Wikipedia's List of Pre-Code Filmsby georgebobolink | created - 27 Sep 2012 | updated - 27 Sep 2012 | Public
Pre-Code Hollywood refers to the era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound in the late 1920s and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code (Hays Code) censorship guidelines.
Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor and it did not become effectively enforced until July 1, 1934. Before that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws, negotiations between the Studio Relations Committee and the major studios, and popular opinion than strict adherence to the Hays Code, which was often ignored by Hollywood filmmakers. Criteria for inclusion on this list is the direct mention of a film as a Pre-Code in a mainstream source, or its discussion in an article, essay, or book on Pre-Codes.
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1. Alibi (1929)
TV-PG | 91 min | Crime
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took ... See full summary »
3. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.
Votes: 6,694 | Gross: $12.45M
Rereleased with audio in 1929.
4. The Broadway Melody (1929)
Passed | 100 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.
Votes: 5,516 | Gross: $2.81M
Best Picture Winner for 1929.
5. The Cocoanuts (1929)
Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Musical
During the Florida land boom, The Marx Brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.
11. Hallelujah (1929)
Passed | 109 min | Drama, Musical
In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »
13. The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1929)
Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Drama
There is a big charity function at the house of Mrs. Cheyney and a lot of society is present. With her rich husband, deceased, rich old Lord Elton and playboy Lord Arthur Dilling are both ... See full summary »
15. Our Modern Maidens (1929)
Passed | 76 min | Drama, Comedy
A flapper charms a diplomat to procure her fiancé a career opportunity, while the fiancé starts a relationship with her best friend.
17. Rio Rita (1929)
Passed | 140 min | Adventure, Music, Romance
Capt. James Stewart pursues the bandit "The Kinkajou" over the Mexican border and falls in love with Rita. He suspects, that her brother is the bandit.
18. The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929)
113 min | Drama
Mary Dugan, a Broadway showgirl, is charged with murder in the knifing death of her wealthy lover, and goes on trial for her life. When her defense counsel appears to bungle his job, Mary's... See full summary »
19. Sunnyside Up (1929)
121 min | Comedy, Musical
Molly and Bee, sweet young 'working girls,' live in a cheap room over a New York grocery store. Molly's idol, wealthy Jack Cromwell, lives in a Long Island mansion but is markedly less ... See full summary »
20. The Voice of the City (1929)
Passed | 81 min | Crime
An escaped convict and the detective tasked with hunting him down end up working in parallel to clear the convict's name and nab the gangsters that framed him.
21. The Wolf Song (1929)
80 min | Romance, Western, Drama
In 1840, Sam Lash heads west for adventure. He meets up with some Mountain Men, and they head for the Rockies to trap beavers and cats. In Taos he meets Lola, a beautiful Mexican girl from ... See full summary »
22. Africa Speaks! (1930)
Passed | 75 min | Documentary, Adventure, History
Explorer Paul Hoefler leads a safari into central Africa and what was then called the Belgian Congo, in the regions inhabited by the Wassara and the famous Ubangi tribes.
25. Anna Christie (I) (1930)
Passed | 89 min | Drama, Romance
A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.
Votes: 2,399 | Gross: $1.01M
27. The Big Pond (1930)
Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A tour guide in Venice romances a visiting American tourist whose father owns a chewing-gum factory back in the U.S. She sets out to convince her skeptical father to bring the tour guide to America and give him a job in the plant.
31. Cheer Up and Smile (1930)
76 min | Musical
When a popular radio singer is knocked unconscious during a robbery, a squeaky-voiced college boy fills in for him. To everyone's amazement, especially his recent girlfriend, who just broke up with him, he becomes an overnight sensation.
32. Children of Pleasure (1930)
Passed | 70 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Successful songwriter falls for society girl who is just playing around. He doesn't realize that his girl-Friday is the one he really loves until it is almost too late. Although he is ... See full summary »
35. Hell's Angels (1930)
Passed | 127 min | Drama, War
Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.
37. Kismet (1930)
Passed | 90 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Musical
Hajj, a rascally beggar on the periphery of the court of Baghdad, schemes to marry his daughter to royalty and to win the heart of the queen of the castle himself.
39. Let Us Be Gay (1930)
Passed | 79 min | Comedy, Drama
Dowdy housewife Kitty dotes on her self-centered husband but divorces him when his mistress shows up at their home one day to break up their marriage. Bob had become bored with her ... See full summary »
41. Loose Ankles (1930)
Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Romance
In this light romantic comedy, 17-year old Loretta Young is cast as Ann Harper, a wealthy socialite who has inherited a fortune provided the family is involved in no scandals appearing in ... See full summary »
42. Madam Satan (1930)
Passed | 116 min | Musical, Romance, Comedy
Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Unfortunately, Bob is an unfaithful husband. But Angela has a plan to win back her husband's affections. An elaborate masquerade ball is to ... See full summary »
Votes: 683 | Gross: $0.50M
44. The Matrimonial Bed (1930)
Passed | 69 min | Comedy
It is the fifth anniversary of the death of Adolphe Noblet who died in a train wreck. His servant and friends still worship him but don't care much for his wife Sylvaine's second husband ... See full summary »
45. Morocco (1930)
Passed | 92 min | Drama, Romance
A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.
46. The Office Wife (1930)
Passed | 59 min | Drama, Romance
Larry Fellowes of Fellowes Publishing wants Kate to write her next book about the 'Office Wife'. The personal secretary/stenographer spends more time with the busy executive and makes more ... See full summary »
47. Our Blushing Brides (1930)
Passed | 102 min | Drama
Three department store girls--Connie, Franky, and Jerry--share an apartment on West 91st Street in New York City. Each earns little more than 20 dollars per week. Jerry is the sensible one,... See full summary »
48. Paid (1930)
Approved | 86 min | Drama, Film-Noir
Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »
49. Renegades (1930)
Passed | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Romance