December 9th, 2018

Pre-Code (1930-32) Movie Posters: Barbara Stanwyck

Baby Face
This is considered the ne plus ultra of pre-Code movies. Stanwyck stars as a woman who sleeps her way to the top. Told with LOTS of detail!
Ladies They Talk About
Actually a fairly serious picture, despite the poster art.

The_Bitter_Tea_of_General_Yen

This was a SCANDALOUS movie! Stanwyck plays a white woman who falls for an Asian man (played by Nils Asther, a white actor, however). Afte much agonizing, Stanwyck decides to go with the Chinese general. But of course it had an unhappy ending because "miscegenation"--mixing of two races--was considered distasteful, to put it mildly. General Yen poisons himself rather than have her make the "impossible" choice.

"Pre-Code" refers to talking pictures made before 1934, when the Production Code was enforced by the Hayes Office, the leading Hollywood censorship group. They are considered the “raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled.” Although we mostly think of this as being about sex, drug use and other unconventional subjects were shown in a way that audiences didn't see for many decades.