Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pre-Code Hollywood

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Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932)

As some of you know, I'm a big fan of classic movies, and I realize from talking to many folks at the library that there are so many movies I just haven't seen, and eras I haven't explored. Of course I knew this before, but it is eye opening when you receive lots of great movie suggestions from others.

One customer in particular was talking to me about Pre-Code Hollywood. According to our trusty friend Wikipedia, this era is the time between when sound was introduced to films and the introduction of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1934. The Production Code enforced many restrictions on filmmaking because of the "lack of morality" in the films prior for the time period. Not only did the pre-code era contain scandalous scenes, it also had very strong female lead characters.


Red Dust (1932)

I am very curious as to what these films were actually like because if they were scandalous in the 1920s I can only imagine that by today's standards they are practically tame. I am also interested to see films from this era which have strong female leads, because while I love classic movies, it is not often that a female lead is strong without some kind of male assistance.

The Public Enemy (1931)

This being said, I am going to try and watch some of the movies that are conveniently listed here and maybe I'll share my thoughts on them. I already know that not all of these movies are horridly scandalous, because I've seen a few of them, most recently Dracula and Frankenstein for Halloween. I am starting my pre-code adventure by watching The Public Enemy tonight so we'll see how it goes!

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