Another highlight of my time spent in Hollywood for this year’s TCM Film Festival involved getting to catch a couple of pre-Code films.
While I may not be as well-versed as some, this is a sub-genre that holds great interest for me within the greater world of classic cinema.
And sure, a lot of these films are available for view at home, but seeing them on the big screen is an added treat.
One such example is the Howard Hughes-produced 1932 aviation comedy Cock of the Air, which thanks to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has been restored and includes some of the original dialogue which had previously been censored. While I did not personally record the pre-screening introduction in the theater, here is a video (provided by the Academy) which discusses the restoration project:
The other pre-code feature worthy of attention features a not-exactly-“Blond Bombshell” Jean Harlow comedy Red-Headed Woman. I can only describe this experience as a wild ride that did its duty and left me in stitches as I witnessed Harlow’s Lil Andrews’ outrageous behavior on full display. Based on a novel of the same title by Katherine Brush and with an uncredited “written by” from the likes of no other than F. Scott Fitzgerald, the official screen credit is attributed to writer Anita Loos, who took the reigns from Fitzgerald and adapted the source material.
If you are a newbie to the world of pre-Codes and/or Jean Harlow, I highly recommend that you start with this film. You will thank me later 🙂