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ehle64
Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Over seventy years later, they've lost none of their power to shock, entertain, and titillate. So-called "pre-Code" movies remain among the most vital films America has ever produced. But why were these films so much more sexually free and socially critical than what came before or after? Who created the Code, and what did it forbid? And why did it finally become a Hollywood commandment? The answer is a fascinating mix of scandal, big business and social history - a unique collision of events that resulted in one of the most dynamic - and delicious - periods in Hollywood history.

Third-Eye Members Sydhe & Nancy will be on hand to guide us through this very important time in American Cinema History.

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It truly disappoints me when people do something for you via no prompt of your own and then use it as some kind of weapon against you at a later time and place. It is what it is.
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Befade
Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
I'll be reading faithfully........and hope I can find time to view a few.
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Marj
Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:48 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Beautiful intro, Wade.
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Syd
Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:31 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12532 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Nancy Peay, who contributed so much to this forum, died on May 2, 2009. Many of her reviews can be found below. At some point, I intend to do an index of all the discussions on the forum, including hers. She loved contributing to the Pre-Code Forum, and it wouldn't have worked without her.

This is the obituary I wrote for Nancy. I'm submited it to the Norman Transcript and to Havenbrook Funeral Home. Note the website where you can send condolences.

Quote:
Nancy Ellen Peay was discovered passed away at her home on the morning of Saturday, May 2, 2009 in Norman Oklahoma. She was born on June 11, 1954 to Marion and Homer Peay in Ada, Oklahoma, and went to high school in Ada and in Del City. She graduated from Del City High School in 1972 and from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 with a major in Anthropology. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents. She had no siblings or children. Surviving her are her uncle, Larry Morris, her cousin, Ray Morris, and hundreds of friends. Nancy worked for Flaniganís costume shop until 1995, and continued to make dolls for the rest of her life. She also worked for the Physical Plant at the University of Oklahoma and for Health and Human Services for the State of Oklahoma. Nancy was a member of the Norman Oklahoma Science Fiction Association since its inception in the 1970s, and was active in other fan groups, often chairing the film room of conventions. Nancy was well-known for her love of movies of all times and countries, especially for obscure science fiction and horror films. She was always happy to find an obscure and unusual film. Many of her reviews can be found at the Third Eye film forum http://www.thirdeyefilm.com/phpBB2/index.php . She was a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism since the 1970s. There will be a memorial service/wake next week. Call Syd Henderson at 321-4027 for more information. There will also be a wake in her memory at the SoonerCon science fiction convention in Oklahoma City the first weekend of June. Send condolences online at http://www.havenbrookfuneralhome.com/Obituaries.htm
Submitted by her friends


Last edited by Syd on Mon May 11, 2009 9:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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A man, a plan, a bamboo patch .... Pandamonium!
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Melody
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:19 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2242 Location: TX
Thanks for that great intro, Wade.

Syd & Nancy, I'm thrilled y'all are moderating. Now I need an assignment. Give me one or two or five specific films to rent between now and April 1st because I'm woefully ignorant of this film era. Thanks!

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Nancy
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
Melody,

A list to start on should be forthcoming soon. I've mentioned it to Syd, and we will try to work on that and post some suggested films. Maybe with some alternates, in case some of them are not easily findable. Watch this space for details.

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Isaacism, 2009
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Nancy
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
Syd wrote:
I wonder if it would be worthwhile to look at individual films before and after they got censored. Nancy's lent me a copy of Scarface with an alternate ending. Apparently the edited version was retitled Scarface: The Shame of a Nation to give a moral judgment on its subject. Originally it was simply Scarface.

This would also give me an excuse to see King Kong again, as if I needed one.


Yup. Nothing like a couple of big ape movies.

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Syd
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12532 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Here's the availability list Lady Wakasa posted in the Frears forum:

lady wakasa wrote:
bocce wrote:
that's the biggest problem with you guys. you make unreasonable propositions, self fulllfilling failures and, then, wonder why we stagnate...


So... I just did a quick check of online availability of precode film. (TCM just put out their second pre-code box, and I just don't see them doing that if there were no demand for it.)

I used a combination of the films listed in Bright Light Film Journal's listing of pre-code Warner Bros films, Wikipedia, and things I've come across as pre-code over time. I then checked these against Amazon.com (red), Netflix (blue), and Blockbuster (green), to find out availability.

- The Bitter Tea of General Yen (yes / used)
- Forty-Second Street (yes / yes / yes)
- Trouble in Paradise (yes / yes / yes)
- Baby Face (yes / yes)
- Red-Headed Woman (yes / yes)
- Night Nurse (yes / yes / yes)
- Love Me Tonight (yes / yes / yes)
- Hell's Angels (yes / yes / yes)
- The Blue Angel (yes / yes / yes)
- The Scarlet Empress (yes / yes / yes)
- Of Human Bondage (yes / yes / yes)
- I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (yes / yes / yes)
- The Mayor of Hell (yes / ??? / 3/25)
- Public Enemy (yes / yes / yes)
- Female (yes / ??? / yes)

Fifteen films, all available. Most restrictive case (Blockbuster), 12 films. This is more than enough to have a forum. And you can always take a poll beforehand to verify anyone interested in the forum can get their hands on the movies (which is what I did with Silents, and which was done with Fellini).

This was a quick check, and doesn't include movies like Blonde Venus, Freaks, Grand Hotel, Mask of Fu Manchu, Dinner at Eight, Animal Crackers... But even if you wanted to just use the two TCM boxes - that's seven films there, all available.

So I totally don't agree that "these films are not available."

It may be that you're not interested in the topic, which is completely different, but this is doable. And - it's about learning something, anyway.


She didn't mention Scarface, which is obviously available on DVD because I'm looking at it.

I have a VCR tape of The Divorcee and Amazon has 25 tapes for sale. It doesn't seem to be available on DVD except as part of the Forbidden Hollywood collection.

They have I'm No Angel on both VHS and DVD, but the DVD is expensive. I note, though, that they have a Mae West collection that contains it and you can buy that for less than $10.

Twentieth Century is available on both VHS and DVD and is a classic.

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Syd
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:41 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12532 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
TCM for rest of March
Weekend Marriage (Loretta Young) on the 18th
Possessed (Joan Crawford, Clark Gable) on the 18th
The Vampire Bat, Strange Justice, Rafter Romance on the 20th
Grand Hotel (Half of MGM) and Dancing Lady (Joan Crawford in a Fred Astaire Musical (!)) Sadie McKee (Crawford and Franchot Tone) morning of the 23rd
Trader Horn ("An African trader and a white jungle goddess join forces against a hostile tribe." We've GOT to do this one. This is the film the Tarzan movies ripped off stock footage from.) on the 24th
The Wet Parade on the 26th (Walter Huston and Myrna Loy in a movie about prohibition)
The Most Dangerous Game (Joel McCrae and Fay Wray; they made this in 1932?) on the 26th
Outward Bound ("Passengers on a fog-shrouded ship learn that they are lost souls on the way to heaven or hell". Cast: Leslie Howard, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Helen Chandler) on the 27th. Also Grand Hotel
Ladies They Talk About (Barbara Stanwyck in a prison film) on the 28th
Below the Sea (Ralph Bellamy and Fay Wray) on the 28th

The only one of these I've seen is Grand Hotel

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A man, a plan, a bamboo patch .... Pandamonium!
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Syd
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12532 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
TCM for April (all times EDT)

[b]Dance Fools Dance
(with Joan Crawford & Clark Gable--sounds perfect for this forum) April 1, 7:30 a.m. (already happened, sorry)
A Bill of Divorcement (John Barrymore, Katherine Hepburn)
April 2, 6:45 p.m.
Cabin in the Cotton (Bette Davis. We need one of hers)April 5, 6:00 a.m.
Sunrise (if we don't mind doing silents; one of the greatest films ever made), Midnight of April 6-7
King Kong (screaming blonde and giant ape) April 8. 8:00 p.m.
Dinner at Eight (John & Lionel Barrymore, Marie Dressler, Jean Harlow and more), April 8, 10:00 p.m.
42nd Street (Early musical with Warren Baxter, Bebe Daniels and Ruby Keeler) April 9, 2:00 a.m.
Queen Christina (Garbo) April 9, 3:45 p.m.
Housewife (Bette Davis & Ann Dvorak; may not be pre-code) April 11, 10:15 a.m.
Tarzan, the Ape Man (the Weissmuller) April 12, noon
Coquette (Mary Pickford in an attempt to break out of nice girl roles) April 18, 6:00 a.m.
Night Parade (boxing & the mob) April 18, 7:30 a.m.
The Fall Guy (gangsters) April 18, 8:45 a.m.
Lilly Turner (Ruth Chatterton as a pregnant woman married to a bigamist) April 18, 10:00 a.m.
Heat Lightning (Ann Dvorak in a melodrama set in an isolated gas station; sounds sort of like a "Petrified Forest.") 11:15 a.m.
Dancing Lady again, midnight of April 28-29
Union Depot (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Alan Hale, Sr.) 8:00 p.m., April 30


Last edited by Syd on Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:34 pm; edited 4 times in total

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A man, a plan, a bamboo patch .... Pandamonium!
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Nancy
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
And, of course, not everybody has to see all of these films. I'd suggest that if you can't find a particular one, look for another from the same period with the same actress or theme.

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Rod
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Dec 2004 Posts: 2944 Location: Lithgow, Australia
I recommend Union Depot if you get the chance. I used to have a copy that was unfortunately taped over, but it's a sassy piece of work.

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Nancy
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
I thought it would be a good idea to re-post Lady W's link to DVD Beaver's list of pre-code films:

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 4244 Location: Beyond the Blue Horizon
For anyone who's interested: an extensive writeup on precode films at DVD Beaver.

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/pre-code.htm
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"All in all, it's just another feather in the fan."

Isaacism, 2009
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Nancy
Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:29 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
Syd has posted lists of the films from the early '30's showing on TCM this month and next, in case people want to tape them. Some of these may fit the pre-code category, others may not, but are listed for those who want to start immersing themselves in the period. I also wanted to list some suggestions, including some alternates or "see also" films. Take a look and see what interests you. (Some of these can be found on the Forbidden Hollywood collections, referred to as FH v.1 or 2.)

Scarface (for an example of a gangster/crime film) or The Public Enemy. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang and Three on a Match (FH v. 2) may go here also.

Films about women dominating or using men, such as Baby Face (FH v.1). I haven't watched it yet, but it sounds like Female (FH v.2) belongs here also.

Mae West movies, such as I'm No Angel or She Done Him Wrong.

Jean Harlow films, such as Red Headed Woman (FH v. 1), Hell's Angels, or Bombshell.

Films about adultery, such as The Divorcee (FH v. 2) and Blonde Venus.

Films about prostitution, such as the 1931 Waterloo Bridge (FH v. 1) or Rain (which I would like to compare with the 1928 version, Sadie Thompson)

Rain gives us a Joan Crawford film, but I'm open to suggestions for others.

For what was considered a monster in this period, Freaks and King Kong.

More suggested films to come. I have started inundating Syd with movies from my collection (after I re-watch them, of course). Let's hope it doesn't cause him to run screaming into the night.

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"All in all, it's just another feather in the fan."

Isaacism, 2009
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Nancy
Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:36 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
Some suggested topics to discuss, some of which Wade mentioned in his wonderful introduction:

What exactly did the Production Code forbid?

What events and films caused the movement toward restricting film content, and why did it take so long to become effective?

Why were the films of this period racier than those before and after this time, and were they really?

Why were there so many portrayals of strong or dominating women?

What was the attitude toward sex expressed in these films?

More as I think of them, and feel free to suggest your own.


Last edited by Nancy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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"All in all, it's just another feather in the fan."

Isaacism, 2009
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