Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934 (Paperback)
  • Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934 (Paperback)
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Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934 (Paperback)

(author)
£20.00
Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 05/10/1999
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Pre-Code Hollywood explores 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 are from 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.

Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231110952
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 723 g
Dimensions: 152 x 226 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Scholarly but at ease with a Hollywood aside or period slang... Providing a nearly complete chronicle and casting unifying light on an unexplored era in film. Kirkus Reviews Pre-Code Hollywood is a delight-a text as witty and lively as the dialogue to be found in most of the pre-Code films under discussion. Filmfax Doherty keenly grasps the paradox at the heart of Hollywood censorship in the studio era.. -- Clayton Koppes American Historical Review A pleasure to read. Where film criticism often seems doomed to crush the power and the immediacy of the moving image under the weight of theoretical abstraction and protracted analysis, Doherty's prose is swift, vivid and energetic, much like the films that he addresses here. -- Jeffrey Geiger American Studies Pre-Code Hollywood is not only fun to read, it's instructive-a valuable, organized dip into a narrow slice of Hollywood history. -- Robert Gottlieb The New York Times Book Review Pre-Code Hollywood is not just a valuable exercise in film scholarship but also a fascinating cultural history of America in crisis. Doherty's discussion of Roosevelt's notorious manipulation of the mass media is itself worth the price of the book. -- Peter Kurth Salon.com Looks to become the standard work on this decidedly nonstandard age. -- Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times Excellent... Thomas Doherty's Pre-Code Hollywood cogently examines the [Pre-Code] pictures and their political impact. -- Richard Corliss Time A detailed and fascinating study. -- J. Hoberman The New York TImes This is a fascinating, in-depth look at an overlooked Hollywood era. Doherty re-creates the horse-trading over censorship and the social tensions and casual racism of a young industry... Highly recommended. Library Journal

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