Alec Baldwin & Robert Osborne Present Pre-Code Classics Every Friday in September on TCM

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Every Friday in September, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is heading back in time to the pre-Code era, before American films fell under the censor's eye and began to avoid topics and situations that were considered morally dubious. TCM will shine a light on this freewheeling cinematic period, presenting a weekly 24-hour festival of pre-Code movies, with award-winning actor Alec Baldwin and TCM's Robert Osborne set to introduce the primetime lineups as part of TCM's Friday Night Spotlight.

Pre-Code Hollywood is the era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound in the late 1920s and the strict enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code beginning in the mid-1930s. Films of this period included unflinching portrayals of such subject matter as sexuality, prostitution, illegal drug use, abortion and extreme violence. Without the interference of censors, lawbreakers in the movies were often allowed to profit from their schemes, and fallen women became the heroines of many films.

TCM's pre-Code festival covers a wide range of genres and represents the output of all major Hollywood studios of the era. The freedom and daring of the period provided vivid opportunities for performers who were unafraid of the racy pre-Code themes.

Female stars who boldly carved out careers in the era's climate of open sexuality included Barbara Stanwyck, whose performance in Baby Face (1933) will kick off the first night's primetime lineup. Other female stars who managed to push the envelope during the pre-Code era included Mae West (I'm No Angel, She Done Him Wrong, both 1933) and Jean Harlow (Red Dust, 1932; Bombshell, 1933). Among male actors, Warren William - known as the "King of Pre-Code" - benefited particularly from the indulgent nature of the times by creating a gallery of unrepentant villains and anti-heroes including those in Skyscraper Souls (1932) and Employees' Entrance (1933). And the leading "gangster" stars of the period, Edward G. Robinson (Little Caesar, 1931) and James Cagney (The Public Enemy, 1931), gained heroic stature in the eyes of the public while filling their crime melodramas with realistic grit and violence that would be impossible on screen a few years later.

TCM's lineup of pre-Code films includes two movies making their first appearance on the network: Search for Beauty (1934) and Call Her Savage (1932). In addition, the lineup includes the 2008 documentary Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood. A complete schedule is included below.

Pre-Code Classics - Fridays in September

Friday, Sept. 5
6 a.m. - The Big Shakedown (1934)
7:15 a.m. - Parachute Jumper (1933)
8:30 a.m. - Ex-Lady (1933)
9:45 a.m. - Virtue (1932)
11 a.m. - Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
12:15 p.m. - Safe in Hell (1931)
1:30 p.m. - Frisco Jenny (1932)
2:45 p.m. - Female (1933)
4 p.m. - Illicit (1931) 
5:30 p.m. - Night Nurse (1931)
6:45 p.m. - Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
8 p.m. - Baby Face (1933)
9:30 p.m. - The Divorcee (1930)
11 p.m. - Footlight Parade (1933)
1 a.m. - Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
2:45 a.m. - Search for Beauty (1934) - TCM Premiere 4:15 a.m. - Taxi! (1932)

Friday, Sept. 12
6 a.m. - The Naughty Flirt (1931)
7 a.m. - Ten Cents a Dance (1931)
8:30 a.m. - When Ladies Meet (1933)
10 a.m. - Double Harness (1933)
11:15 a.m. - For the Defense (1930)
12:30 p.m. - Union Depot (1932)
1:45 p.m. - Mary Stevens, MD (1933)
3 p.m. - The Age of Consent (1932)
4:45 p.m. - Bombshell (1933)
6:30 p.m. - Red-Headed Woman (1932)
8 p.m. - Red Dust (1932)
9:30 p.m. - Design for Living (1933)
11:15 p.m. - Trouble in Paradise (1932)
12:45 a.m. - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
2:30 a.m. - The Story of Temple Drake (1933)
3:45 a.m. - Freaks (1932)
5 a.m. - Jewel Robbery (1932)

Friday, Sept. 19
6 a.m. - Parole Girl (1933)
7:30 a.m. - Three Wise Girls (1932)
8:45 a.m. - Lady Killer (1933)
10:15 a.m. - Possessed (1931)
11:45 a.m. - Two Seconds (1932)
1 p.m. - The Little Giant (1933)
2:30 p.m. - The Mind Reader (1933)
3:45 p.m. - Beauty and the Boss (1932)
5 p.m. - Waterloo Bridge (1931)
6:30 p.m. - Hot Saturday (1932)
8 p.m. - Blonde Venus (1932)
9:45 p.m. - I'm No Angel (1933)
11:30 p.m. - She Done Him Wrong (1933)
12:45 a.m. - Blonde Crazy (1931)
2:15 a.m. - Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
3:30 a.m. - Skyscraper Souls (1932)
5:15 a.m. - She Had to Say Yes (1933)

Friday, Sept. 26
6 a.m. - A Free Soul (1931)
8 a.m. - Downstairs (1932)
9:30 a.m. - Ladies They Talk About (1933)
10:45 a.m. - Loose Ankles (1930)
12 p.m. - They Call it Sin (1932) 1:15 p.m. - Heroes for Sale (1933)
2:30 p.m. - Employee's Entrance (1933)
4 p.m. - Midnight Mary (1933)
5:15 p.m. - Other Men's Women (1931)
6:30 p.m. - The Public Enemy (1931)
8 p.m. - Scarface (1932)
9:45 p.m. - Little Caesar (1930)
11:15 p.m. - Penthouse (1933)
1 a.m. - Three on a Match (1932)
2:15 a.m. - Call Her Savage (1932) - TCM Premiere
3:45 a.m. - The Hatchet Man (1932)
5 a.m. - State's Attorney (1932)

(All Times Eastern)

Which ones do you want to see, either for the first time or a repeat viewing?

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