Kay Francis has a birthday tomorrow (born 1899), and TCM is running a number of her pictures, including some of the best. We particularly like Jewel Robbery (with the great Bill Powell), Man Wanted (David Manners!), and Doctor Monica (the incomparable Warren William). These are some great pre-code titles, and we suspect a lot of Tivos will be burning rubber from 6 AM on. Even the lesser ones are worth seeing. Transgression finds Kay cheating on Paul Cavanagh with rotter Ricardo Cortez. One Way Passage has a reputation, though we find it a bummer with that sad finish, but Jewel Robbery is a real treasure, and deserves to be better-known than it is. There’s a nice new bio of Kay that’s just been published by the way (and we’re told another one is due out in a couple of months!). It’s called I Can’t Wait To BeForgotten, and it looks mighty definitive to us. Author Scott O’ Brien consulted Kay’s personal diaries for inside info, and hoo boy, there’s some sizzlers in here! Hard to put down. We’ve been gone on Kay for years anyway. She’s great in all those pre-codes. What a shame it had to end with the beginning of strict PCA enforcement, and what a raw deal she got from Warners when they set out to wreck her career in the late thirties. That’s quite a drama in itself, and O’Brien tells all about it. Check out the book at this LINK.