Podcast: Watch With Jen: a Pre-Code discussion!

Had so much fun appearing as a guest on Jen Johans’ podcast, Watch With Jen, for a discussion of Pre-Code films, the Wild West of Hollywood in between (roughly) the years 1930 and 1934. I pitched a couple of ideas, and this was the one we chose. We picked five movies to discuss: Scarface (1932), Baby Face (1933), Design for Living (1933), The Public Enemy (1931) and Three on a Match (1932). You can listen to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts, but here’s a link to the Apple podcast. These films are such a rich treasure trove and it was a blast discussing them with Jen.

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3 Responses to Podcast: Watch With Jen: a Pre-Code discussion!

  1. Jessie says:

    What an entertaining listen! I had only seen Baby Face and DFL previously. Baby Face as a fable is a perfect way to capture its oddness. I immediately jumped into Public Enemy: wow! Yes the grapefruit scene is so skin-crawlingly contemptuous; and I had to laugh at the family dinner table with the giant keg of beer atop it, Ma Powers craning her head around to check if Mike is eating his dinner. Not to mention shooting poor Rajah haha. And his big scene in the rain was extraordinary; and that death-grin on his face at the end?! what?! Made my stomach crawl.

    Trying now to track down Three on a Match – you got me with that Dvorak discussion!

    • sheila says:

      Jessie – bah, this comment got lost in the shuffle. My Bad!

      So happy you listened and enjoyed – it was fun to do even though it was 92 degrees and I had to turn off my AC during the recording. lol

      // at the family dinner table with the giant keg of beer atop it //

      ha!!

      // And his big scene in the rain was extraordinary; and that death-grin on his face at the end?! what?! Made my stomach crawl. //

      It’s so incredible to me that someone can be so naturally and easily appealing – like Cagney – while at the very same time being so creepy and terrifying. Sometimes of course he’s both – like White Heat – it’s just so wild to watch, his performances often bring up such conflicting feelings.

      Jessie – let me know if you can find Three on a Match. It’s included in one of those “Forbidden Hollywood” box sets – I think that’s what they’re called – and TCM screens it, but beyond that it is kind of obscure.

      I think you will really REALLY dig it. It’s DARK – and Ann Dvorak – an ingenue, really – goes SO dark. I really love her and discovering her Pre-Code films has been such a revelation. Heat Lightning is another great one – I found it streaming on Amazon Prime, believe it or not, and it’s around the same time as Three on a Match. It’s really REALLY good.

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