Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

In DC: I’m Co-Hosting a Series of Pre-Code Films at the Hill Center

posted by Nell Minow

I’m thrilled to announce that Margaret Talbot and I are co-hosting a steamy series of four films from the early 1930’s at Washington DC’s Hill Center, starting this Friday with Barbara Stanwyck’s “Baby Face.”

In a film and discussion series that will explore the history of sex and violence in the movies, censorship and the ratings system, we will present four gems of pre-Code cinema. For several years in the early 30s, producers, directors and screenwriters routinely flouted the moral guidelines known as the Hays Code. It wasn’t until July, 1934, when they were threatened with a nationwide boycott of the movies organized by the Catholic Church and its Legion of Decency, that the studios agreed to a stricter enforcement regime that would ensure they followed the rules. The movies that emerged from Hollywood in those first, “pre-Code” years of the 1930s are often racier, more cynical, darker and franker than movies would be for many years afterward.

Advertisement

In Baby Face (1933), Barbara Stanwyck literally sleeps her way to the top in the film that critic Mick LaSalle calls “lurid and black comic” and “the ultimate pre-code for pure outrageousness.” Stanwyck plays a small-town girl whose father sells her sexual services until she decides to deploy them for her own benefit. In a stunning scene, we see her take the elevator higher and higher in a big office building, seducing a man on each floor with more money and power than the one below. Look quickly — one of those men is a very, very young John Wayne. We will be showing the rare uncensored version of the film, with a steamy extra five minutes and without a tacked-on final scene — more men and less redemption.

Previous Posts

Trailer: The Magnificent Seven (and the Earlier Versions)
Denzel Washington, Vincent D'Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vinnie Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Pratt star in the remake of "The Magnificent Seven," and they've released a teaser ...

posted 3:10:55pm Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Bono is Making a Film About the Psalms with Pastor Eugene Peterson
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYx4F3bAc44" frameborder="0"] Rock star and humanitarian Bono and retired Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson have teamed up to release a new documentary about the book of Psalms. ...

posted 8:00:30am Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Keanu
I laughed so much and so hard at this movie that by the time it was over I had become of those Key and Peele show parking valets. I just ...

posted 5:58:07pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Ratchet & Clank
Roger Ebert famously declared that a video game could not be art, giving rise to howls of protest. I believe that videogames, like movies, can ...

posted 5:50:17pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Mother's Day
I tried, Garry Marshall, I really did, but you finally broke me. I did my best to enjoy Valentine's Day (I called it a tweet of a movie but ...

posted 5:20:09pm Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.