History UsefulNotes / ThePreCodeEra

9th Sep '16 8:38:46 AM Hedging
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Oh sure, you didn't have PrecisionFStrike and the language is still [[GoshDarnItToHeck (mostly) squeaky clean]], and there's not a whole lot of full nudity even if [[MsFanservice there is more skin]]. But everything is different. In these films, there's no coyness or euphemisms, visual or otherwise; characters if they like each other will get physical. Gangsters and bad guys tend to be more AffablyEvil without the CharacterDerailment in later films that makes them obvious bad guys as an AuthorsSavingThrow. There are more KarmaHoudini villains and a DownerEnding is not rare, though the films are fairly light on the whole.

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Oh sure, you didn't have PrecisionFStrike and sure, the language is still ([[PrecisionFStrike mostly]]) [[GoshDarnItToHeck (mostly) squeaky clean]], and there's not a whole lot of full nudity even if [[MsFanservice there is more skin]]. But everything is different. In these films, there's no coyness or euphemisms, visual or otherwise; characters if they like each other will get physical. Gangsters and bad guys tend to be more AffablyEvil without the CharacterDerailment in later films that makes them obvious bad guys as an AuthorsSavingThrow. There are more KarmaHoudini villains and a DownerEnding is not rare, though the films are fairly light on the whole.
23rd Aug '16 8:52:00 PM jamespolk
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A good example is Creator/HowardHawks' original ''Film/{{Scarface|1932}}''. Despite being the TropeMaker for gangster films and a phenomenal influence on American cinema at the time to the point of PopCulturalOsmosis it was unseen in America till the late 70s where it once again attracted notice and attention, which in turn led to well-known [[Film/{{Scarface 1983}} remake]] with AlPacino. Other titles were ''Film/TroubleInParadise'' by Ernst Lubitsch, as well as his ''Film/DesignForLiving,'' an incredible OlderThanTheyThink portrayal of a OneTrueThreesome which anticipates the Free Love climate of TheSixties. The films were steadily rediscovered since then with TCM channel being a major supporter of these works. Several of them are released on DVD labels like ''Forbidden Hollywood'' with the hook being its OlderThanTheyThink value.

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A good example is Creator/HowardHawks' original ''Film/{{Scarface|1932}}''. Despite being the TropeMaker for gangster films and a phenomenal influence on American cinema at the time to the point of PopCulturalOsmosis it was unseen in America till the late 70s where it once again attracted notice and attention, which in turn led to well-known [[Film/{{Scarface 1983}} remake]] with AlPacino.Creator/AlPacino. Other titles were ''Film/TroubleInParadise'' by Ernst Lubitsch, as well as his ''Film/DesignForLiving,'' an incredible OlderThanTheyThink portrayal of a OneTrueThreesome which anticipates the Free Love climate of TheSixties. The films were steadily rediscovered since then with TCM channel being a major supporter of these works. Several of them are released on DVD labels like ''Forbidden Hollywood'' with the hook being its OlderThanTheyThink value.



* Creator/BusbyBerkeley : Pioneer of the Creator/BusbyBerkeleyNumber, directed musical numbers with gorgeous ladies in kaleidoscopic formations in such films as ''42nd Steet, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames'' and others. He was himself a returning war veteran and used his knowledge of military drills to form his numbers and this inspired such bold numbers as ''[[ShellShockedVeteran Remember My Forgotten Man]]'' [[RippedFromTheHeadlines inspired by]] the 1932 Veterans March to Washington.

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* Creator/BusbyBerkeley : Pioneer of the Creator/BusbyBerkeleyNumber, directed musical numbers with gorgeous ladies in kaleidoscopic formations in such films as ''42nd Steet, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames'' ''Film/FortySecondStreet'', ''Film/FootlightParade'', Film/GoldDiggersOf1933'', ''Film/{{Dames}}'' and others. He was himself a returning war veteran and used his knowledge of military drills to form his numbers and this inspired such bold numbers as ''[[ShellShockedVeteran Remember My Forgotten Man]]'' [[RippedFromTheHeadlines inspired by]] the 1932 Veterans March to Washington.
22nd Aug '16 8:05:21 AM jayoungr
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Actors who were major figures in this era include Creator/JamesCagney, Creator/MarleneDietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Creator/SpencerTracy, Creator/GaryCooper, Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Margaret Sullavan, George Raft, Wallace Beery, Creator/EdwardGRobinson, Creator/ClaudetteColbert, Constance Bennett, Paul Muni, Frederic March, Creator/MauriceChevalier, Creator/JeanHarlow and many others. In addition, actors like Creator/ClarkGable , Creator/HumphreyBogart and Creator/JohnWayne made [[YoungFutureFamousPeople early-bird appearances]] in films in this era.

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Actors who were major figures in this era include Creator/JamesCagney, Creator/MarleneDietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Creator/SpencerTracy, Creator/GaryCooper, Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Margaret Sullavan, George Raft, Wallace Beery, Creator/EdwardGRobinson, Creator/ClaudetteColbert, Constance Bennett, Paul Muni, Frederic March, Creator/MauriceChevalier, Creator/JeanHarlow and many others. In addition, actors like Creator/ClarkGable , Creator/ClarkGable, Creator/HumphreyBogart and Creator/JohnWayne made [[YoungFutureFamousPeople early-bird appearances]] in films in this era.



* ''Film/LittleCaesar'' (1931): Flying bullets, "crime pays," and so much HomoeroticSubtext that the author of the novel on which the film was based wrote to the studio to complain.



* ''Film/ThePublicEnemy'' (1931): The main character is a young man living in Chicago during Prohibition whose crimes progress from small-time theft to bootlegging and murder.

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* ''Film/ThePublicEnemy'' (1931): The main character is Creator/JamesCagney plays a young man living in Chicago during Prohibition whose crimes progress from small-time theft to bootlegging and murder.
8th Aug '16 7:19:51 PM LongTallShorty64
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/BlondeCrazy'' (1931): A raunchy little tale about [[ConMan con men]] Creator/JamesCagney and Joan Blondell.
4th Jul '16 5:13:15 PM LongTallShorty64
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* ''Film/SinTakesAHoliday'' (1930) Constance Bennett marries her boss, treats the marriage lightly, and flirts around Paris with Basil Rathbone.

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* ''Film/SinTakesAHoliday'' (1930) The title alone gives pre-code vibes. Constance Bennett marries her boss, treats the marriage lightly, and flirts around Paris with Basil Rathbone.
4th Jul '16 4:46:45 PM LongTallShorty64
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* ''Film/TheMiracleWoman'' (1931): An early Creator/FrankCapra film, starring BarbaraStanwyck, telling the story about a corrupt evangelical church. Oh, and someone flips the bird.

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* ''Film/SinTakesAHoliday'' (1930) Constance Bennett marries her boss, treats the marriage lightly, and flirts around Paris with Basil Rathbone.
* ''Film/TheMiracleWoman'' (1931): An early Creator/FrankCapra film, starring BarbaraStanwyck, Creator/BarbaraStanwyck, telling the story about a corrupt evangelical church. Oh, and someone flips the bird.
14th Jun '16 9:42:23 PM PaulA
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* Rouben Mamoulian : Director of the famous sound version of ''Literature/DrJekyllAndMrHyde'' with Frederic March and Miriam Hopkins, foregrounding the sexual subtext of the original and innovative for its special effects. He directed the musical ''Film/LoveMeTonight,'' famous for the number, "Isn't It Romantic?", and provided Creator/GretaGarbo with a signature role in ''Film/QueenChristina''.

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* Rouben Mamoulian : Director of the famous sound version of ''Literature/DrJekyllAndMrHyde'' ''Film/DrJekyllAndMrHyde1931'' with Frederic March and Miriam Hopkins, foregrounding the sexual subtext of the original and innovative for its special effects. He directed the musical ''Film/LoveMeTonight,'' ''Film/LoveMeTonight'', famous for the number, "Isn't It Romantic?", and provided Creator/GretaGarbo with a signature role in ''Film/QueenChristina''.
11th Jun '16 6:38:51 PM LongTallShorty64
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/TheBitterTeaOfGeneralYen'' (1933)-- Barbara Stanwyck plays a naive missionary in China during the Useful/ChineseCivilWar who falls for General Yen, an amoral general. Also an early Creator/FrankCapra effort.
6th Jun '16 4:33:47 PM Doug86
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This period provided us the Gangster Film, TheMusical and the ScrewballComedy, in addition to some war films like ''Film/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront''. It was also the period of UniversalHorror films, titles like James Whale's ''Film/{{Frankenstein|1931}}'' with Boris Karloff and its sequel ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'', Tod Browning's ''Film/{{Dracula|1931}}'', ''Film/TheBlackCat'' as well as MGM's one attempt to cash in on the trend, Tod Browning's ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' which could not be made in any other period but this one. It was also a time of important innovations in special effects, with ''[[Film/KingKong1933 King Kong]]'' released in 1933. All in all, this period of six years, which marked the end of silent cinema and the beginning of sound was a climate of freedom which was [[ShortLivedBigImpact all too brief]] but whose impact reverberated for years to come.

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This period provided us the Gangster Film, TheMusical and the ScrewballComedy, in addition to some war films like ''Film/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront''. It was also the period of UniversalHorror Franchise/UniversalHorror films, titles like James Whale's ''Film/{{Frankenstein|1931}}'' with Boris Karloff and its sequel ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'', Tod Browning's ''Film/{{Dracula|1931}}'', ''Film/TheBlackCat'' as well as MGM's one attempt to cash in on the trend, Tod Browning's ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' which could not be made in any other period but this one. It was also a time of important innovations in special effects, with ''[[Film/KingKong1933 King Kong]]'' released in 1933. All in all, this period of six years, which marked the end of silent cinema and the beginning of sound was a climate of freedom which was [[ShortLivedBigImpact all too brief]] but whose impact reverberated for years to come.
3rd Jun '16 10:53:46 AM Mdumas43073
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* ''Film/ThreeWiseGirls'' -- another Creator/JeanHarlow vehicle (Harlow was pretty much made for the pre-Code era), which features tons of Fanservice from Harlow and other scantily clad actresses, ToplessnessFromTheBack from Harlow, and an example of SympatheticAdulterer that would become almost impossible to do after the Hays Code.

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* ''Film/ThreeWiseGirls'' (1932) -- another Creator/JeanHarlow vehicle (Harlow was pretty much made for the pre-Code era), which features tons of Fanservice from Harlow and other scantily clad actresses, ToplessnessFromTheBack from Harlow, and an example of SympatheticAdulterer that would become almost impossible to do after the Hays Code.
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