Download Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema; 1930-1934 PDF

TitlePre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema; 1930-1934
PublisherColumbia University Press
ISBN 139780231110952
CategoryArts - Film
Author
Languagefrench
File Size5.8 MB
Total Pages447
Table of Contents
                            Pre-code Hollywood  Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934 0231110944
	Front Cover
	Contents
	Preface
	1. ON THE CUSP OF CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA
		Patrolling the Diegesis
		Pre-Code Contexts
	2. BREADLINES AND BOX OFFICE LINES: HOLLYWOOD IN THE NADIR OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION
		The Lost Millions
		A Synchronized Industry
		"Mike Fright"
	3. PREACHMENT YARNS: THE POLITICS OF MERE ENTERTAINMENT
		Telegraphing Ideology
		Class Distinctions
		Professional Malfeasance
	4. DICTATORS AND DEMOCRATS: THE RAGE FOR ORDER
		Hankering for Supermen
		“The Barrymore of the Capital”: The Newsreel Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
		A New Deal in the Last Reel
		The Mad Dog of Europe
	5. VICE REWARDED: THE WAGES OF CINEMATIC SIN
		Packaging Vice
		Models of Immorality
		Figurative Literalness
		Queer Flashes
		“Women Love Dirt”
		Working Girls
	6. CRIMINAL CODES: GANGSTERS UNBOUND, FELONS IN CUSTODY
		Rushing Toward Death: The Gangster Film
		Men Behind Bars: The Prison Film
	7. COMIC TIMING: CRACKING WISE AND WISING UP
		Commentators on the Action
		Story, Screenplay, and All Dialogue by Mae West
		Newspaper Patter
		The Blue Eagle and Duck Soup (1933)
	8. NEWS ON SCREEN: THE VIVIDNESS OF MECHANICAL IMMORTALITY
		Library Stock
		The Newsreel Ethos
		Covering Up the Great Depression
	9. REMOTE KINSHIPS: THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE EXPEDITIONARY FILM
		Points on the Compass
		Faking It: Phoney Expeditions and Real Deaths
		The Dark Continent
	10. PRIMITIVE MATING RITUALS: THE COLOR WHEEL OF THE RACIAL ADVENTURE FILM
		“He’s White”: Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) and Tarzan and His Mate (1934)
		Red Skin, Red Lips: Massacre (1934)
		East Mates West
		“The Ethiopian Trade”
		Nerve and Brains: Paul Robeson and The Emperor Jones (1933)
		Beauty and the Beast: King Kong (1933)
	11. NIGHTMARE PICTURES: THE QUALITY OF GRUESOMENESS
		Rugged Individualism: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), and Their Progeny
		The Lower Orders Rise Up: Island of Lost Souls (1933) and Freaks (1932)
	12. CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JOSEPH I. BREEN
		“The Storm of ’34”
		Hollywood Under the Code
		Post-Code Hollywood Cinema
	Appendix 1: The Text of the Production Code
	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
		A
		B
		C
		D
		E
		F
		G
		H
		I
		J
		K
		L
		M
		N
		O
		P
		Q
		R
		S
		T
		U
		V
		W
		Y
		Z
	Film Index
		A
		B
		C
		D
		E
		F
		G
		H
		I
		J
		K
		L
		M
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		Y
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Pre-Code Hollywood

F I L M A N D C U LT U R E / J O H N B E LT O N , G E N E R A L E D I T O R

Page 223

of another war in Europe permeates the retrospective Great War documen-
taries. “Airplanes played a very important part in the World War but noth-
ing to what they will play in the next one, if there is a next one,” narrator
Rule predicts. “And in another war the civilians in all probability will suf-
fer as much if not more than the soldiers.” Rule pessimistically concludes
that “another war will in all probability stain the pages of our world histo-
ry” and closes with a benediction:“The big drive that we called the World
War ended, but the big drive for eternal peace shall never end.”

The most successful and prestigious of the Great War documentaries was
The First World War. Produced by Truman Talley and written by Laurence
Stallings, it demonstrated a new smoothness in the integration of sound and
image, with the narrative voice-over supplementing images, not stepping on
them or describing what was before the eyes anyway. “The Stallings com-
ments drip on this monstrous kaleidoscope of human imbecility with the
subtle, dark, and murderous bite of acid,” noted the New York Times, which
placed the film on its Ten Best List for . The First World War expertly or-
chestrated the core elements of the archival documentary, a genre no longer
being born but now in early adulthood: library stock, voice-over narration,

2 0 6 / N E W S O N S C R E E N

The birth of the archival documentary: a staged sequence from The Big Drive (1933). (Courtesy

of the Museum of Modern Art)

Page 224

commentative music, intertitles, subtitles, slow-motion photography, news-
paper headlines panned by the camera, still photos telescoped in on, and (the
surest sign of the arrival of generic maturity) the confidence to remain silent
and let the images speak for themselves.

The film’s first intertitle defines the genre it exemplifies: “an authentic
motion picture record reaching back to the turn of the twentieth century,
collected from official sources and the archives of the great nations, and pre-
sented by Fox Film Corporation in association with Simon and Schuster.”
The last line referred to the book published in tandem with the film, a mar-
keting device that underscored the new turn of current events: the parity
between history from books and history from film.Thus too the prefatory
tribute: “Dedicated to the soldiers and sailors, known and unknown, who
fought in the Great War, and to the cameramen, known and unknown,
whose work made this record possible,” a sentiment that links in honor the
actors on the stage of history with those who photograph the drama.

Like a history book, the film is organized into eleven chapters, but the
arid task of reading words cannot compete with the wonder of watching ac-
tion on screen.“With the turn of the century, cameras begin their turning,”
begins the voice-over self-reflexively.The images recapture a past already re-
mote for the s spectator, a courtly realm of kings, heraldry, and horses,
“the panoply of a world that was . . . a world soon to perish under the fire
of thunder and guns.” Repudiating the bombast of the Voice of God style
then current, the narration delivered by stage actor Pedro de Cordoba is
both sardonic (“America, in the midst of a world sharpening its swords, in-
dulges in a few mild reforms”) and daring (“Lenin—the seer, the incor-
ruptible prophet, the founder of Bolshevism”). Frequent references to the
camarawork remind spectators they are privileged eyewitnesses to history:
de Cordoba points out that “this is perhaps the only film ever made from a
balloon while under fire” and that the submarine-eye-view shots of British
frigates come from cameras placed aboard German U-boats.

Foreshadowing not just the Great War but the next war, the early chap-
ters of The First World War chronicle “the Teutonic war machine” gearing up
for action with goose-stepping soldiers cheered on by a people hypnotized
by martial ceremony.Aerial bombing, another fear that haunted the s, is
introduced with the flat declaration, “Here is a foretaste of wars to come.”
The penultimate sequence is a florid montage, without voice-over narration,
set to music, and indebted to the KINO eye of Soviet director Sergei Eisen-
stein. A symphonic score acts as contrapuntal beat for the visual rhythm of
artillery barrages, belching flamethrowers, maimed soldiers writhing on the

N E W S O N S C R E E N / 2 0 7

Page 446

Prizefighter and the Lady,The (), 
Prodigal,The (), 
Psycho (), –,  (photo)
Public Enemy,The (), –, ,

,  (photo), 

Rain or Shine (), 
Rango (), , 
Red Dust (), –,  (photo)
Red Headed Woman (), , , –

,  (photo), 
Registered Nurse (), 
Road Is Open Again,The (), 
Road to Ruin,The (), 
Roaring Twenties,The (), 
Roosevelt—the Man of the Hour (),



Safe in Hell (), , 
Sailor’s Luck (), 
S.A.-Mann Brand (), –, 

(photo), n
Scandal Sheet (), 
Scarface (), , , –, 

(photo), , , , , 
Searchers,The (), n
Secrets (), 
Shadow of the Law (), 
Shame of Temple Drake,The (aka The

Story of Temple Drake) (), ,
–,  (photo), 

Shanghai Express (), , 
She Done Him Wrong (), , ,

, –,  (photo)
She Had to Say Yes (), 
Shopworn (), 
Sign of the Cross,The (), , ,

–,  (photo)
Silent Enemy,The (), , –,


Simba (), 
Sin of Madelon Claudet,The (), ,



Skyscraper Souls (), , 
Smart Money (), 
Son-Daughter,The (), 
S.O.S. Iceberg (), , –
Sound of Music,The (), n
So This Is Africa (), 
Speedy (), 
Squawman,The (), 
Stand Up and Cheer (), 
Star Wars (), n
Star Witness,The (), 
State’s Attorney (), , 
Storm Over Asia (; released in U.S.

in ), 
Story of Temple Drake,The (aka The

Shame of Temple Drake) (), ,
–,  (photo), 

Strange Justice (), 
Success at Any Price (), 
Susan Lennox: Her Fall and Rise (),

–

Tabu (), 
Tale of Two Cities,A (), 
Tarzan and His Mate (), xi, 

(photo), , ,  (photo), –
, , 

Tarzan Escapes (), 
Tarzan, the Ape Man (), –, 
Taxi! (), –, , 
They Learned About Women (), ,


Thief of Baghdad (), 
This Day and Age (), , –, ,

–, 
This Is America (), , 
Three Little Pigs,The (), –
Tol’able David (), 
Trader Horn (), , , 

(photo), , 
Treasure Island (), 
Triumph of the Will (), 
Trouble in Paradise (), 

F I L M I N D E X / 4 2 9

Page 447

20,000 Years in Sing Sing (), , 

Ubangi (), 
Unashamed (), , –
Under 18 (), 
Underworld (), 
Unguarded Girls (), 
Union Depot (), –
Unknown,The (), 

Virgins of Bali (aka Jungle Virgins) (),
, , –,  (photo)

Volga to Gastonia, 

Washington Merry-Go-Round (),
–

Waterloo Bridge (), 
We’re Rich Again (), 
West of Singapore (), 
Wet Parade,The (), 

What Men Want (), 
What Price Hollywood? (), , ,

 (photo)
White Hell of Pitz Palleu (), 
White Shadows of the South Sea (),


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (),


Wild Boys of the Road (), , , –

,  (photo), , 
Wild Cargo (), 
Wild in the Streets (), 
Winner Take All, 
With Byrd at the South Pole (),

–,  (photo), 
World Moves On,The (), n
World in Revolt (), 
World’s Greatest Thrills,The (), 

Young Sinners (), 

4 3 0 / F I L M I N D E X

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