Pre-Code Hollywood Collection

Pre-Code Hollywood Collection


DVD - 2009
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In 1934, Hollywood was turned upside down by the enforcement of a strict "Production Code" that would change the way movies were made for the next 34 years. But during the "pre-Code" period (1929-1934), censorship barely existed and filmmakers had free reign to make the movies they wanted and the public demanded. No subject was taboo including adultery, murder or sex.
Hot Saturday: Bank employee Ruth Brock has a reputation around town for being fast-and-easy. Yet none of the panting suitors has made her yet. She disillusions each one, but the last guy is a bad sport and starts a gossip scandal about her and a millionaire playboy. This causes Ruth to lose her job. Figuring that as long as she has the name, she might as well play the game.
Torch singer: Sally Trent has an illegitimate child, but cannot support her. She gives the baby up for adoption. Michael Gardner is the father who leaves for China not knowing about the baby. Sally assumes he has abandoned her for life. She gets a job as a torch singer and changes her name to Mimi Benton. She becomes notorious for her drinking and philadering. Then, Mimi fills in on a children's radio program singing and telling bedtime stories. She uses the airtime to find her daughter. She leaves her partying days behind and reunites with Michael.


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Jul 16, 2020

The 6 films presented in this vintage movie collection are, in a sense, unique, as they were produced during the pre-Code era in Hollywood film-making (1929-1934) before the strangulating restrictions of the "Hays Code" were strictly enforced.

Yes. Judging by today's free-wheeling standards on subject matter (90 years down the road) these films are pretty tame and, at times, almost laughable in nature.

But, if you are willing to cut these 6 films some serious slack and just enjoy them from their historical perspective in the realm of Hollywood movie-making, then, I'm sure that you won't be at all disappointed, in the long run.

Oct 13, 2018

These are pretty interesting films, very different from others I've seen from the 30s:
"The cheat" deals with gambling problems/money and misogyny (warning: violent scene still pretty horrifying to modern viewer), title mislead me, but it's really a loving marriage
"Merrily we go to hell" could almost be a modern film about chronic alcoholism and what it can do to a loving long-term relationship (and they even attempt an open marriage of sorts for a bit but it's not a healthy one)
"Hot Saturday" gah, small towns and rumor mills...modern day this would play out a bit differently, but similar things still happen
"Torch singer" I liked the first 2 films better and this one has an abrupt ending, but it also has unusual subject matter and a complex lead character
"Murder at the vanities" Ugggghhh, that stage show in the background looks like 2 hours of objectification of women and nothing else, but the murder mystery plot is interesting
"Search for beauty" Meh, I didn't care about the characters, career criminals or exercise-evangelicals...slightly different sort of objectification here--includes both genders

Apr 16, 2014

MURDER AT THE VANITIES is quite entertaining.
Beautiful music and women,
dramatic tension, murder-suspense.
Far above others of its type.

hania4987 Jun 18, 2013

1. The Cheat ** a bit melodramatic for today's tastes 2. Merrily We Go to Hell **** a surprisingly contemporary feeling story of a young couple's relationship 3. Hot Saturday **** Cary Grant comedy ... small town prejudices and misunderstandings ... choosing between the town's bad boy and a cherished childhood friend. 4. Torch Singer *** Claudette Colbert is a single woman who tries to raise her daughter then ends up giving her up for adoption when she is unable to find a job. 5. Murder at the Vanities ** secrets, murder and music 6. Search for Beauty * grifters meet Olympic stars and try to use them as cover for their latest scheme ... interesting locker room scenes

Apr 16, 2013

Featuring a literal army of good-looking, scantily-clad, young men and women, "Search For Beauty" was really the only worthwhile film to see in this rather dreary and disappointing collection of 6, Pre-Code Hollywood films from 1929-1934._____ If you're a really big fan of beefcake and/or cheesecake, then, believe me, "Search For Beauty" is a film highlighting a delicious array of 1934 eye-candy that is sure to wet anyone's whistle! Indeed!_____ Other than the film mentioned above, "Murder At The Vanities" wasn't really too bad, but the other 4 films (even though they had sizzling titles like - "Hot Saturday" & "Merrily We Go To Hell") were all a complete limp-wristed let-down._____ Some of the big-name actors-of-the-day featured in these films were - Cary Grant, Buster Crabbe, Tallulah Bankhead, Fredric March, and Ida Lupino (Just wait'll you get a look at Ida's eyebrows! They're a total "fashion statement" scream!)

kpkowalski Feb 24, 2012

Watched 'The Cheat'


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