Pre-Code Hollywood Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930--1934

ISBN-10: 0231110952

ISBN-13: 9780231110952

Edition: 1999

Authors: Thomas Doherty

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Description:

Pre-Code Hollywoodexplores the fascinating period in American motion picture history from 1930 to 1934 when the commandments of the Production Code Administration were violated with impunity in a series of wildly unconventional films -- a time when censorship was lax and Hollywood made the most of it. Though more unbridled, salacious, subversive, and just plain bizarre than what came afterwards, the films of the period do indeed have the look of Hollywood cinema -- but the moral terrain is so off-kilter that they seem imported from a parallel universe. In a sense, Doherty avers, the films of pre-Code Hollywood arefrom another universe. They lay bare what Hollywood under the Production Code attempted to cover up and push offscreen: sexual liaisons unsanctified by the laws of God or man, marriage ridiculed and redefined, ethnic lines crossed and racial barriers ignored, economic injustice exposed and political corruption assumed, vice unpunished and virtue unrewarded -- in sum, pretty much the raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled. No other book has yet sought to interpret the films and film-related meanings of the pre-Code era -- what defined the period, why it ended, and what its relationship was to the country as a whole during the darkest years of the Great Depression... and afterward.
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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 8/27/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Thomas Doherty is professor of American studies at Brandeis University. He serves on the editorial board of Cineasteand is the author of Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture; Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934; Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II; and Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s.

For Sandra, Again
Preface
Pre-Code Hollywood
On the Cusp of Classical Hollywood Cinema
Breadlines and Box Office Lines
Preachment Yarns
Dictators and Democrats
Vice Rewarded
Criminal Codes
Comic Timing
News on Screen
Remote Kinships
Primitive Mating Rituals
Nightmare Pictures
Classical Hollywood Cinema
Appendix 1: The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930
Appendix 2: Particular Applications of the Code and the Reasons Therefore [addenda to 1930 Code]
Appendix 3: Amendments
Appendix 4: The Critical and Commercial Hits of 1930-1934
Notes
Index
Film Index
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