RELEASE DATE: JUNE 5, 2017
Hollywood movies in the 1920s depicted sex, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse with freewheeling abandon, but filmmaking freedom halted with the mysterious murder of director William Desmond Taylor, the drug death of writer-director-actor Wallace Reid, and the rape trials of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. Hollywood had to choose self-censorship or face the moral indignation of the law. They chose to manage movie madcaps themselves.
Will H. Hays, President of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) from 1922 to 1945, prescribed the Production Code in 1930 and began strictly enforcing it in 1934. The Production Code spelled out a set of moral guidelines that were popularly known as the Hays Code. For decades, moviemaking was never the same.
Rediscover 107 spicy films from the Pre-code era, including Stolen Heaven (1931), The Night of June 13th (1932), Three on a Match (1932), Red-Headed Woman (1932), Call Her Savage (1932), This Reckless Age (1932), Young Bride (1932), Panama Flo (1932), and Baby Face (1933).
Relive the fabled faces of these fiery films, such as Barbara Stanwyck, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, Wallace Beery, Carole Lombard, Frances Dee, Chester Morris, and Sylvia Sidney, as well as directors Frank Capra, Rouben Mamoulian, James Whale, William Wellman, Michael Curtiz, William Wyler, and W. S. Van Dyke.
Author Lou Sabini points his comprehensive spotlight on the often forgotten yet always fascinating films that dared depict violence, drugs, and sex with a sinful flair.
107 films profiled. Illustrated with 178 rare photographs and memorabilia from the world’s archives. Complete casts, credits, production history, and biographical profiles of the stars, director, writers, and cameramen.
About the author: Lou Sabini attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, later teaching and lecturing about film. He is the author of Behind the Scenes of They Were Expendable.