Pre-Code x 25

by manfromplanetx | created - 31 Jan 2015 | updated - 18 Sep 2017 | Public

Films that pushed the boundaries before a strict censorship code was enforced mid 1934..

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1. Call Her Savage (1932)

Passed | 88 min | Drama

Sexy Texas gal storms her way through life, brawling and boozing until her luck runs out, forcing her to learn the errors of her ways.

Director: John Francis Dillon | Stars: Clara Bow, Gilbert Roland, Thelma Todd, Monroe Owsley

Votes: 670

2. Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 12,344

3. Heroes for Sale (1933)

Passed | 76 min | Drama, War

A veteran fights drug addiction to make his way in the business world.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Loretta Young, Richard Barthelmess, Aline MacMahon, Gordon Westcott

Votes: 2,003

4. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 40,593

5. Baby Face (1933)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank - by gleefully sleeping her way to the top.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier

Votes: 5,949

6. Girls About Town (1931)

80 min | Comedy

Two gold diggers prey on old rich men, but one of them falls in love with a young, rich man.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Kay Francis, Joel McCrea, Lilyan Tashman, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 532

7. Jewel Robbery (1932)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron's wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jewellers.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson, Hardie Albright

Votes: 1,692

8. The Cheat (1931)

74 min | Drama

Woman in debt makes an impulsive investment which doesn't go her way.

Directors: George Abbott, Berthold Viertel | Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Harvey Stephens, Irving Pichel, Jay Fassett

Votes: 432

9. Design for Living (1933)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 5,443

10. Female (1933)

Unrated | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Alison Drake, the tough-minded executive of an automobile factory, succeeds in the man's world of business until she meets an independent design engineer.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Dieterle, William A. Wellman | Stars: Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Lois Wilson, Johnny Mack Brown

Votes: 1,501

11. Midnight Mary (1933)

Passed | 74 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An abused orphan sinks into a life of crime.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez, Andy Devine

Votes: 1,175

12. The Sign of the Cross (1932)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, History

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi, Charles Laughton

Votes: 1,892

13. Employees' Entrance (1933)

Passed | 75 min | Drama, Romance

A working girl is menaced by her tyrannical employer.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Warren William, Loretta Young, Wallace Ford, Alice White

Votes: 1,045

14. Red-Headed Woman (1932)

Passed | 79 min | Comedy, Romance

Lillian relentlessly attempts to seduce a married man.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Jean Harlow, Chester Morris, Lewis Stone, Leila Hyams

Votes: 2,605

15. Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Passed | 70 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams

Votes: 7,813

16. The Beast of the City (1932)

Passed | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick ruthlessly goes after organized crime and is prepared to use brutal and violent methods to fight it.

Director: Charles Brabin | Stars: Walter Huston, Jean Harlow, Wallace Ford, Jean Hersholt

Votes: 1,051 | Gross: $0.89M

17. Devil and the Deep (1932)

Passed | 78 min | Drama

Man sets out for revenge after learning of his wife's affair.

Director: Marion Gering | Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, Cary Grant

Votes: 429

18. American Madness (1932)

Passed | 75 min | Drama

Socially-conscious banker Thomas Dickson faces a crisis when his protégé is wrongly accused for robbing the bank, gossip of the robbery starts a bank run, and evidence suggests Dickson's wife had an affair...all in the same day.

Directors: Frank Capra, Allan Dwan, Roy William Neill | Stars: Walter Huston, Pat O'Brien, Kay Johnson, Constance Cummings

Votes: 1,752

19. Frisco Jenny (1932)

Unrated | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Music

Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Ruth Chatterton, Louis Calhern, Helen Jerome Eddy, Donald Cook

Votes: 872

20. Private Lives (1931)

Passed | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Divorced couple unexpectedly meet each other during their honeymoon and rekindle their love.

Director: Sidney Franklin | Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Reginald Denny, Una Merkel

Votes: 1,018

21. Possessed (1931)

Passed | 76 min | Drama, Romance

An ambitious factory girl meets a handsome, wealthy lawyer, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford, Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher

Votes: 1,601

22. The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932)

Not Rated | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Molly Louvain's plans for a respectable marriage with her sweetheart Jimmy fall through so she takes to the road with a two-bit crook and becomes wanted by the police in connection with a high-profile crime.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Ann Dvorak, Lee Tracy, Richard Cromwell, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 413

23. She Done Him Wrong (1933)

Passed | 66 min | Comedy, Drama, History

In the Gay Nineties, a seductive nightclub singer contends with several suitors, including a jealous escaped convict and a handsome temperance league member.

Director: Lowell Sherman | Stars: Mae West, Cary Grant, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland

Votes: 5,160 | Gross: $2.00M

24. Red Dust (1932)

Passed | 83 min | Drama, Romance

The owner of a rubber plantation becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employees.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond, Mary Astor

Votes: 3,660

25. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 17,058



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