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Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection [Import]


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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
titles pre-code but movies code! July 13 2012
By William Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Yes,all the movies in this box set were pre-code (July 1934)titles But were cut to comply with the code for release in late 1930's? Most all of the titles have the code approval number in the opening credits so making them actually code movies!

Ten Cents A Dance was 80 min. long now 76 minutes
Arizona 67 min. now 66 min.
Three Wise Girls 84 min. now 72 min.
Shopworn was 72 min. now 67 min.
Vitue was 67 min. with opening with voice over with no picture at beginning with caption about code!

What a disappointment for a pre-code specialist!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
FIVE PRE-CODE GEMS FROM COLUMBIA Aug. 3 2012
By MICHAEL STODGHILL - Published on Amazon.com
I wonder what Ruby Stevens, Violet Klotz, Harleen Carpenter, Marion Morrison, Jacob Krantz and Jane Peters would have thought if they knew film collectors would still be watching them 80 years after they made these Pre-Code films early in their careers. The names mentioned above are the real birth names of(in order): Barbara Stanwyck, Mae Clarke, Jean Harlow, John Wayne, Ricardo Cortez and Carole Lombard and they all give terrific performances in these five films. Some would go on to be some of the biggest stars in cinema while some faded away and at least two died tragically at a very young age. Previous to this Pre-Code set I had the first three volumes of the "Forbidden Hollywood" sets released by Warner Home Video. One thing I noticed about those three sets is that the same actresses kept showing up. In addition to Barbara Stanwyck("Baby Face", "Night Nurse" and "The Purchase Price"), Mae Clarke("Waterloo Bridge" from Vol.1), Jean Harlow("Red-Headed Woman" also from Vol.1) there were gal-pals Una Merkel and Joan Blondell lending support. The Pre-Code film era was from 1930 to 1934. As Robert Osborne says in his introduction, the code went into effect in 1930 but the studios didn't pay attention to it until 1934 when the crack down started. In the meantime, the movie going public got films from all the studios and this new set from TCM and Sony covers Columbia Pictures, which at the time was a poverty row studio. But that didn't stop them from pushing the envelope with these five films which came out in 1931 and 1932. Let me say at the onset that it is obvious that all the films have been edited down from their original running times. Some like "Virtue" state that right up front and when the picture starts all you hear is the audio with no picture for a few minutes. "Shopworn" fares the worst with entire scenes completely cut out which makes the story confusing to say the least. The only reason I knew that was during the bonus features which features stills from the production that weren't in the final print in this set. Hint: read the newspaper headlines whenever they appear in the film or the still photos. That's the main reason I'm giving this collection only four stars. As far as the picture quality of the five films, I was astounded how clear they are after 80 years of sitting in the Columbia vaults. They're not blu ray quality but there are no lines running thru the picture and in some you can clearly see the make up on the actresses faces thats how good the picture is. And the sound is excellent too. Getting back to those actresses, it's seems that Barbara Stanwyck made a lot of these Pre-Code films early in her career. She shows up twice in this set with "TEN CENTS A DANCE" in which she plays a taxi dancer and the above mentioned "SHOPWORN" in which she plays a waitress(who's refered to by her boyfriend's disapproving mother as "common") and she's terrific in both roles. If you are a fan of Miss Stanwyck then you'll love her in these film as well as the "Forbidden Hollywood" sets. Mae Clarke was one of the most underrated actresses in the early Thirties and having seen a number of her films from this period she was one of the most natural actors I've ever seen. You can't tell she's acting. Most people know her now as the girl who James Cagney pushed a grapefruit into her face in "The Public Enemy"(1931). But she also made "Frankenstein", "Waterloo Bridge" and "The Front Page" the same year too. In fact, between 1930 and 1937 she made 36 films but never became a big star like her former roommate Barbara Stanwyck. Two nervous breakdowns and a car accident reduced her later in her career to walk-ons and cameos, such as the hairdresser in "Singin in the Rain" with only one line. Sad indeed. In this set she's outstanding along with Jean Harlow in "THREE WISE GIRLS". Harlow was just starting her "blond bombshell" persona and her inexperience shows. She perfected it when she moved over to MGM where she became a huge star, sadly dying much too young at age 26. Watching "ARIZONA" with John Wayne you can clearly see where his film persona was headed. As for the film itself, there's a lockeroom scene after a football game in which you can clearly see male nudity in the background. How that got past the censors is anyone's guess. And speaking of getting past the censors, in "SHOPWORN" Barbara Stanwyck's character is showing off to her boyfriend how she remembers words from the dictionary. One of the words seen in close-up is "ejaculate" while she looks at her boyfriend lovingly. I almost fell off the sofa when I saw and heard that. The censors missed it though. The last film in the set is "VIRTUE" and it's probably the best of the lot. Carole Lombard and Pat O'Brien are excellent although their New York accents are not very convincing. I won't give away the plot but it has a happy ending as do all of the films in this set. Sadly, Carole Lombard died in a plane crash near Las Vegas. She was only 33. In summary, if you enjoyed the "Forbidden Hollywood" sets then you should enjoy these. It comes in a fold out box set much like Sony's "Columbia Film Noir" sets and is loaded with bonus features for each film. There is an extensive essay for all the films as part of the bonus features on "Ten Cents A Dance". Note: I purchased this through "Movies Unlimited" for $49.99 with free shipping and it arrived in five days. I highly recommend the "Columbia Pre-Code Collection" to all film collectors.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
More Riders on the Pre-Code Train July 16 2013
By F. J. PRISCO - Published on Amazon.com
With the FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD series doing so well, and Warner Brothers re-issuing so much from the early 30s, Pre-Code seems all the rage these days -- and here are five more!

There's some good in all of these -- some more than others perhaps, but I'd rate this along with vols 4-5 of the FORBIDDEN series; like those, these are solid films, but certainly not the truly essential Pre-Code films. The highlights are minor, but nonetheless present -- and especially interesting for those who know the careers & talents of the actors involved.

The target viewer, then, would be someone already familiar with the better-known works of these stars, and wants to see what else they did that was worthwhile. If that's you, then step up! See John Wayne as a young man, still developing the tone and mannerisms which served him so well later on (they only kinda work here). See now-unsung stars who were bigger in the silent era but still worth seeing, like Marie Prevost or Laura La Plante. See sexy Nina Quartero in her biggest role, or Ricardo Cortez just as he was reaching his peak. And of course there's Barbara Stanwyck, who ruled the big screen long before she was Victoria Barkley in "The Big Valley". Finally, there's Mae Clarke proving she deserved to be remembered for more than the grapefruit scene in THE PUBLIC ENEMY. All films worth seeing at least once if not twice, with some definite keepers. 3.75 stars for the collection as a whole, rounded up to four
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ten Cents a Dance. Feb. 3 2013
By Reliable Reviews Too - Published on Amazon.com
I have only seen the movie: "Ten Cents A Dance".

It was a great idea back in the 1920's and early 30's; a club has a band playing dance music; and women are hired to dance with the male customers. The female employees stand in a certain section. A man pays ten-cents for a ticket, which he gives to the female employee of his choice to dance one dance with him. The woman can refuse an unruly customer.

Poor, working girl, Barbara Stanwyck, helps a guy out; marries him; and finds herself having to continue helping the guy along more and more. As Barbara Stanwyck gets to know her husband; she finds he is not the man she thought he was. Lots of drama.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hot Times in Tinsle Town March 25 2014
By david - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
After 1934, Hollywood was forced to "clean up" what was far from "dirty". The production code may make us laugh today, but it was a serious attack on the Fitst Ammendment, besides taking much of the realism and fun out of cinema. Thank goodness we have some of these snappy pre-code doozies left for the intelligent viewer's delectation.

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