Pre-code movies worth watching



Not on that list but two I am happy my spouse insisted we see in the theater who is much more into these than I am are Night Nurse and Red Dust.

If only I could’ve found this earlier and used it to post unheard of films in the Over/Under-rated Movies thread.
Ahem, I mean, ‘topic’.

“Drawn like a dirigible to the flame.”


there’s one film where every time you see a character holding a piece of
paper, it’s soaking wet because at the time there was no other way to
keep from picking up every crackle and rustle of a dry sheet of paper
with the microphones.

That would be The Cocoanuts, and while it’s not the best Marx bros movie, I’d still say it’s worth including. Then again, this is a surprisingly short list of “worthy” pre-code films. Still, leaving out The Cocoanuts, Rain, Scarface, or (on a lighter, Bubsy-er note) Footlight Parade in favor of Kept Husbands and Dirigible? If you say so. Then again, I like Whoopee, so who am I to talk?

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Whatever happened to Fay Wray, that delicate satin-draped frame?

On second thoughts I’m not sure I want to know, having been down that path many times.

I would also highly recommend Trouble in Paradise directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

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M, 1931

Hollywood? Fritz Lang didn’t fetch up there until 1934. And it was in German.

“Freaks, 1932 – Definitely…definitely some ableism.”

Yes, ableism for sure, but it’s not played for gags. It’s not a comedy, it’s disturbing. It’s engrossing, even if the premise is somewhat… gross to modern sensibilities.

I particularly like saying “one of us, one of us” when my sister says something about how weird our family is. She always laughs.


Yeah, that was weird that it was put in with all the other deservedly obscure “unpleasant” films because it really is a classic. Calling it “ableist” ignores that the whole point was that the able-bodied characters were the worst people in the movie.


actually worth tracking down through Amazon, Netflix, and other sources.

Some of these (and plenty of other early films) are freely available on

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