Day and TimeFriday Nov 12, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
It's guilty pleasure time, and one of the guiltiest of them all is watching films made in the era before the Production Code came into full force. In the "pre-code" era, prior to the morality clamp-down by the Breen Office in 1934, a person could be bad. Really bad. And few of them could be badder than Jean Harlow, who at the time Red-Headed Woman was made in 1932 was coming fully into her siren of seduction typecasting. In this one, Harlow plays a girl who schemes to sleep her way to the top. Yes, they could do that then! In fact this is one of the films said to be most responsible for the calls to implement the Production Code, which up to that time existed only on paper. Sure, these films are tame by current standards (HBO has nothing to fear), but they are still surprising in the way they could deal so frankly with amoral themes that were placed firmly off-limits by the code for the next three decades, including sexual innuendo, marital infidelity, and bad guys who got away with it. And because of their subject matter and presentation, many of these films disappeared from circulation entirely after 1933, or reappeared in sanitized versions. Only in recent years could they once again be seen as the Depression-era audiences saw them. With Chester Morris, Lewis Stone, Leila Hyams, and Una Merkel (and look quickly for Charles Boyer). One of the uncredited screenwriters was none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald!
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