Tag Archives: Pre-Code

March 2022 Viewing Diary

I’m going along my own viewing way, and then I get a gig, and everything changes. You can tell when it happens. Not announcing this gig yet, and will not be confirming or denying anything. The viewing diary is what … Continue reading

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“My ambition is to be an actress. Hollywood had no parts for me.”—Theresa Harris

It’s her birthday today. Criminally, Theresa Harris often went uncredited in the films she appeared in. Nevertheless, she always made an impression. She is probably most well-known now for her unforgettable and realistic performance in the pre-Code Baby Face, as … Continue reading

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August 2021 Viewing Diary

Pig (2021; d. Michael Sarnoski) I wish I could write at length about some of these. I just don’t have the time these days. I absolutely loved Pig, about an isolated woodsman-truffle-hunter (Nicolas Cage) whose beloved truffle pig is stolen. … Continue reading

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Don’t we all?

Bette Davis in Housewife (1934) shaking up the all-male advertising office by declaring this on her first day of work as a copywriter. Hm, this reminds me of something. What could it be …

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She’s got legs. And she knows how to use them.

The Crowd Roars (1932) Viva Las Vegas (1964) Joan Blondell – whose legs we see in the first grab – lived long enough to appear – very entertainingly – in an Elvis movie (Stay Away Joe, 1968). She and Elvis … Continue reading

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July 2021 Viewing Diary

Sally, Mary and Irene (1925; d. Edmund Goulding) For some reason, I forgot to include this gem in my June viewing diary. Considered lost forever, it is one of Joan Crawford’s earliest films – and one where she is actually … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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June 2021 Viewing Diary

La Notte (1961; d. Michelangelo Antonioni) Pauline Kael included La Notte in her infamous essay titled “The Come-Dressed-As-the-Sick-Soul-of-Europe Parties”. Now you can debate her on this opinion – and I think she’s off (although I think it’s a hilarious title). … Continue reading

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“X” Marks the Spot in Scarface

“In the papers, in those days, they’d print pictures of where murders occurred and they always wrote ‘X marks the spot’ where the corpse was. So we used Xs all through the film. When anyone connected with the picture thought … Continue reading

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May 2021 Viewing Diary

The Waterman (2021; d. David Oyelowo) I really loved this. Reviewed for Ebert. Des (2020; d. Lewis Arnold) Here’s what I jotted down on Instagram: David Tennant is eerily good in DES. He never does anything wrong, never makes an … Continue reading

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