Grab the smelling salts
September 20, 2015 2:09 PM   Subscribe is an incredibly detailed exploration of the Hollywood cinema that fell between the advent of sound motion pictures in 1927 and the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Which wasn't enforced until 1934. Huh? Here's a timeline). This includes a number of familiar titles such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Dracula, Duck Soup, It Happened One Night and The Public Enemy. But we also get a peek at the more obscure and daring titles such as Baby Face, I’m no Angel, Smarty, Safe in Hell and Night Nurse.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (10 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

10 code violations in one image.

I don't see the narcotics in that picture. Unless she's on peyote, in which case cool.
posted by item at 3:21 PM on September 20, 2015

There is a needle on the table to the right of the bottle.
posted by Mitheral at 3:31 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I wrote a paper on Wilder and Lubitsch in college, which introduced me to Design For Living. And to be honest, I can't imagine a rom-com in 2015 that would be daring enough to end with both guys getting the girl, and each other.
posted by Diablevert at 3:34 PM on September 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

Night Nurse is so great.
posted by Mothlight at 4:08 PM on September 20, 2015

God, I love pre-code films. It really makes you wonder what American cinema might have been, had it not been for the Hays office.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:44 PM on September 20, 2015 [7 favorites]

posted by hwestiii at 4:53 PM on September 20, 2015

I take it none of those ten things are code violations any more bc that's like a list of Tarantino plot devices. That list might actually be the basis for Pulp Fiction.
posted by sio42 at 5:02 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Except Tarantino's more of a foot man than an inner-thigh man.
posted by rocket88 at 10:06 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have been thinking about pre-code movies since talking with someone who enjoys watching pre-code films and their post-code remakes. Over on the Nitrateville message boards, this topic was discussed a few years ago.

The Toast lists pre-code movies worth watching, and The Black Maria had an interesting article writing up (Google cache, blocked on due to robots.txt apparently), opening with the history of the re-working of Blockade (1938, clip on TCM). If that cached link goes down, some of the feedback from Joseph I. Breen of the Motion Picture Production Code Administration is included in this dissertation titled Censorship and Holocaust Film in the Hollywood Studio System. From there the article covers a fluffier, much racier piece called Blonde Crazy (1931, trailer), where the story is carried by "the pure starpower of Cagney and Blondell."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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