Robert Osborne will introduce 24 hours of pre-Code sex, drugs, profanity, nudity and bad behavior every Friday in September.

TCM will highlight the freewheeling early careers of Barbara Stanwyck, Mae West, Jean Harlow, Warren William, James Cagney and more who starred in films where the bad guy sometimes won, and where the fallen heroine didn’t need, or even want, to be saved. Classics on the docket include “Baby Face,” “Footlight Parade,” “Freaks,” “Trouble in Paradise,” “The Story of Temple Drake” and “Scarface” — all wildly licentious for the time.

Without censorship, during the 20s and early 30s sound boom, Hollywood did not sanitize sex, drug use, abortion, prostitution and extreme violence. Here’s a look at the Code, which has some whacky do-nots such as white slavery, miscegenation, childbirth, “white slavery” and “sex hygiene.” It was canned in 1968.

TCM’s Pre-Code Classic schedule is below.

Friday, Sept. 5

6 a.m. – The Big Shakedown (1934)

7:15 a.m. – Parachute Jumper (1933)

8:30 a.m. – Ex-Lady (1933)

9:45 a.m. – Virtue (1932)

11 a.m. – Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

12:15 p.m. – Safe in Hell (1931)

1:30 p.m. – Frisco Jenny (1932)

2:45 p.m. – Female (1933)

4 p.m. – Illicit (1931)

5:30 p.m. – Night Nurse (1931)

6:45 p.m. – Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)

8 p.m. – Baby Face (1933)

9:30 p.m. – The Divorcee (1930)

11 p.m. – Footlight Parade (1933)

1 a.m. – Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

2:45 a.m. – Search for Beauty (1934) – TCM Premiere

4:15 a.m. – Taxi! (1932)

Friday, Sept. 12

6 a.m. – The Naughty Flirt (1931)

7 a.m. – Ten Cents a Dance (1931)

8:30 a.m. – When Ladies Meet (1933)

10 a.m. – Double Harness (1933)

11:15 a.m. – For the Defense (1930)

12:30 p.m. – Union Depot (1932)

1:45 p.m. – Mary Stevens, MD (1933)

3 p.m. – The Age of Consent (1932)

4:45 p.m. – Bombshell (1933)

6:30 p.m. – Red-Headed Woman (1932)

8 p.m. – Red Dust (1932)

9:30 p.m. – Design for Living (1933)

11:15 p.m. – Trouble in Paradise (1932)

12:45 a.m. – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

2:30 a.m. – The Story of Temple Drake (1933)

3:45 a.m. – Freaks (1932)

5 a.m. – Jewel Robbery (1932) 

Friday, Sept. 19

6 a.m. – Parole Girl (1933)

7:30 a.m. – Three Wise Girls (1932)

8:45 a.m. – Lady Killer (1933)

10:15 a.m. – Possessed (1931)

11:45 a.m. – Two Seconds (1932)

1 p.m. – The Little Giant (1933)

2:30 p.m. – The Mind Reader (1933)

3:45 p.m. – Beauty and the Boss (1932)

5 p.m. – Waterloo Bridge (1931)

6:30 p.m. – Hot Saturday (1932)

8 p.m. – Blonde Venus (1932)

9:45 p.m. – I’m No Angel (1933)

11:30 p.m. – She Done Him Wrong (1933)

12:45 a.m. – Blonde Crazy (1931)

2:15 a.m. – Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)

3:30 a.m. – Skyscraper Souls (1932)

5:15 a.m. – She Had to Say Yes (1933)

Friday, Sept. 26

6 a.m. – A Free Soul (1931)

8 a.m. – Downstairs (1932)

9:30 a.m. – Ladies They Talk About (1933)

10:45 a.m. – Loose Ankles (1930)

12 p.m. – They Call it Sin (1932)

1:15 p.m. – Heroes for Sale (1933)

2:30 p.m. – Employee’s Entrance (1933)

4 p.m. – Midnight Mary (1933)

5:15 p.m. – Other Men’s Women (1931)

6:30 p.m. – The Public Enemy (1931)

8 p.m. – Scarface (1932)

9:45 p.m. – Little Caesar (1930)

11:15 p.m. – Penthouse (1933)

1 a.m. – Three on a Match (1932)

2:15 a.m. – Call Her Savage (1932) – TCM Premiere

3:45 a.m. – The Hatchet Man (1932)

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