Saturday, September 17, 2005

Columbia Before the Code

Great news for San Francisco pre-code enthusiasts: there are not one but two pre-code film series hitting the indie houses in the city this fall! Mick LaSalle's article in the Chronicle confirms what we already hinted at: the Paramount Before the Code series which packed them in at New York's Film Forum last summer will be playing in an abbreviated form at the Balboa in October. Titles have not been announced yet, but Mark Viera, author of "Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood" and a new Greta Garbo biois putting together the program. Details as soon as the schedule is announced.

Perhaps more surprising is that The Castro has also announced a pre-code program featuring several rare Columbia releases not available on video or DVD! The nine-day series runs from October 12th through the 20th. Among the highlights:

  • Nancy Carroll in 1933's "Child of Manhattan," based on an early Preston Sturges play.
  • Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young in "Man's Castle" (1933)
  • Jean Harlow, Marie Prevost, and Mae Clarke in "Three Wise Girls"
  • A Fay Wray double feature: "Ann Carver's Profession," written by husband and Capra collaborator Robert Riskin, and 1934's "Mills of the Gods."
  • Early Barbara Stanwyck: "Mexicali Rose" (1929) and "Shopworn" with Regis Toomey.
  • Pre-Code Sopranos-style with the Italian mob melodrama "The Guilty Generation."

When it rains, it pours, as they say! After the success of the PFA's summer series, it was only a matter of time before the other rep houses followed suit. My only hope is that the two series don't conflict with each other. The Castro is already selling a series pass for the Columbia films at $45 for all 18 films!


A. Fimiani said...
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viola1 said...

That's awesome! Gosh, wow, S.F. is so lucky, *g*. Those festivals both sound like they'll be great. Thank you for all the info - what a great resource this site is! :)