Our Pre-Code Hollywood marathon has been one of the most rewarding endeavors I’ve taken part in to date! I’ve discovered numerous incredible films that I never would have seen otherwise, and learned a great deal about the history of Hollywood. The years leading up to the establishment of the Hays Code were some of the greatest years of early Hollywood, as writers, directors, and actors knew they could get away with not being censored. The creative spirit seen in the five years leading up to the enforcement of the Code has rarely been duplicated in North America, save for New Hollywood era of the late 1960’s through to the late 1970’s.
Below are some of my favorite films, performances, and more that I feel deserve some recognition from the general public. If you only have the time and patience to seek out one or two of these films, make it one of these:
Best Film – I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (runner-up: Scarface)
Best Actor – Paul Muni, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (runner-up: James Cagney, The Public Enemy)
Best Actress – Barbara Stanwyck, Baby Face (runners-up: Bette Davis, Of Human Bondage and Jean Harlow, Red-Headed Woman)
Best Director – Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson, Scarface (runner-up: Mervyn LeRoy, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang and Gold Diggers of 1933)
Best Supporting Performance – Aline MacMahon, Gold Diggers of 1933 (runner-up: Claudette Colbert, The Sign of the Cross)
Best Moment – “Pettin’ in the Park”, Gold Diggers of 1933 (runner-up: “The hunt”, The Most Dangerous Game)
And there you have it! A big thanks to all those who stood by patiently over the three months that it took to complete the marathon. If you have any suggestions for future marathons, comments or criticism, feel free to comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!