Wages of Sin Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film, 1928-1942

ISBN-10: 0520207904
ISBN-13: 9780520207905
Edition: 1997
Authors: Lea Jacobs
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Description: The story of the fallen woman was a staple of film melodrama in the late 1920s and 1930s. In traditional plots, a woman commits a sexual transgression, usually adultery. She becomes an outcast, often a prostitute, suffering humiliations that  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 6/1/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

The story of the fallen woman was a staple of film melodrama in the late 1920s and 1930s. In traditional plots, a woman commits a sexual transgression, usually adultery. She becomes an outcast, often a prostitute, suffering humiliations that culminate in her death. In more modern variants, the heroine is a stereotypical "kept woman," "gold digger," or wisecracking shopgirl who uses men to become rich. InThe Wages of Sin, Lea Jacobs uses the fallen woman film, which served as a focal point for public criticism of the film industry, to explore Hollywood's system of self-censorship and the evolution of the rules governing representations of sexuality. Drawing on the extensive case files of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), the industry trade association responsible for censorship, Jacobs focuses on six films. Her close analyses ofThe Easiest Way, Baby Face, Blonde Venus, Anna Karenina, Kitty Foyle, andStella Dallasreveal the ideology of self-regulation at work and the social constraints affecting the film industry.

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