The Movie Waffler The Movie Waffler: Pre-Code Retrospective

Pre-Code Retrospective - Little Caesar (1931)

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Glenda Farrell, William Collier Jr, Stanley Fields

The violent and ruthless rise of gangster Caesar Enrico Bandelli (Robinson).

Pre-Code Retrospective - Freaks (1932)

Directed by: Tod Browning
Starring: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Harry Earles, Henry Victor

Trapeze artist Baclanova cons smitten carnival midget Earles into marrying her. Little does he know she is conspiring with strongman Victor to poison him for his inheritance.

Pre-Code Retrospective - Street Scene (1931)

Directed by: King Vidor
Starring: Sylvia Sidney, William Collier Jr, Estelle Taylor, Beulah Bondi

Tensions run high in a multi-ethnic neighborhood during a New York heatwave.

Pre-Code Retrospective - A Free Soul (1931)

Directed by: Clarence Brown
Starring: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable, James Gleason, Lucy Beaumont

Alcoholic lawyer Barrymore gets mobster Gable off a murder charge but is none too happy when his daughter Shearer becomes romantically involved with him.

Pre-Code Retrospective - The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

Directed by: Irving Pichel & Ernest B. Schoedsack
Starring: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, Robert Armstrong

Shipwrecked on a remote island, McCrea and Wray find themselves the prey in an elaborate hunt run by the island's resident psycho, Russian Count Banks.

Pre-Code Retrospective - Illicit (1931)

Directed by: Archie Mayo
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, James Rennie, Ricardo Cortez, Joan Blondell, Charles Butterworth, Natalie Moorhead

After allowing herself to be pressured into marriage, liberal society girl Stanwyck's fears of the "sacred institution" are realised.

Pre-Code Retrospective - Safe In Hell (1931)

Directed by: William Wellman
Starring: Dorothy MacKaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde, Nina Mae McKinney, Morgan Wallace

MacKaill is a prostitute who, thinking herself responsible for the death of a client, flees with the aid of her lover to a remote caribbean island.

Pre-Code Retrospective - Thirteen Women (1932)

Directed by: George Archainbaud
Starring: Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, Ricardo Cortez

Thirteen former sorority sisters start to receive, one by one, a horoscope prophesizing their doom from a renowned swami. When the prophecies begin to play out, the remaining few gather to fight their destiny.

Pre-Code Retrospective - Island Of Lost Souls (1932)

Directed by: Erle C. Kenton
Starring: Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Bela Lugosi

Kenton's adaptation of HG Wells' "Island of Doctor Moreau" has been an unfairly forgotten work of pre-code horror.